Why Pregnant Women Get Heartburn
Many women experience acidity and/or heartburn for the first time during pregnancy. It is quite common and does not cause any harm, but it can cause a lot of discomfort and pain. Heartburn and acidity during pregnancy are due to hormonal and physical changes in the body.
During pregnancy, the placenta produces the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the tender muscles of your uterus. This hormone also relaxes the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach, so that gastric acid can leak back into the canal. Because of this, there is a feeling of discomfort and burning, which is called heartburn.
Progesterone also slows down the wave-like contractions of the stomach, which slows down digestion and leads to acidity.
In the late stages of pregnancy, your unborn baby becomes so big that it starts pushing your belly upwards. Stomach acids move from the stomach to the esophagus.
- You are more likely to have heartburn and indigestion if:
- You had heartburn before you became pregnant
- You are in the third trimester of pregnancy
- You have been pregnant before
- There is more than one baby growing in your womb
What is the difference between acidity and heartburn?
If any burning sensation is felt anywhere in the stomach or food pipe, it is usually called acidity However, acidity is medically different from heartburn
Acidity occurs when our stomach produces an excessive amount of acid to digest food. You may feel a burning sensation in or just above your stomach. This burning can be mild or sometimes it can be very painful.
Heartburn is a burning sensation that usually runs from the bottom of the sternum (breastbone) to the lower part of the throat. This happens when stomach acid travels up the food pipe. These acids can also travel up to your throat or mouth (reflux), which can make you taste sour and bitter.
What can I do to relieve acidity or burning during pregnancy?
The best way to get relief from heartburn during pregnancy is to prevent it. You may not be able to completely get rid of acidity and irritation, but you can try to reduce it by trying some remedies, such as:
Reduce the intake of food and drinks that cause an upset stomach. These include sodas, chocolate, caffeine, citrus fruits and juices, alcohol , tomatoes, mustard, vinegar, mint products, processed foods, packaged sauces and foods that contain fatty, spicy, Be fried. Choose foods and drinks that are easy to digest. You may need to try these to see which foods and drinks make heartburn worse or better.
Eat small amounts but several times a day. Do not keep too much time gap between one meal to another, as it can lead to acidity. Do not eat too much food in one go. Instead of three large meals, eat small amounts throughout the day, about every three hours. Chew the food well and eat it.
Drink enough water between meals. Drinking enough water is essential during pregnancy , but drinking too much water will make you feel full. By drinking water with food, the digestive juices get waterlogged, due to which they are not so beneficial. Drink most of the water between meals and stay hydrated.
Do not lie down immediately after eating. Do not go to sleep immediately after having a meal, give your body some time to digest the food before lying down. If your heartburn is worse at night, try not to eat or drink anything three hours before bedtime. Read more about night time acidity in pregnancy here.
Keep your posture right. Bending or not keeping the back straight can increase heartburn, especially when you are eating. Try to keep your posture correct, eat food or snacks sitting down, so that there is no pressure on your stomach.
Sleep with your head elevated. 10 to 15 cm from the head of your bed. Get it elevated or do this by putting a cushion or pillow down. Sleep with pillows down, so that your shoulders are in a higher position than your stomach. In this state, gravity keeps your stomach acids in place and helps with digestion.
Wear comfortable clothes. Wear loose, comfortable clothing. The clothes should not be tight at the waist and abdomen.
Do not smoke If you smoke, try to quit. Smoking dilates the valve between the stomach and the food pipe, which increases the chances of acid reflux. Smoking is also harmful for your unborn baby. If you're having trouble quitting smoking, talk to your doctor about it.
Ask your doctor about other medicines. Heartburn can also be worsened by medications taken for certain other health conditions, for example antidepressants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for depression. If you are in doubt about your medications, talk to your doctor.
Treat heartburn during pregnancy in Abu Dhabi
Adam and Eve Specialized Medical Centre’s gynecologists will guide you in stopping and preventing heartburn during your pregnancy days ahead. If you are experiencing heartburn, call our gynecologists now to book an appointment with us.