Heartburn during pregnancy: Why it happens and how to get relief

Heartburn during pregnancy: Why it happens and how to get relief

Signs and symptoms in late pregnancy include leg swelling and shortness of breath. Options for relief of pregnancy symptoms include exercise, diet, and other lifestyle changes.

The following are commonly advised. There has been little research to prove how well these lifestyle changes help to ease acid leaking back up (reflux) and dyspepsia in pregnancy.

How can I ease heartburn at night?

The LES is located where the esophagus meets the stomach — below the rib cage and slightly left of center. Normally it opens to allow food into the stomach or to permit belching; then it closes again. But if the LES opens too often or does not close tight enough, stomach acid can reflux, or seep, back into the esophagus and cause a burning sensation. No.

It’s important to listen to your own instincts. If you are worried about any pains you’re having, or you just feel like something is wrong, contact your midwife. Don’t be concerned about wasting anyone’s time. It’s always best to get things checked out. Finding out you’re pregnant is an exciting time, but the excitement soon wears off as you begin to experience some of the early symptoms that your baby is growing in your belly.

ANSWER Increased severity of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy is associated with the presence of heartburn and acid reflux. Antacids, histamine-2 receptor antagonists, and proton pump inhibitors can be used safely during pregnancy, as large studies have been published with no evidence of adverse fetal effects. Heartburn in pregnancy may occur because of changing hormone levels, which can affect the muscles of the digestive tract and how different foods are tolerated. Pregnancy hormones can cause the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscular valve between the stomach and esophagus) to relax, allowing stomach acids to flow back up into the esophagus.

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If antacids and alginates do not improve your symptoms of indigestion, your GP may prescribe a different medicine that suppresses the acid in your stomach. Some antacids are combined with another type of medicine known as an alginate.

Pregnancy information

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 itself-the upward pressure of the growing uterus-also may play a role. Acid reflux is “very, very common” during pregnancy, says Michelle Collins, CNM, an assistant professor of nurse-midwifery at Vanderbilt University.

Raw onions, say in a salad, can also cause pain to creep in after a meal. There is no one cause of indigestion in pregnancy – it’s a mix of hormones, your expanding womb pressing on your stomach and relaxing of muscles in the oesophagus which can let acid move back out of the stomach. Some women find they get that strong burning sensation after they eat, from just a few weeks into their pregnancy. For others, it becomes a problem later on when their bump is expanding and there seems to be no room for food. But what is clear, is that most women will get indigestion at some point in their pregnancy, and it can be very very uncomfortable and can make you feel nauseous and bloated.

Heartburn in pregnancy is very common and although it can be uncomfortable and painful it poses no harm to you or your baby. Drink when eating – Try to ensure you’re drinking fluids before, during and after your meal to aid the digestion process. Drinking milk and other non-acidic drinks will also help to neutralise some of the acid in your stomach and reduce the severity of heartburn during pregnancy.

2. Consider using a pregnancy pillow.

Sleep propped up. Elevate your upper body by about 6 inches with several pillows or a wedge when you sleep. This helps stomach acid stay down and aids digestion. Women who gain too much weight during pregnancy might continue to have heartburn for up to a year after having their baby.

stomach acid pain in pregnancy

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