Heartburns are one of the most commonly experienced symptoms all over the world and almost every individual above the age of 12 years must have experienced the same at least once in the course of their lives.
Basically, the heartburn refers to a burning sensation that takes place in the throat and chest region and which normally leaves behind an acidic and sour taste in the mouths of the victims.
Pregnancy and heartburn information
Many women have often tried to uncover how pregnancy and heartburn are related. In case you are an expectant mother reading this article, you have most likely experienced heartburns especially in the earlier stages of pregnancy and if you have not experienced them, then you can almost be sure that they are on their way.
It can loosely be said that the relationship between pregnancy and heartburn lies in the physical changes that take place in the body due to pregnancy. It is these changes that either directly or indirectly contributes to the occurrence of the heartburns and as such, they can be listed as possible causes of the heartburns. Some of these changes that are regarded as causes include.
Causes of heartburn during pregnancy
The levels of some hormones get heightened during the period of pregnancy and as a direct result, the ligaments that keep the LES (Lower Esophageal Sphincter) closed gets softened.
This means that the LES may end up relaxing at inappropriate times and when this happens, it is possible that food as well as stomach acids may be forced back up into your mouth from the stomach and intestines as heartburns.
As the baby continues to grow, the uterus enlarges proportionately and as a result, a lot of pressure is applied on to the stomach by the expanding uterus. The increased pressure within the stomach can easily force food from the stomach back up to the mouth through the LES resulting in heartburns. This is a perfect example of how pregnancy and heartburn are directly related.
There are several steps that expectant mothers can take in order to reduce the occurrence of the heartburns or to minimize the discomfort that they cause. However, when doing so you should take note of the fact that it is not practical to eliminate the heartburns completely during pregnancy. Knowing the kind of relationship that exists between pregnancy and heartburn will however be useful in determining how to best reduce the occurrence of the heartburns.
How to reduce heartburns during pregnancy
- Diet – There are some foods that are known to cause heartburns and it is very important that expectant mothers who are worried about pregnancy and heartburn keep away from such foods as much as possible. Such foods include citrus fruits juices, among others.
- Stay away from alcohol – alcohol is known to relax the LES and this increases the chances of reflux of food and stomach acids into the mouth from the stomach.
- Avoid heavy meals – heavy or large meals increase the chances of heartburns. It is therefore better to take several light meals at regular intervals throughout the day instead.