Heartburn During Pregnancy - Causes, Symptoms, Prevention

Heartburn During Pregnancy - Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, Treatment, And Home Remedies 

Heartburn is a burning sensation or irritation of the esophagus (Esophagus is about 8 inches long muscular tube that connects the throat with the stomach. Esophagus is the tube that moves food from the throat to the stomach). It is a burning sensation in the throat or chest which occurs when the stomach contents move back up into the esophagus. Heartburn is a common complication during pregnancy that is experienced by most pregnant women. Heartburn can occur anytime during pregnancy but it usually occurs during the first and the third trimester of pregnancy.

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Causes of Heartburn During Pregnancy

Heartburn occurs when food and acid come back into the esophagus which is a muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach. During pregnancy, the hormone fluctuations allow the muscles of the esophagus to relax more frequently which leads stomach acids to rise up into the esophagus that causes heartburn during pregnancy. The body produces more of the hormones called progesterone and relaxin during pregnancy. The progesterone hormone causes the stomach to empty more slowly after eating and the hormone called relaxin relaxes the smooth muscles in the body. Due to these hormones, the food stays in the stomach for longer and stomach acid comes back into the esophagus easily and causes heartburn during pregnancy.

Symptoms of Heartburn During Pregnancy

When the stomach acid comes back into the esophagus it causes heartburn with the following symptoms:

  • Burning sensation in the chest or throat.
  • A sour or bad taste in the mouth.

Prevention of Heartburn During Pregnancy 

Follow these tips to get rid of heartburn during pregnancy:

1. Eat Smaller Meals

Eat smaller meals in a day. Don't eat three large meals a day. Break it up into five to six smaller meals. Eat five to six smaller meals throughout the day as smaller meals are easy to digest and help in relieving heartburn during pregnancy.

2. Eat Slowly

Eat your food slowly and chew it properly so that it gets digested easily. It will help in relieving heartburn during pregnancy.

3. Avoid Overeating

Overeating can cause heartburn during pregnancy. Always eat the right amount and avoid eating larger meals.

4. Avoid Trigger Foods

Some foods such as chocolate, fried foods, spicy food, processed meat, fatty food, citrus fruits, caffeine, carbonated beverages, alcohol, etc. are known to trigger heartburn. Avoid these foods to prevent heartburn during pregnancy.

5. Healthy Weight Gain

Maintain a healthy weight during your pregnancy period as excess weight gain puts pressure on the stomach and also increases the risk of heartburn in the pregnancy period. Eat healthily and stay fit throughout your pregnancy to minimize complications during pregnancy.

6. Sleep on your Left Side

Try to sleep on your left side throughout your pregnancy. Sleeping on the right side position the stomach higher than the esophagus which can lead to heartburn during pregnancy.

7. Avoid eating during bedtime

Avoid eating foods during bedtime. Always eat food three hours before bedtime to avoid heartburn. Lying down directly after eating can cause heartburn so don't lie down directly after taking meals.

8. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking

Avoid alcohol and smoking during pregnancy as it can make heartburn worse.

9. Drink enough Fluids 

Include more fluids in your pregnancy diet to prevent heartburn during pregnancy. Fluids are easily digested by the body. Adding fluids such as soups, yogurt, milk, smoothies, and protein shakes to your pregnancy diet is a good idea to get essential nutrients and prevent heartburn during pregnancy.

10. Wear Comfortable and Loose-Fitting Clothes

Always wear comfortable and loose clothes throughout your pregnancy. Tight clothes can trigger pressure in your stomach which can cause heartburn during pregnancy.

Treatment of Heartburn During Pregnancy

Antacids such as Tums, Maalox, and Rolaids are helpful in relieving heartburn but don't take antacids without consulting your doctor.  Antacids that contain calcium or magnesium are safe to take during pregnancy but some antacids contain sodium which can cause water retention during pregnancy and some antacids contain aluminum which can cause constipation during pregnancy and can even be toxic if taken in large doses. So, always consult your healthcare provider before taking antacids during pregnancy.

Home Remedies for Heartburn During Pregnancy

Follow these tips to get relief from heartburn during pregnancy:

1. Coconut Water

Coconut Water works as a natural acid neutralizer and helps in neutralizing the acid levels of the stomach and relieves heartburn during pregnancy.

2. Water

Drink a lot of water daily and stay hydrated throughout the day. It will help in reducing heartburn during pregnancy.

3. Raw Almonds

Raw Almonds have a high content of oil which helps in soothing heartburn during pregnancy.

4. Yogurt

Eat yogurt to relieve heartburn during pregnancy.

5. Chewing Gum

Chewing Gum enhances salivary production which helps to stop acid reflux and helps to get rid of heartburn during pregnancy.

If your heartburn persists, consult your doctor. Your doctor will prescribe you safe medications to relieve heartburn during pregnancy. Don't take any medications on your own. Heartburn usually ends after childbirth. Have a happy and safe pregnancy. May God bless you and your little bundle of joy with good health.

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Disclaimer: This content is intended for general information only and it should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. The given content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment or any diagnosis. Always consult a doctor for more information. Our website doesn't claim responsibility for this information.

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