It is major heath condition that almost every pregnant women face particularly during their second and third trimesters

Heartburn during Pregnancy

It is major heath condition that almost every pregnant women face particularly during their second and third trimesters. Heartburn is a common complaint during pregnancy. Although it has nothing to do with the heart, heartburn involves a burning sensation in the center of the chest.

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Heartburn, also known as acid indigestion is an irritation or burning sensation of the esophagus caused by stomach contents that reflux (comes back up) from the stomach.

What causes heartburn during pregnancy?

Heartburn occurs when the valve between the stomach and the esophagus are unable to prevent stomach acid from passing back into the esophagus. During pregnancy, the hormone progesterone causes the valve to relax, which can increase the frequency of heartburn. Pregnancy hormones can cause the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscular valve between the stomach and esophagus) to relax, allowing stomach acids to splash back up into the esophagus. In addition, the enlarged uterus can crowd the abdomen, pushing stomach acids upward.

Prevention and Treatment of Heartburn during Pregnancy

Heartburn during pregnancy is inevitable, to minimize it or prevent it, the following should be taken into consideration:

  • Eat as many times as possible rather than eating one full meal daily at a time

  • Eat slowly.

  • Do away with fried, spicy, or rich foods, or any foods that seem to cause relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter and increase the risk of heartburn.

  • Drink less while eating. Drinking large amounts while eating may increase the risk of acid reflux and heartburn.

  • Don’t lie down directly after eating.

  • Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of your bed. Or place pillows under your shoulders to help prevent stomach acids from rising into your chest.

  • Wear free cloth: tight-fitting clothes can increase the pressure on your stomach and abdomen.

  • Avoid constipation.

  • Eat yogurt or drink a glass of milk

  • Try a tablespoon of honey in a glass of warm milk

  • Over-the-counter antacids may prove helpful in relieving your heartburn, but do not take antacids without speaking to your health care provider. Some antacids contain high levels of sodium, which can cause fluid buildup in body tissues. If your heartburn is severe, your health care provider may prescribe medication for you.

  • Ask your doctor about using over-the-counter medications such as Tums or Maalox, which are generally safe to use during pregnancy. You may find that liquid heartburn relievers are more effective in treating heartburn, because they coat the esophagus.

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If your heartburn persists, see your doctor. He or she may prescribe medications that are safe to take during pregnancy. Heartburn usually disappears after childbirth.

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