There are many strange and unpleasant side effects that come with being pregnant. Not everyone is the same for everyone, but one that seems to be universal is heartburn! Heartburn during pregnancy is very common and VERY bothersome. It can start as soon as the first trimester and continue throughout the pregnancy. Some heartburn can be relieved with over-the-counter medications. But there are also some home remedies that you can try to help relieve your heartburn during pregnancy.
How does heartburn feel?
Heartburn during pregnancy may feel a bit different from other heartburn or acid reflux you have experienced. Some women describe it as a burning sensation that moves from the sternum to the neck and throat. Others describe it as a burning or sharp pain that appears after eating, and the feeling of acid that goes up the throat (like when you are going to vomit).
Why do pregnant women have heartburn?
During pregnancy, hormonal changes cause the muscles of the esophagus to relax, allowing stomach acid to rise into the esophagus. It occurs more frequently after eating and when lying down. As your pregnancy progresses, your growing uterus may put more pressure on your stomach, which produces stomach acid and even food to push into the esophagus.
Home remedies for heartburn
Many over-the-counter medications are approved for use in pregnancy to treat heartburn. You can find relief after taking an antacid such as Tums or Rolaids. But there are other ways that you can treat and control your heartburn during pregnancy that does not require medication. Chewing sugar-free gum for half an hour after eating can increase saliva production, which can help neutralize excess acid in the esophagus. Eating almonds can also help neutralize stomach acids. Milk is always a good way to wait: try a small glass of milk after meals or when you feel heartburn (some women claim that warm milk with a touch of honey is useful). Papaya is another food that seems to be beneficial for treating heartburn when it hits; You can eat it fresh or dry.
In addition to some of these remedies, some lifestyle changes may also help. Try to avoid foods that seem to exacerbate your heartburn, such as acidic or spicy foods. Eat smaller meals more often and try not to eat a few hours before bedtime. Sleeping on the left side is the ideal position to keep the stomach under the esophagus. And you can also try sleeping with a wedge pillow under your upper body to keep it slightly elevated.
When to talk to a doctor?
Heartburn during pregnancy is (unfortunately) very common and is not easily avoidable. But sometimes, it can be cause for concern. If you have heartburn that prevents you from sleeping, return as soon as your antacid disappears or does not respond to over-the-counter medications or remedies, or create other symptoms such as weight loss, difficulty swallowing, cough or black stools, call your doctor . . These can be signs of gastroesophageal acid reflux disease, or GERD, and if left untreated they can damage the esophagus. Also, if your heartburn is greatly affecting your quality of life, tell your doctor. There are stronger medications that may be prescribed that may offer some relief (and are still safe to use during pregnancy).
READ NEXT: 9 things you can expect during each month of pregnancy (plus one after giving birth)
Tags: pregnancy tips