Heartburn During Early Pregnancy: Causes and Treatment
If before getting pregnant you had no idea what is heartburn, now, most likely, you will find out. Although heartburn is more often during the second half of pregnancy, there is a percentage of pregnant women suffering from heartburn literally from the first days of pregnancy.
Heartburn occurs when the stomach gets into the esophagus. This is called reflux (regurgitation). Another reason is the change of the hormonal level of a woman, namely: increase in the number of progesteron, which ensures the continuation of the pregnancy and relaxes smooth muscles (including those of the gastrointestinal tract).
Heartburn frequently does not come alone, but brings nausea and vomiting. The feeling is not at all pleasant: you have burning sensations in the throat and "somewhere in the chest”, and feel like a fire-breathing dragon. Sounds familiar? Below we offer effective methods of combating this disease.
Natural Relief and Remedies for Heartburn
First of all, accept that the heartburn during pregnancy is natural, and learn simple tips:
- Do not fast, but don't overeat. It is better eat less and more often, chewing the food thoroughly;
- Dine not later than two hours before sleep;
- Do not eat spicy and oily dishes; the list of prohibited products also includes chocolate, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, mustard and vinegar;
- Be sure to consume enough milk and dairy products, lean meats, pureed vegetables;
- It’s better to cook food with steam and boil the vegetables;
- Do not drink soda. This concerns both sugary drinks and mineral water. You can drink mineral water, but it should be left open for 1-2 hours so that gases evaporate;
- It is recommended to stand or sit still after the meal. In this body position the likelihood of heartburn is lower;
- Going to bed, try to lift head and shoulders;
- Do not drink coffee and smoke cigarettes — they often cause heartburn;
- Try not to drink too much fluid during meals. During pregnancy it is recommended to drink about 8-10 glasses of water daily, but between meals;
- Wear loose, comfortable clothes, not compressing your waist and stomach.
All of the above mentioned methods are absolutely harmless and, in most cases, effective. But if they are not really helpful, consult with your doctor. The doctor will prescribe antacids, which bring considerable relief and most of them are safe. The primary effect of antacids — neutralization of the gastric juice acidity.
The biggest advantage of antacids is that they are not absorbed into the bloodstream and, thus, cannot affect the developing fetus. The doctor will choose a medicine, allowed during pregnancy. Among the most commonly used are: gaviscon, almagel, gelusil, milk of magnesia, maalox. But! Avoid medicines containing sodium and magnesium.
It rarely happens, however, that antacids do not help, and a woman is tormented by severe heartburn. In such cases, the doctors prescribe special medications — proton pump inhibitors. Fortunately, in most cases, the heartburn disappears after the labour. So, please be patient, follow our tips and enjoy your pregnancy!