Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Heartburn During Pregnancy

Lately, I've been experiencing a very uncomfortable pregnancy symptom which is called heartburn. I'm sure moms out there had also experienced the same thing when they were pregnant. It really feels awful, especially when that sharp, burning sensation suddenly runs through the chest, as if I drink a super cold water the moment I get out of the bed. So uncomfortable really.

During my pregnancy with Baby Guian, I also experienced heartburn, but not as bad and as early as this one. Imagine, I'm only on my 2nd trimester but the burning sensation is really making me feel very uncomfortable a early as now. When this happened last time, I did not do anything since it wasn't that bad. But this time, I don't think I can afford to just let it pass because it's really taking the toll on me. Even when I'm at the office working, I can feel that burning sensation inside me, and it's really so distracting. I could hardly concentrate doing my work. So, I did a little research in order for me to know what to do about it. For expectant moms like me, let me share to you this info:

Many women will experience heartburn during their pregnancy. Even for women who have never experienced it before, heartburn may occur for the first time while they are pregnant. That burning sensation in the chest and throat, and sour, acidic taste in the mouth, may become an all too familiar sensation for some of them. Why?

Heartburn during pregnancy occurs for a number of reasons. Increased levels of hormones in your body while pregnant can soften the ligaments that normally keep the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) tightly closed. If the LES relaxes at inappropriate times, food and stomach acids can reflux back up into your esophagus and throat. Also more pressure is put on your stomach as your body changes and your baby grows. This, in turn, can force stomach contents through the LES and into your esophagus.

Though you may not be able to eliminate heartburn completely, you can take some steps to minimize your discomfort.

* Don't eat foods that are known heartburn triggers. These include chocolate, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes and tomato-based products, mustard, vinegar, mint products, and spicy, highly seasoned, fried, and fatty foods. For a complete list of foods to avoid, check out this chart. For foods that have a low risk of causing heartburn, check out this chart.

* Avoid drinks containing caffeine (coffee, tea, cola) because these can relax the LES and allow acid to reflux back into the esophagus.

* Avoid alcohol. Alcohol relaxes the LES. Read the article on alcohol and heartburn for more information.

* Don't eat big meals. Eat several small meals throughout the day instead.

* Don't rush through your meals. Take your time eating, and chew thoroughly.

* Wait at least three hours after your last meal before going to bed.

* It's important to drink plenty of water during pregnancy (8-10 glasses daily) along with other fluids, but don't drink these only at mealtimes. Large quantities of fluids can distend your stomach, putting more pressure on the LES and forcing it to open inappropriately. Drink some of your fluids in between meals.

* Sleep with your head and shoulders propped up with a wedge pillow or elevate the head of your bed six to eight inches. This will allow gravity to work for you and it will help keep your stomach acids where they should be--in your stomach and not in your esophagus. For some tips on easing nighttime heartburn, read this article.

* Wear loose, comfortable clothing. You need to avoid any tightness around your waist and stomach.

* Bend at the knees instead of at the waist. Bending at the waist puts more pressure on your stomach.

* Sit upright in a comfortable chair rather than slouching.

* Gain a sensible amount of weight and stay within the guidelines your doctor suggests. Too much of a weight, and obesity, puts more pressure on your stomach, and can force stomach contents through the LES and into your esophagus.

* Don't smoke. While your doctor may urge you break the habit because you're pregnant, smoking can also increase your odds of experiencing heartburn. Read about smoking and heartburn to find out the reasons smoking increases heartburn.

* You should always check with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter remedies while pregnant, but there are a few choices you have that can help eliminate heartburn. Some heartburn relievers such as Tums, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, or Gaviscon may prove helpful. Again, it's important that you check with your doctor before taking any of these remedies.



chubskulit said...

I hate that during my pregnancies sis, kaurag hehehe

marveling said...

uncomfortable talaga an, maray na sana na dai na ako mabados otro lol... ingat pirmi sis..