Causes Of Indigestion In Pregnancy
Symptoms of indigestion come when the acid in your stomach irritates your stomach lining or your gullet. This causes pain and a burning feeling.
When you’re pregnant, you’re more likely to have indigestion because of:
- hormonal changes
- the growing baby pressing on your stomach
- the muscles between your stomach and gullet relaxing, allowing stomach acid to come back up
You may be more likely to get indigestion in pregnancy if:
- you had indigestion before you were pregnant
- you’ve been pregnant before
- you’re in the later stages of pregnancy
Boy: You Had A Dream About Having A Girl
Many people love to analyze dreams and believe that they predict or explain events in life, either past or present. Some believe that we dream about the opposite of what is going to happen. For instance, if we dream of death, there may be a birth in our lives.
Similarly, some say that if mom-to-be dreams of having a baby girl they will actually be having a girl, and vice versa.
Dreams are certainly more vivid in pregnancy and this is believed to be because of deeper sleep and also because of worries and concerns about the impending birth.
Mix Baking Soda With Water
You might have a heartburn remedy at hand in your kitchen without even knowing it. Baking soda can calm some episodes of heartburn by neutralizing your stomach acid.
To do this, dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it slowly. In fact, you should drink everything slowly when you have heartburn.
help relieve nausea, so some believe it may be worth trying for heartburn, too.
Consider adding grated or diced ginger root to your favorite stir-fry recipes, soups, and other foods. To make ginger tea, steep raw ginger root, dried ginger root, or ginger tea bags in boiling water.
Its probably best to avoid ginger ale, though. Carbonated beverages are a common heartburn trigger, and most brands of ginger ale are made with artificial flavoring rather than the real thing.
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Who Is The Most Likely To Get Heartburn
While no one is exempt from heartburn, OB/GYNs say there are certain factors that make it more likely for pregnant women. For instance, women who experience heartburn before pregnancy are also more likely to experience heartburn during pregnancy. Women who are overweight or obese prior to pregnancy also tend to be more likely to have heartburn during this time. And expecting moms who drink coffee during pregnancy are at increased risk for heartburn symptoms.4
How Does Heartburn Feel
I have heartburn! I heard the prayer many times, but how does it really feel? Generally is for heartburn, a burning pain just behind the breastbone. It is not uncommon for it to be accompanied by bitter burps, accompanied by a reflux of stomach contents into the throat or even the mouth. Heartburn usually occurs when you are lying down.
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Heartburn During Pregnancy Remedies
Preventing heartburn is the best way to deal with it! Here are some helpful tips for avoiding heartburn:
- Eat five to six smaller meals throughout the day rather than three large meals
- Wait an hour after eating to lie down
- Avoid spicy, greasy, and fatty foods
If you are experiencing heartburn, there are a few natural ways to relieve the symptoms:
- 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 healthcare provider. Some antacids contain high levels of sodium, which can cause fluid buildup in body tissues. Some also contain aluminum, which is not considered safe for pregnancy.
If your heartburn is severe, your healthcare provider may prescribe medication for you.
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Is There Anything I Can Do To Relieve And Prevent Constipation During My Pregnancy
Constipation is very common in pregnancy. It happens for four reasons:
To help relieve and prevent constipation you should:
- Eat plenty of fibre this can be found in vegetables, fruit, whole grains and legumes . The recommendation for fibre during pregnancy is 28 g every day. Most Canadians do not meet their daily fibre requirements
- Bananas, applesauce and rice may be binding, so you may want to limit these foods if youre constipated
- Drink plenty of fluids water, milk and soup are all included. Pregnant women should aim to get about 10 cups of fluid every day
- Be as active as you can, as long as your doctor has not told you to avoid activity
- If you are still constipated after trying all of these tips, speak to your doctor before trying any laxatives
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How Do I Treat Heartburn During Pregnancy
When youre growing a human being, you dont have time for that yucky acid reflux. But your usual go-to methods for treating it may not be safe for your unborn baby.
Instead, here are some of the safest and best ways to get rid of heartburn when youre pregnant:
What Other Pregnant Moms Do For Heartburn
This will sound odd, but Ive found something that works: Put two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into six ounces of water, and drink it. Its not so bad to drink, and it works! Something about the enzymes in the apple cider kills the acid and the burning. Ive drank it by itself when Ive been in the midst of a reflux episode and also drank it while eating a meal I thought might give me reflux.
I took Tums for a while, but they stopped working. My doctor told me to get Prilosecsince I started taking that, I havent felt heartburn at allits amazing!
I avoid heavy, spicy, fatty foods and big meals. I dont eat too much at night either.
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.
Plus, more from The Bump:
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Eat Less But More Often
When you are pregnant, you start paying more attention to your diet so your baby stays healthy. But this does not mean that you need to eat for two, it is just an unwarranted pregnancy myth. In fact, overeating is a big NO as it can worsen the symptoms of heartburn.
One of the best things you can do is eat less, more often. Having several small meals throughout the day not only helps keep acid at bay, it helps prevent morning sickness as well.
Pregnant or not, an overly stuffed stomach can contribute to heartburn. Instead of three square meals a day, try five or six smaller ones.
Take your time to finish your food and make sure to chew thoroughly. Also, avoid eating a heavy meal 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. Heartburn symptoms can worsen if you lay down soon after finishing your dinner.
Elevate Your Upper Body
Lying down can make heartburn worse. When it comes time for bed, adjust your sleeping surface to raise your upper body.
According to the Mayo Clinic, lifting your head with extra pillows isnt usually enough. Instead, the goal is to elevate your body from the waist up.
If you have an adjustable bed, set it at a suitable angle to provide relief. If your bed isnt adjustable, you can change the angle of your sleeping surface by using a wedge pillow.
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What Treatments Help With Pregnancy Heartburn Relief
Youve cut out chocolate , propped up for sleep, cut out the tomato sauce and peppermint, but the heartburn is still there. So, what now? Whats the best medication to take for heartburn while pregnant?
The next step is to try an over-the-counter antacid like Tums, Maalox, or Gaviscon, says Dr. Ruiz. They work by neutralizing stomach acid8, so even if it does come up, it wont burn. With lifestyle tweaks, an occasional antacid tends to help about 70% of his patients, and its considered a safe, conservative method.
If the issue is still burning strong, thats when you switch over to the next level, he says, which means a low dose of Pepcid, which is part of a class of drugs known as H2 blockers. These work by reducing the amount of stomach acid thats secreted by the glands in the lining of your stomach.9 This is also considered safe to use during pregnancy but its best to try other approaches first if your heartburn is mild, says Dr. Ruiz.
A small percentage of people will still experience problems past this point, and thats when prescription options like proton pump inhibitors might be considered, which block the production of stomach acid, Dr. Gray says. The most common in pregnancy is Protonix, which the Food and Drug Administration has classified10 as a category B drug, meaning its safe to take during pregnancy.
How Can Heartburn During Pregnancy Be Prevented
You can take steps to reduce heartburn symptoms without hurting your baby.
- Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones.
- Eat slowly.
- Drink between your meals, but not with meals.
- Avoid fried, spicy or fatty foods.
- Avoid citrus fruits and juices.
- Limit caffeine.
- Dont smoke and avoid alcohol. Besides causing heartburn, smoking and drinking during pregnancy can cause health problems for the baby.
Other tips to avoid heartburn during pregnancy:
- Sit up straight when you eat.
- Dont eat late at night.
- Dont lie down right after eating.
- Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of the bed. Or try placing pillows under your shoulders. Doing so helps prevent stomach acids from rising into your chest.
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Causes Of Heartburn In Pregnancy
Heartburn is commonly caused by eating spicy foods, which can irritate the stomach or esophagus or slow the rate of digestion. This can be true during pregnancy, too, but many of the causes of heartburn in pregnancy are simply natural parts of pregnancy, such as:
Experts believe that heartburn in pregnancy is caused by hormonal changes. Pregnant people have high levels of the hormone progesterone which causes muscles in the body to relax. One of these muscles is the lower esophageal sphincter, which seals the stomach off from the esophagus, the long tube connecting the throat with the stomach.
Usually when we swallow our food, the lower esophageal sphincter opens up to allow food to enter our stomachs, but the rest of the time, it’s squeezed shut. Because of the increased levels of hormones in pregnant people, the muscle relaxes, allowing stomach acids and partially digested food to move backward into the esophagus. The esophagus lining is more sensitive than stomach lining which is why it feels like it’s burning.
Hormonal changes also cause the digestive system to slow down, so the food moves more slowly through the body and stays in the stomach longer.
As the baby grows, especially during the third trimester, the uterus pushes on the abdomen, adding pressure or blocking parts of the digestive tract. This sometimes pushes stomach acid up into the esophagus. It also adds to the slowing down of the digestive system.
If Youre Taking Prescription Medicines
Speak to your GP if youre taking medicine for another condition, such as antidepressants, and you think it may be making your indigestion worse. They may be able to prescribe an alternative medicine.
Never stop taking a prescribed medicine unless youre advised to do so by your GP or another qualified healthcare professional whos responsible for your care.
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Elevate The Head Of Your Bed
To prevent heartburn while sleeping, you can raise the head of your bed. Elevation will prevent acid from flowing back up into the esophagus. Plus, it will prevent swelling in the legs.
A 2006 analysis of controlled studies published in the Archives of Internal Medicine concluded that elevating the head of the bed is an effective strategy to reduce acid reflux symptoms and heartburn at night .
Try to raise the head of your bed about 2 feet. Also, you can use a wedge-shaped, foam rubber pad to elevate your upper body. Avoid using only pillows to elevate the upper body, as it will put pressure on the stomach and aggravate your symptoms.
Does Heartburn During Pregnancy Mean My Baby Will Be Born With Hair
Suffering from severe heartburn? You may want to stock up on baby shampoo. Research has backed up the superstition that, on average, the more heartburn you have during pregnancy, the more likely your baby will be born with a full head of hair.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
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Listen To What Your Body Is Telling You
What you can eat during pregnancy is largely dependent on how certain foods make you feel. In your first trimester, you likely had aversions and foods that induced nausea just by looking at them. Now, certain foods may trigger heartburn. Fat, caffeine, chocolate, and citrus fruits are all common foods that cause heartburn during pregnancy. Know your triggers and stay away from them.
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Why Does It Happen In Pregnancy
Many women who have heartburn during pregnancy have never had problems before. Unfortunately, if you had heartburn before becoming pregnant, youre more likely to have symptoms while you are pregnant. Although the exact reasons arent clear, most experts believe that pregnancy hormones, particularly progesterone, play a role. Hormones cause relaxation of the esophageal sphincter. This is a tight circular band of muscle at the top of the stomach. This allows partially digested food and stomach acids to backflow, or reflux, into the esophagus. In addition, progesterone also slows the digestive process. This keeps food in the stomach longer. The pregnancy itselfthe upward pressure of the growing uterusalso may play a role.
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Best Cures For Heartburn During Pregnancy
What can you do about this common pregnancy side effect.
When you’re pregnant, your body undergoes lots of changes to grow a healthy baby. One of the unfortunate side effects can be heartburn. If you know what might be causing your heartburn and ways you can help stop it, you may find some relief.
Heartburn actually has nothing to do with your heart, but is a burning pain in the chest. It happens when the acid from your stomach backs up into your esophagus-the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. Heartburn can affect anyone, but heartburn during pregnancy is especially common. “Eighty percent of women will experience heartburn at some point in their pregnancy,” says Erin Bassett-Novoa, M.D., a family doctor in Lawrence, Mass., who provides prenatal and obstetric care. Heartburn happens during pregnancy because of the increasing size of the uterus and a surge in hormones, including progesterone. “The uterus pushes up, increasing pressure on the stomach,” says Bassett-Novoa. The bigger Baby gets, the more pressure is exerted on the stomach, which is why most women experience the worst heartburn in the second and third trimesters. In one study of more than 600 pregnant women, 72 percent experienced heartburn in the third trimester.
Heartburn is caused by acid going from the stomach back into the esophagus, so eating acidic foods only exacerbates the problem. Limit canned tomatoes and tomato sauces, vinegar, acidic dressings and citrus fruits.
How To Lower Your Risk Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
For some women, diet and lifestyle changes during pregnancy can lessen the likelihood of heartburn. Suggestions from OB/GYNs include: monitoring overall food consumption, eating smaller meals throughout the day, and reducing caffeine intake.2 Avoid eating or drinking too close to bedtime and stay away from spicy and fatty foods to lower your risk of occasional heartburn after dinner and at night.2 As far as specific items are concerned, citrus fruits and chocolate have been linked to trigger heartburn during pregnancy.6
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