Heartburn is the ascend for various reasons of hydrochloric acid gastric juice into the esophagus. However, the esophageal mucosa is not resistant to the aggressive gastric acid, unlike the gastric mucosa. She gets irritated and that makes itself felt with an unpleasant, sometimes violent burning behind the sternum.
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Symptoms, home remedies and what to do in case of heartburn …
The symptoms occur in many pregnant women towards the end of their pregnancy, in the last trimester of pregnancy. For then, when the growing baby in the abdominal cavity takes up more and more space. It gets tight for the stomach. It is pushed up and part of the stomach acid presses into the esophagus.
In addition to this purely mechanical event, however, hormonal causes also play an important role in the heartburn of pregnant women. The mother cake produces the hormone progesterone, which serves to relax the uterine muscles. Thus, the female organism prevents premature labor. At the same time, however, the sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach is also relaxed, so that gastric acid can enter the throat relatively quickly during the digestive process, during the wave-like contraction of the stomach.
- Increased regurgitation, mostly accompanied by an extremely unpleasant, sour or bitter taste
- Burning behind the breastbone
- strong salivation
- Stomach pressure, feeling of fullness
- Nocturnal heartburn can significantly reduce sleep quality
Is heartburn dangerous during pregnancy?
As uncomfortable as the feeling may be, heartburn alone does not pose a danger to either the expectant mother or her child. Pregnant women in particular, who have never had stomach problems before, need not worry now. Experts even believe that heartburn even promotes the development of the baby.
Because of the increased release of progesterone, it can namely grow unhindered. Also, because the mother’s digestion is a bit slower during the last weeks of pregnancy, it can also absorb more nutrients.
When to the doctor?
Although heartburn is almost normal among pregnant women, it can be so painful that it is better to go to the doctor. First, this will clarify whether the burning is attributable to the ascending gastric acid, whether or not there is another disease behind it. Even effective drugs from the pharmacy as a last resort to relieve the symptoms should exclusively prescribe the specialist. Self-medication prohibits itself from pregnant women!
Note: In case of uncertainties, it is better to go to the doctor too much than not at all. Especially at the first pregnancy, the women themselves can not yet assess which symptoms are completely normal or which could indicate a serious illness. To avoid complications, competent advice and help are particularly relevant here.
Please, no guilt!
Almost every woman expecting a child pays attention to a particularly healthy, well-balanced diet for 40 weeks and then rates heartburn as a kind of “personal failure.” Feeling guilty in this case, however, completely inappropriate. After all, the body is not a machine that can be optimally adjusted in a few simple steps.
Gentle help against heartburn
Almonds, hazelnuts, rice waffles or oatmeal absorb the stomach acid very well and support digestion. It is advisable always to have a small supply of it to nibble in the house to be able to fall back on complaints.
Even acupressure has already proven itself in many pregnant women. The stomach acupressure point is located exactly in the middle of the thumb bale. Simply press for 30 seconds for each hand, one after the other.
Also, it is worthwhile to try homeopathic remedies. Naturopaths often recommend Robinia pseudacacia for excessive acidity, Nux vomica or Pulsatilla. It is best to visit a competent doctor, a midwife or homeopath, to explain the exact complaints and to get detailed advice. Thus, the woman can also be sure that the respective preparations cannot harm her or her unborn child.
Prevention – is that possible?
Unfortunately, no. Heartburn cannot be completely avoided, especially in the last trimester of pregnancy, and then, to make matters worse continues until childbirth. However, the following tips may make it a bit more bearable:
- avoid spicy food, coffee, chocolate and citrus fruits, as these foods boost gastric acid production particularly strongly
- refrain from sweets and white flour
- rather small meals
- chew slowly
- Do not drink too much during the meal, because the stomach will expand, even more, providing enough fluids between meals
- avoid carbonated drinks – better still drink still water
- for about an hour after the meal to give up lying down
- Sleep with your upper body, which supports the natural gravity
- Most pregnant women suffer from heartburn, especially in the last trimester of pregnancy.
- The symptoms often improve when the woman adjusts her diet to the particular situation: small meals, easily digestible food.
- If the symptoms are unclear or particularly distressing, the pregnant woman should consult a doctor immediately.
- To relieve the discomfort they do not always prefer medical methods.