Causes Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
If you had heartburn before becoming pregnant, you are more likely to have symptoms during pregnancy. Although the exact reasons are not clear, most experts believe that pregnancy hormones, especially progesterone, play an important role. The hormones cause esophageal sphincter relaxation. This allows partially digested food and stomach acids to flow back, or reflux, into the esophagus. In addition, progesterone also slows the digestive process. This keeps food in the stomach for longer.
Also, in the third trimester of pregnancy, the baby squeezes the digestive organs and causes heartburn. But it has no effect on the baby. The upward pressure of the growing uterus can also play a role.
So does this mean that heartburn in early pregnancy is a sign of twins? Is this a myth or is it scientifically proven? Read on for the answer to this question.
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Change In Eating Habits
If you notice that youre suddenly hungry all the time or you are now wrinkling your nose at that once heavenly coffee aroma, it could be an early pregnancy sign. Many OB-GYNs believe that changes in the appetite or food aversions are caused by your bodys pregnancy hormones. So whether youre hungrier than usual or you find certain food scents to be disgusting or extra delicious, you may want to take that pregnancy test.
When To See A Doctor
You should call your healthcare provider if you:
- Experience heartburn that doesnt go away
- Have heartburn that wakes you up at night
- Have trouble swallowing
- Have black poop
- Are losing weight
If you have chest pain but never had heartburn before, you should see your doctor or seek emergency medical attention right away. It could be a sign of a heart attack.
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Prevention And Treatment Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
To ease heartburn during pregnancy without medications, you should try the following:
- Eat several small meals each day instead of three large ones.
- Avoid fatty, fried, spicy, or rich foods.
- Avoid chocolate, coffee, caffeine, and mint.
- Drink less fluid while eating. Drinking large amounts while eating may increase the risk of acid reflux and heartburn.
- Don’t lie down right after eating.
- Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of your bed.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing. Tight-fitting clothes can increase the pressure on your stomach and abdomen.
- Try to sleep on your left side. Your stomach is on the left, so it’s harder for acids to get into the esophagus at this angle.
- Chew a piece of gum. This creates more saliva with bicarbonate, which neutralizes the acid in the esophagus when swallowed.
If your heartburn persists, see your doctor. They may recommend over-the-counter antacids or prescribe drugs that are safe to take during pregnancy. Pregnancy-related heartburn usually disappears after childbirth.
Is Heartburn An Early Sign Of Pregnancy
The pregnancy symptoms are highly unpredictable from woman to woman. Out of the avalanche of discomforts, gaining weight, digestive differences like heartburn are a few. And so if your question is whether heartburn is an early sign of pregnancy, then yes it is.
If you are also facing heartburn in the early stages of pregnancy, here are a few ways to ease the discomfort.
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Am I Pregnant 16 Signs Of Early Pregnancy
If your gut feeling says you might have a bun in the oven, it can be agonizing to wait to find out. Though ultrasounds and pregnancy tests are the only foolproof method of being certain, most urine tests wont give accurate results until at least a day after your first missed period.
An ultrasound can take even longer, as the fetus is invisible until 5-6 weeks after gestation. Thankfully, several signs of pregnancy often show up long before a urine test or ultrasound is possible. Though every pregnancy is unique, and every woman will experience theirs differently, the presence of these 15 symptoms, especially in conjunction with one another, might be a good indication that youre a mommy-to-be.
Morning Sickness Nausea And Vomiting During Early Pregnancy
Nausea and morning sickness usually develops around weeks 4 to 6. Although its called morning sickness, it can occur any time during the day or night. Its unclear exactly what causes nausea and morning sickness, but hormones may play a role.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, many women experience mild to severe morning sickness. It may become more intense toward the end of the first trimester, but often becomes less severe as you enter the second trimester.
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Heartburn Symptoms During Pregnancy
Oh, pregnancy. Its such a beautiful experiencesave for the many unpleasant side-effects that come with the territory. And, yes, one common complaint among expectant moms is heartburn. More than half of women experience heartburn, also called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, during pregnancy, says Jill Purdie, MD, medical director and ob-gyn at Northside Womens Specialists in Georgia.
So what does heartburn feel like when youre pregnant? Theres no way to sugar-coat it: The feeling can be downright miserable. Heartburn feels most often like a burning sensation in the chest. The sensation can rise into the throat, accompanied by a bitter or sour taste in the back of the throat and mouth, says Kecia Gaither, MD, associate professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Weill Cornell Medicine and director of perinatal services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln. Besides that telltale fiery feeling, there are a few other symptoms you might experience. Some women also complain of the sensation of fullness in their upper abdomen or food not staying down well, and chronic dry cough may also be a symptom of heartburn, says Purdie.
Pregnancy Sign: A Missed Period
Well, duh, of course a missed period is the most common of early pregnancy signs. For many women who havent been pregnant before, this is usually the first symptom they notice, explains Nordahl. But hindsight is often 20/20. A first-time mom usually thinks back and realizes that a few things were different but wasnt sure what they meant, she says.
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When To Call The Doctor
If heartburn symptoms are associated withheadaches or swelling of the hands and face, talk with your provider beforetrying these remedies, especially if the symptoms are new and present in thelast trimester of pregnancy.
Heartburn-like paincan be a symptom of preeclampsia, or dangerously high bloodpressure during pregnancy. Preeclampsia puts mothers and babies at risk, andfurther evaluation may be necessary.
As mentioned,heartburn is very common in pregnancy. If your symptoms dont resolve with dietchanges or medication, let your provider know so you can find an effectivetreatment.
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Tender Or Swollen Breasts
It takes a lot of time for your breasts to gear-up and transform into milk-machines, so its no surprise they start as soon as possible! For that reason, tender or swollen breasts is quite often one of the very first noticeable signs of pregnancy. In fact, many women report breast pain as soon as one to two weeks after conception. Also frequently described as a feeling of heaviness or fullness, this symptom is also often accompanied by a tingling sensation.
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Medicines For Indigestion And Heartburn
Medicines for indigestion and heartburn during pregnancy include:
- antacids to neutralise the acid in your stomach
- alginates to relieve indigestion caused by acid reflux by stopping the acid in your stomach coming back up your gullet
You may only need to take antacids and alginates when you start getting symptoms. However, your GP may recommend taking them before symptoms come on for example, before a meal or before bed.
If you’re taking iron supplements as well as antacids, do not take them at the same time. Antacids can stop iron from being absorbed by your body.
If antacids and alginates do not improve your symptoms, your GP may prescribe a medicine to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. 2 that are widely used in pregnancy and not known to be harmful to an unborn baby are:
What Medications Are Safe To Take During Pregnancy
However, it may be best to avoid magnesium during the last trimester of pregnancy. Magnesium could interfere with contractions during labor.
Most doctors recommend avoiding antacids that contain high levels of sodium. These antacids can lead to a buildup of fluid in the tissues.
You should also avoid any antacids that list aluminum on the label, as in aluminum hydroxide or aluminum carbonate. These antacids can lead to constipation.
Finally, stay away from medications like Alka-Seltzer that may contain aspirin.
Ask your doctor for the best option. If you find yourself downing bottles of antacids, your heartburn may have progressed to gastroesophageal acid reflux disease . In that case, you may need a stronger treatment.
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How Early In Pregnancy Does Heartburn Start
Heartburn is mostly caused by the hormone progesterone, which rises after ovulation.
If a pregnancy occurs, progesterone levels keep rising. This means heartburn can start very early.
Progesterone slows down the digestive system, which can cause various symptoms in the body, including heartburn.
Heartburn can start as soon as the baby is conceived.
It could last only a short time, or it could last for the whole pregnancy.
Progesterone levels are higher throughout pregnancy.
As fertility expert Dr. Andrew Orr explains, these progesterone levels are typical during pregnancy:
- First trimester: 11.2 90 ng/mL
- Second trimester: 25.6 89.4 ng/mL
- Third trimester: 48.4 42.5 ng/mL.
Progesterone tends to peak in the first or second trimester and levels are lower in the third trimester.
However, you might still experience heartburn later in pregnancy.
During the third trimester, its more likely to be due to your baby taking up more room and leaving less room for your digestive system.
The hormone relaxin also contributes to heartburn later in pregnancy.
Relaxin relaxes muscles, including the sphincters in your digestive system that usually keep food and stomach acid from travelling up your esophagus.
Is Heartburn A Sign Of Pregnancy With Twins
Being pregnant with twins can cause stronger pregnancy symptoms.
Every woman is different, though, and every pregnancy is different.
Being pregnant with twins doesnt always lead to different or stronger symptoms than a singleton pregnancy.
If youre pregnant and feeling heartburn, you cant assume youre pregnant with twins.
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How To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Unfortunately, no matter what you do, youll probably still feel the burn sometimes. Talk to your OB about what medications you can safely take for relief .
You can reduce the risk and severity of heartburn by avoiding triggers like chocolate, coffee, tea, citrus, tomato sauces, spicy stuff and fried foods. It also helps to sleep with your head slightly elevated and to consume minimal fluids with mealsjust be sure to drink plenty of water an hour before and an hour after meals so you dont get dehydrated.
Baby Bumps On Your Face
You may look forward to that perfect pregnancy complexion only to end up with a face full of angry red bumps instead. Pregnancy acne is a not-so-fun symptom common in the first and second trimesters.
What to know:
- Its caused by the production of androgen, a hormone that triggers your glands to make extra sebum, an oily substance that can clog your pores and lead to pimples.
- More than half of all pregnant women will develop some acne in the first trimester.
- Women who experience acne flare-ups during menstruation are more likely to get pregnancy acne.
- If you dont experience pregnancy acne in the first trimester, you probably wont have abnormal breakouts in the second or third trimester, either.
- Some prescription acne treatments, like Accutane, can be harmful to your baby you should avoid them during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about what treatments are safe in pregnancy.
- Avoid white bread, pasta, rice, and sugar. A wholesome anti-acne diet is the foundation for clear skin.
- Invite some friends over and have a face mask party! Many acne home remedies are easy to whip up using items you probably already have in your kitchen.
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Consider Avoiding Certain Foods Drinks And Large Meals
Some foods and drinks may make reflux worse in some people. It is difficult to be certain to what extent specific foods contribute to the problem. Let common sense be your guide. If it seems that a food is causing symptoms, try avoiding it for a while to see if symptoms improve. Foods and drinks that have been suspected of making symptoms worse in some people include:
- Alcoholic drinks.
Also, avoid large meals if they bring on symptoms. Some women find that eating smaller meals more frequently is helpful.
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Can Heartburn Be An Early Sign Of Pregnancy
Another early pregnancy symptom of pregnancy may be a change in your digestion, like heartburn. If you start feeling heartburn or a burning sensation in your chest after eating lunch at your favorite deli, it might not be that they changed up their recipe. It could be heartburn that is pregnancy -related.
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Does Pregnancy Cause Heartburn
Pregnancy increases your risk of heartburn or acid reflux. During the first trimester, muscles in your esophagus push food more slowly into the stomach and your stomach takes longer to empty.
This gives your body more time to absorb nutrients for the fetus, but it can also result in heartburn.
During the third trimester, the growth of your baby can push your stomach out of its normal position, which can lead to heartburn.
However, each woman is different. Being pregnant doesnt necessarily mean youll have heartburn. It depends on many factors, including your physiology, diet, daily habits, and your pregnancy.
Relieving heartburn during pregnancy typically involves some trial and error. Lifestyle habits that can reduce heartburn are often the safest methods for mother and baby. The following tips may help relieve your heartburn:
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Smell Sensitivity And Food Aversions During Early Pregnancy
Smell sensitivity is a symptom of early pregnancy thats mostly self-reported. Theres little scientific evidence about smell sensitivity during the first trimester. However, it might be important, since smell sensitivity may trigger nausea and vomiting. It may also cause strong distaste for certain foods.
You may experience either a heightened or lessened sense of smell during pregnancy, according to 2017 research. This is especially common during the first and third trimesters. Heightened smell is more common than lessened smell. Some smells that never bothered you before may become less pleasing or even trigger nausea.
The good news is that your sense of smell usually returns to normal after delivery, or within 6 to 12 weeks postpartum.
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Missed Period During Early Pregnancy
Once implantation is complete, your body will begin making human chorionic gonadotropin . This hormone helps the body maintain the pregnancy. It also tells the ovaries to stop releasing mature eggs each month.
You will likely miss your next period 4 weeks after conception. If you typically have an irregular period, youll want to take a pregnancy test to confirm.
Most home tests can detect hCG as soon as 8 days after a missed period. A pregnancy test will be able to detect hCG levels in your urine and show if you are pregnant.
Early Pregnancy Signs: Heartburn Gas Tender Breasts And More
Think you might be pregnant? Here are the most common pregnancy signs in the first month.
When youre hoping to be pregnant and you havent missed your period yetor its a day or two lateits pretty easy to interpret nearly any physical symptom as a sign of pregnancy. Its not uncommon to feel symptoms in the first week or two of your pregnancyor even earlier. Some women experience pregnancy symptoms from the moment of conception, says Karen Nordahl, a general practitioner and obstetrician in Vancouver and co-author of Fit to Deliver. Usually, this is second- or third-time moms who remember a particular sensation, such as increased gas. But many first-time moms miss these early pregnancy signs because the very first symptoms arent necessarily the ones we associate with having a baby on the way. So, yes, while some women experience nausea or hypersensitivity to smells, these seven symptoms are among the most common during the first few weeks of pregnancy.
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Or Inquire About Proton Pump Inhibitors
If other medications donât help, there are also proton pump inhibitors , such as Prevacid. These have a more powerful acid-suppressing effect than H2 blockers, and most are available over the counter.
Although PPIs are, in general, safe for pregnant women, animal studies have raised concerns that omeprazole could harm a developing fetus, Dr. Richter says. âMy recommendation to patients would be to avoid that one because there are about five or six out there on the market, with the H2 blockers,â he says. âAll of them look to be safe during pregnancy.â
Be sure to discuss any medications with your doctor.
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