The Pregnancy Burn: What to Know about Heartburn

Obstetrics Fort Worth TXPregnancy is a time of excitement and physical change – a lot of physical change. Many women anticipate that they may experience a bit of morning sickness. They expect the telltale weight gain and need to urinate frequently. What may come as an unpleasant surprise during pregnancy is persistent heartburn.

If you’re pregnant and struggling with this frustrating problem, you’re not alone. You’re also not experiencing anything out of the ordinary. This may not help you feel better, but we’re not done yet. What we want to do here is explain why you’re feeling what you’re feeling and also what you can do to reduce your symptoms.

Why Heartburn Affects Pregnant Women

Heartburn is usually a temporary condition that occurs when acid from the stomach gets into the esophagus. The reason that this may happen more frequently during pregnancy is that the elevation of the hormone progesterone causes the valve between the stomach and the esophagus to relax. A relaxed valve is incapable of holding stomach acid in place, where it is needed.

What You Can Do for Comfort

The objective of managing heartburn during pregnancy is to maintain a more comfortable physical state. Some of the tips obstetricians offer their patients include:

  • Stop before you’re full. Many pregnant women establish this habit naturally as a way to decrease morning sickness. Eating smaller meals throughout the day also inhibits the overproduction of stomach acid.
  • Sip your beverages away from mealtime. Other than a few sips of water or mild during meals, some experts recommend that pregnant women do most of their fluid consumption thirty minutes to an hour away from any meal. It is important to stay hydrated by sipping water throughout the day.
  • Get to know what triggers your heartburn. There are general recommendations for what a pregnant woman should avoid. However, history has taught us that every situation is unique. Some women may be able to handle a bit of chocolate here and there while some may have zero tolerance for such an indulgence. Successful management of heartburn will depend on you listening to what your body is saying.

Most of the time, heartburn can be managed with lifestyle habits. However, your obstetrician may recommend or prescribe medication if your heartburn is standing in the way of your quality of life. For personal assistance with your gynecological and obstetric needs, contact us at Cleburne, Granbury, Willow Park, or Fort Worth. Call our Fort Worth office at 817.776.4722 to schedule a consultation.

Posted in: Obstetrics

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