Many women experience heartburn during pregnancy, particularly during the second and third trimesters. Although this is not typically a sign of a serious problem, it can be uncomfortable or painful. The technical term for heartburn is gastroesophageal reflux, but is also often called “acid reflux”. But this condition has nothing to do with the heart!
Sometimes the cause of heartburn is indigestion. Indigestion is also common during pregnancy and can accompany heartburn while pregnant. Also referred as “dyspepsia,” indigestion is just another name for an upset stomach.
You’ll know you have indigestion if you feel very full, bloated or gassy. Heartburn during pregnancy usually occurs when food from your stomach, which contains acid, is pushed up toward your esophagus (the pipe between your mouth and your stomach). This may cause burning sensation that starts in your stomach and rises up to behind your breast bone. Women may experience a sour taste in your mouth or a feeling that vomit is rising in your throat.
Some of the causes of heartburn are eating greasy or fatty foods, coffee and fruit juices with a high acid content such as orange and grape juices. Lying down soon after meals are all common causes of heartburn. Eating small meals frequently can help reduce heartburn with the help of some over the counter antacids. However, overeating many of the high calcium antacids can lead to calcification of the placenta which can affect the well being on the baby in uterus. Monitoring your antacid intake will avoid this condition.
The increase of the hormone, progesterone in pregnancy may be the cause of heartburn in pregnancy. This hormone relaxes and slows down digestion during pregnancy. For most pregnant mothers, heartburn during pregnancy is temporary and will resolve once the baby is here.
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