One of the most joyous occasions in life is the expectation of having a new child. For the pregnant woman, there are a large number of changes that occur in her body. The new life causes hormonal and other alterations that can sometimes be difficult to cope with.
One of the most troublesome of these is heartburn. Even women who have never experienced it before may find that pregnancy causes incredible heartburn. While there are ways to treat it, the options for a pregnant woman are limited.
Every person has a lower esophageal sphincter, which is a valve between the esophagus and the stomach. It is located just below the rib cage and slightly off center. It opens each time a person swallows their food and whenever an individual needs to belch.
When functioning normally, it provides a barrier between the stomach and the upper portion of the digestive system. There are, however, a number of things that can interfere with proper functioning. One of the temporary causes of this is pregnancy. For a woman experiencing heartburn for the first time during pregnancy, it can be alarming.
Though the term heartburn sounds like it relates to the heart, it really just refers to stomach acid pushing past the lower esophageal sphincter or LES causing a burning sensation in the throat.
The symptoms can be similar to heart issues, which is the reason for the name. Anyone experiencing heartburn should confirm with a doctor that this is the cause of their discomfort and not a more serious heart related issue.
There are several reasons that the LES may not be functioning properly. If it does not close completely, small amounts of stomach acid leech into the esophagus.
While over indulgence and certain foods can trigger this, pregnancy is one of the causes that can not be controlled. The reason that pregnant women suffer from heartburn is that the fetus puts pressure on the entire abdominal area. The pressure on the stomach can push food and digestive acids upward.
There are certain things that a woman can do to minimize her heartburn during pregnancy. For one, it is a good idea to monitor diet.
Some foods are triggers for heartburn. Meals that contain a great deal of fat are more likely to trigger symptoms than those comprised of healthier foods.
However, there are still many healthy selections that can relax the LES and increase the risk of heartburn. This includes citrus fruits, tomatoes, and chocolate. While all of these are fine in moderate consumption, a pregnant woman suffering from heartburn may want to find alternatives that are not triggers.
There are other causes that should be avoided by pregnant women anyway. This includes alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking.
If you are pregnant and dependent upon either of these substances, you need to discuss it with your physician. They will be able to assist you with getting rid of the habit while protecting your unborn child. Your overall level of health will be improved, including your heartburn.
If you are experiencing heartburn, you want to make certain that anything you take for it is safe for your unborn child. Many medications that are available are not.
Therefore, you need to find natural remedies that will help you. One of them is fresh ginger. You can purchase it at virtually any produce department. Simply cut a small piece off and eat it. If you like, you can grate it and put on your meal. It will decrease the severity of your symptoms.
There are so many joys associated with pregnancy. However, heartburn is not one of them. You need to find ways to minimize the effects it has on you while pregnant.
Paying attention to the foods you consume will prove beneficial. If you find that certain meals trigger it more, eliminate them from your diet.
Pregnancy lasts for a short period of time. Do everything that you can to take care of yourself and your unborn child. Remember that no matter how bad your symptoms, the heartburn will eventually pass.