Guest Author - Vanessa Pruitt
Heartburn is a common complaint during pregnancy, especially during the second and third trimesters. Many women also suffer from acid reflux and indigestion during this time.
Heartburn is an uncomfortable or burning sensation behind the breastbone that often occurs after eating or drinking. You may also experience the taste of stomach acid or vomit rising in the back of your throat as a result of acid reflux. These symptoms are not a reason to worry, but you should make every attempt to lessen your discomfort. The long term affects of heartburn and acid reflux can cause slight to moderate damage of your esophagus.
Certain foods are known to cause heartburn. Do your best to stay away from foods that are greasy, fatty, or spicy. You may also need to avoid coffee and other caffeinated drinks, as well as foods that contain citrus fruits, tomatoes, garlic, onions, or chocolate. If you find that any of these foods aggravate your heartburn, cut them out of your diet completely, at least until your heartburn is under control.
Prevention is the best medicine when dealing with the discomforts of heartburn. Do not lay down or go to bed immediately after eating. You should also eat smaller portion sizes and not eat too quickly, as this could aggravate your already sensitive digestive system. Stress also plays a significant role in the occurrence of heartburn. Try to reduce the stress in your life as much as possible.
You should always try to prevent indigestion without the use of drugs when you are pregnant. If nothing else proves to be effective, most antacids are considered relatively safe for use during pregnancy. Other heartburn medications like Pepcid and Zantac are class B drugs, which means they’ve been found to be safe for animals, though no studies have been done on women.
Natural remedies are available for treating heartburn and indigestion. Papaya enzyme can be purchased in most stores that sell vitamins. These chewable tablets taste pleasant and can be taken at mealtimes to aid in the digestion of food.
Heartburn, indigestion, and acid reflux in pregnancy tend to be mild and temporary. Any severe or unusual symptoms could be the sign of a serious problem. Contact your care provider if you experience heartburn that is unaffected by antacids or frequently wakes you up at night, troubles swallowing, weight loss, black stools, or if you spit up blood.