One of the concerns of many women during pregnancy is heartburn. Heartburn during pregnancy is quite common and is caused by release of progesterone, a hormone produced in the ovary. The release of this hormone acts to relax the cardiac sphincter of the stomach thereby making way for gastric acid to flow backward and re-enter the esophagus. Gastric acid causes irritation of esophagus lining you feel a burning sensation in the center of your chest. Heartburn is also one of the signs of early pregnancy.
A woman may experience it as soon as she becomes pregnant. Pregnancy heartburn continues as the baby grows in size and takes up more space thereby pressing he cardiac sphincter of the stomach allowing leakage of food and gastric juices back to the esophagus.
As pregnancy heartburn is a major concern, it will be worthwhile to briefly discuss the remedies for heartburn during pregnancy. There are many ways in which you can get relief from pregnancy heartburns. One way is to divide your meal into smaller portions to be consumed at regular intervals so that your stomach is never empty. Your last meal of the day should be consumed at least two hours before bedtime. Also, avoid lying down immediately after having food.
You can also use an extra pillow while lying down so that your head is at a level, which is higher than the level of your stomach. You can also get relief by drinking a glass of milk or consuming yogurt. Better still, you can mix a tablespoon of honey in warm milk. Some foods such as pepper, tomato, and spicy and fatty foods may aggravate your situation. So stay away from these foods. Also, avoid alcohol, chocolate, and peppermint as these can relax the cardiac sphincter of the stomach. You can also try some over the counter antacids.
When your symptoms of pregnancy heartburn are severe, it is time you consult your physician. Severe heartburn is commonly accompanied by symptoms such as swelling and headache. The severity of pregnancy heartburn also depends on how healthy you were before becoming pregnant. It also depends a lot on your dietary habits, which anyway will have to change once you become pregnant.