Heartburn A Discomfort During PregnancyHeartburn is one of the many discomforts pregnant women have to put up with. It occurs most commonly during the third trimester of parturition, but has also been frequently reported by women in the early stages of their pregnancy. The condition, along with morning sickness and heightened senses (nausea), is triggered indirectly by rising hormonal levels in the expectant mother.
Around 50% of pregnant women suffer from heartburn at some point during the gestational period. Stomach acids that flow into the esophagus are responsible for the burning sensation of heartburn. This happens when the muscle that is supposed to restrict the backflow of contents of the stomach relaxes. Relaxation of this muscle is in turn due to the increased hormonal activity of pregnancy.
There are several simple steps you can take to obtain relief from heartburn. Propping your head up higher when you lie down at night prevents fluids in the stomach from rising. By adding a pillow or two underneath your head, or using a thicker one, you also minimize swelling of your eye bags. A raised head keeps fluids from building up in the sensitive areas around the eyes.
Taking many small meals during the day instead of a few big ones can also help. Slow down the pace of food intake and mastication; this is the right way to eat anyway, heartburn or no.
You can take antacids, but only if the doctor has determined that the medication is safe for you and the child you are carrying. Heartburn, whether in or out of pregnancy, is generally, never a serious condition. So there is no point in risking baby''s health by ingesting pills of uncertain safety.There are many medications on the market that offer heartburn relief including over the counter medications, natural products and prescription medications.
The over the counter heartburn medications for pregnant women are typically antacids that have calcium or magnesium. Such heartburn medications help take away the pain and discomfort brought about by heartburn. However, you need to be careful that you don''t take an over the counter heartburn medication with aspirin in it because the aspirin can pose a danger to your baby''s health. Ask your doctor which hearburn medication is appropriate to take during pregnancy.
There are natural heartburn medications you can take while you are pregnant, and these come from herbal mixtures such as peppermint water. There are also powders, like slippery elm powder, that you mix with milk and honey. These have been found to be effective at neutralizing stomach acid that causes heartburn. Some of the natural teas, like aniseed and peppermint, are effective natural remedies for heartburn that pregnant women can take. However, avoid teas that have caffeine content. Eating yogurt can also reduce the impact of heartburn while you are pregnant.
Sometimes, the heartburn is so intense that you need to take prescription medications. This is a last resort when all other measures have been ineffective. Prescription heartburn medications contain omeprazole or ranitidine that may possibly harm your baby even though studies have not confirmed any side effects.
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