Among the many problems caused due to the hormonal variations, heartburn during pregnancy can also be added as one.
Again, like many other pregnancy symptoms, it is also a common one and usually harmless yet can be very discomforting in nature.
The good thing about heartburn is you can try out some simple steps to minimize the pain caused by it.
Heartburn is basically a burning sensation experienced mainly in the throat and chest. This may also be accompanied with sour and acidic taste in the mouth.
Many people might have experienced this type of sensation before but even if they have not, they are likely to experience it during pregnancy.
This heartburn during pregnancy is caused due to a number of reasons, hormonal variations being the root cause to it.
Progesterone, a pregnancy hormone is responsible for causing heartburn. It relaxes the valve separating the oesophagus from the stomach.
This in turn allows the gastric acids to move upwards causing a burning sensation and irritation.
Again, the progesterone slows the oesophagus contractions resulting in poor digestion.
When the baby grows inside the abdominal cavity, it pushes the stomach acids back to oesophagus. Hence heartburn is experienced.
Although harmless, this problem causes lots of discomfort especially in the second trimester. Even if remedial steps are out, yet this problem is likely to come and go until the delivery is over.
Some of the simple steps that can be tried out to cure the heartburn during pregnancy are as follows
* Practice eating smaller but frequent meals. This will prevent the stomach from becoming full and in turn prevents the stomach acids to move up to the oesophagus creating a burning sensation.
* It is always better to take time while eating instead of hurrying through the meal. This helps in proper digestion of the food that you take.
* In order to prevent heartburn during pregnancy, it is advisable not to sleep immediately after taking food. Sitting upright for two hours or so is better as it prohibits the stomach acids from rising up.
* Food items causing gastrointestinal problems must be avoided. They are probably responsible for causing heartburn.
Such eatables include citrus fruits and juices, chocolates, tomatoes, mustard, caffeine, alcohol, sauces and ketchup, vinegar, deli meats and spicy and fatty food items.
* Milk or yogurt can be taken if you experience frequent heartburn during pregnancy. Drinking plenty of water is also useful in this regards.
However, taking lots of fluids or water while having food is hazardous. It may contribute to the heartburn and irritation.
* Chewing a gum after the meals is recommended as it helps in the stimulation of the salivary glands which in turn helps in the neutralization of the acid.
* During sleeping, it is better to keep your upper body elevated as it prompts digestion. This can be done by simply adding two to three pillows beneath your head or you can get a maternity pillow to do it for you.
* Loose clothing is always preferred during pregnancy. It would help you lie down comfortably. During heartburn, when you are at a total discomfort, tight dresses may make you more uneasy. So wearing loose comfortable clothes are always advisable.
* Weight is also instrumental in causing heartburn during pregnancy. If you are more obese than what is required then the stomach is always on a pressure.
This in turn, forces the acidic contents to go up causing heartburn. So maintaining a weight as prescribed by the physician is necessary.
* While bending, bend down at the knees instead of bending at the waist as the latter puts more pressure on the stomach.
* Smoking is one of the most important factors contributing to heartburn. Being pregnant, you anyway have to quit smoking!
* Apart from the above mentioned tips, you can also try antacids containing magnesium or calcium from the medical counter shop so as to stop the acidity. But then, it is always better to consult your doctor before going for any such medications.
* If none of these measures are of any use to you, then talk to your health care practitioner. They can provide you proper treatment and prescribe you something else by which you can overcome this discomfort.
With all these remedial steps in place, one thing to note here is, heartburn during pregnancy is one of the side effects of pregnancy.
It may not disappear completely rather it may come and go. However, in the end, this will definitely go. Hence there is nothing to worry. In fact, you should stay happy and enjoy your pregnancy!