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.
Also Check: Can Align Probiotic Cause Nausea
What Is Heartburn During Pregnancy
Pregnancy heartburn can be a living nightmare for many. Although itâs common and not at all harmful to you or your baby, itâs painful all the same.
It occurs when the digestive acid from your stomach rises up into your gullet or oesophagus . This acid can come up as far as the back of your throat or into your mouth and it leaves a nasty, bitter taste behind. Youâre more likely to get pregnancy heartburn if you have had indigestion before, or if you have been pregnant before.
Learn What Causes Heartburn For Youthen Avoid It
Fat, caffeine, chocolate, citruspregnant women with heartburn have been advised to avoid all of the above at one time or another. But what causes reflux in one woman might not be a trigger for another.
Rather than tell his pregnant patients to avoid a specific food, Dr. Richter says he advises them to stay away from foods that specifically aggravate them. Everybodyâs different, Dr. Richter says. Some pregnant women can chow down on spicy Mexican food or a plate of spaghetti and meatballs with no ill effects.
Donât Miss: Do Bananas Make You Gassy
You May Like: Is Vegamour Safe During Pregnancy
Is It A Heart Attack
Heart attacks occur when the blood supply to the heart muscles becomes completely blocked. If a person does not receive immediate treatment, part of the heart muscle can die.
A common symptom of a heart attack is pain or discomfort that typically occurs in the center or left side of the chest. This pain may come and go, and its severity can range from mild to severe. It can also sometimes feel like heartburn or indigestion.
However, not everyone who has a heart attack experiences chest pain. The symptoms of a heart attack can vary considerably from person to person, and they may come on slowly or very suddenly.
Other symptoms of a heart attack might
- breaking out in a cold sweat
Anyone who suspects that they or someone else is having a heart attack should immediately call 911 or go to the emergency room.
When trying to distinguish between cardiac and noncardiac chest pain, a person needs to consider the following three factors:
- the location of the pain
- how the pain feels
We discuss each of these in more detail below:
How Can Heartburn During Pregnancy Be Prevented
You can take steps to reduce heartburn symptoms without hurting your baby.
- Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones.
- Drink between your meals, but not with meals.
- Avoid fried, spicy or fatty foods.
- Avoid citrus fruits and juices.
- Limit caffeine.
- Dont smoke and avoid alcohol. Besides causing heartburn, smoking and drinking during pregnancy can cause health problems for the baby.
Other tips to avoid heartburn during pregnancy:
- Sit up straight when you eat.
- Dont eat late at night.
- Dont lie down right after eating.
- Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of the bed. Or try placing pillows under your shoulders. Doing so helps prevent stomach acids from rising into your chest.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Periods Immediately To Avoid Pregnancy
Heartburn Is Caused Due To Following Reasons:
1> Eating Habits:
- Eating before going to bed
- Drinking lots of alcohols, citrus juices, caffeinated beverages and carbonated beverages.
- Eating large amount of food at a time.
- Eating onions, chocolates, peppermint, high-fat foods, citrus fruits, garlic, spicy food, tomatoes and tomato based foods.
2> Medical Reasons:
- Use of certain special medicines like aspirin or some anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Gastro esophageal reflux disease
Recommended Reading: How Long Does Ibs Attack Last
What Causes Heartburn During Pregnancy
Causes of heartburn during pregnancy include:
- Hormone levels changing: Your hormone levels change during pregnancy, affecting how you tolerate and digest foods. The hormones often slow down your digestive system. Food moves slower, causing bloating and heartburn.
- Esophageal sphincter relaxing: Progesterone, known as the pregnancy hormone, can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax. When it relaxes, stomach acid can move up into the esophagus.
- Uterus enlarging: As your baby grows, your uterus gets bigger. It can crowd your stomach and push stomach acids upward, into your esophagus. Thats why heartburn is more common during the third trimester, the last few months of pregnancy. The baby and uterus are biggest then, crowding your other organs.
Don’t Miss: What Do I Need To Get Pregnant
Don’t Believe These Old Wives’ Tales About Pregnancy Either
While the old wives’ tale suggesting your heartburn severity and whether you will give birth to a baby with an adorable full head of hair appears to have some scientific standing, there are other old wives’ tales or myths that have no truth to them whatsoever.
For example, some say that if you are carrying high, you are going to give birth to a little bundle of pink, while carrying low means a bundle of blue is on its way. That’s just not true, according to Care.com.
Tiffany Pham, a doctor with OB/GYN Care at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, told Care.com that it’s more likely that the shape of a woman’s abdominal muscles determine how low or high she carries her baby and has nothing to do with gender.
So, while pregnancy heartburn might truly give you an indication on whether your baby will be born with hair or not, other old wives’ tales should usually be taken with a grain of salt or maybe Saltine crackers if you’re pregnant.
Does Heartburn During Pregnancy Mean My Baby Will Be Born With Hair
Suffering from severe heartburn? You may want to stock up on baby shampoo. Research has backed up the superstition that, on average, the more heartburn you have during pregnancy, the more likely your baby will be born with a full head of hair.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
You May Like: Can I Drink Wine While Pregnant
What Causes Heartburn In Pregnancy
Heartburn is caused by the valve between your stomach and the tube leading to it relaxing during pregnancy due to hormonal changes . This means stomach acid can pass into the tube and cause the burning feeling.
In later stages of pregnancy, your growing uterus can press on your stomach and make the problem worse.
What Are The Symptoms Of Acid Reflux And Indigestion In Pregnancy
Symptoms can vary from mild to severe. They can include one or more of the following:
- Heartburn. This is a burning sensation which rises from the upper tummy or lower chest up towards the neck.
- Waterbrash. This is a sudden flow of sour-tasting saliva in your mouth.
- Upper abdominal pain or discomfort.
- Pain in the centre of the chest behind the breastbone .
- Feeling sick and being sick .
- Quickly feeling full after eating.
Symptoms tend to occur in bouts which come and go, rather than being present all the time. They may begin at any time during pregnancy but happen more often, or are more severe, in the last three months of pregnancy. As soon as the baby is born, indigestion due to pregnancy usually disappears quickly.
Note: various other problems, associated with pregnancy and unrelated to pregnancy, are sometimes confused with indigestion. For example, pain in the right or left of the upper abdomen is not usually due to indigestion. Excessive vomiting is not usually due to indigestion. If symptoms change, or are not typical, or become severe, or are repeated , you should see your doctor.
Read Also: How To Prevent Preeclampsia During Pregnancy
When Does Pregnancy Heartburn Start
Although heartburn in pregnancy can happen at any time, it tends to start in the second trimester. It typically starts in mid-second trimester when the uterus comes out of the pelvis and becomes part of the abdomen, says Purdie. In other words, youre more likely to feel the burn as your bump grows and all that shifting and organ-rearranging happens behind the scenes.
How Soon Can You Get Heartburn When Pregnant
The symptoms of heartburn, acid reflux and indigestion can come on at any time, but they are most common from 27 weeks of pregnancy onwards.
Many report it during the first trimester. This is because the muscles in your esophagus are pushing food into your stomach at a much slower rate than before, and so your stomach takes longer to empty. While this allows the fetus more time to absorb the foods nutrients, it also commonly causes heartburn.
You May Like: Does Birth Control Keep You From Getting Pregnant
When Should I Call My Doctor About My Heartburn
Even though heartburn is common, it can sometimes lead to more serious health problems. Severe, chronic heartburn has been linked to inflammation and narrowing of the esophagus, respiratory problems, chronic cough, GERD, and Barretts esophagus, which may lead to esophageal cancer.
You should contact your doctor if:
- Your heartburn wont go away.
- Your heartburn symptoms become more severe or frequent.
- Its hard or hurts to swallow.
- Your heartburn causes you to vomit.
- You have had substantial, unexpected weight loss.
- You take over-the-counter antacids for more than two weeks and you still have heartburn symptoms.
- You have heartburn symptoms even after taking prescription medicines.
- You have serious hoarseness or wheezing.
- Your discomfort interferes with your lifestyle or daily activities.
Tingling And Numbness In Your Hands
Carpal tunnel syndrome tingling and numbness in your hands affects up to 60 per cent of women during pregnancy. It is caused by compression of the median nerve due to an increase in the tissue fluids during pregnancy.
Carpal tunnel syndrome may be mild, intermittently painful, or severe, which may cause partial paralysis of the thumb or loss of sensation. Symptoms usually resolve on their own soon after birth.
If you are experiencing tingling and numbness in your hands, inform your doctor or midwife. In very severe cases, your doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections or surgical treatment.
Causes Of Indigestion In Pregnancy
Symptoms of indigestion come when the acid in your stomach irritates your stomach lining or your gullet. This causes pain and a burning feeling.
When you’re pregnant, you’re more likely to have indigestion because of:
- hormonal changes
- the growing baby pressing on your stomach
- the muscles between your stomach and gullet relaxing, allowing stomach acid to come back up
You may be more likely to get indigestion in pregnancy if:
- you had indigestion before you were pregnant
- you’ve been pregnant before
- you’re in the later stages of pregnancy
Heartburn Or Heart Attack
What does heartburn have to do with your heart? Nothing, actually!
Despite its name, heartburn or acid indigestion is related to your esophagus. But because the esophagus and heart are located near each other, either one can cause chest pain which is why many people mistake heart burn for angina and vice versa.
You May Like: Can Magnesium Give You Heartburn
Recommended Reading: How To Know For Sure If You Are Pregnant
Pregnancy Sign: Sore Breasts
Before you start cursing your bra for suddenly feeling more like a contraption from the hardware store than the lacy lingerie that took a serious chunk out of your paycheque, consider that your newly sore boobs could be a sign that youre pregnant. Breast tenderness is another common early pregnancy sign, according to Nordahl. For many women, what can make this symptom particularly confusing is that breast soreness is also a very common sign of your period. But early on in your pregnancy, your breasts may hurt because theyre expanding in preparation for producing milk.
Also Check: Can Prenatal Vitamins Cause Diarrhea
Why Treat Heartburn And Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
Heartburn and acid reflux are traditionally considered innocuous because they are common in pregnancy and are usually self-limiting. However, a recent study suggests that GERD is associated with an increase in the severity of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy , which can have serious negative effects on a womans quality of life.10 In a prospective cohort study conducted by the Motherisk Program, 194 pregnant women with NVP and heartburn or acid reflux were compared with 188 pregnant women with NVP who did not have heartburn or acid reflux. The 2 groups were assessed for severity of NVP with the pregnancy-unique quantification of emesis and nausea score, which is a validated scoring tool based on frequency and duration of nausea, vomiting, and retching in the past 24 hours, with a high score indicating more severe NVP. Quality of life was measured by the well-being score, with 0 being the worst and 10 being the best. Forty-eight percent of women in the control group had severe NVP according to the PUQE, compared with 75% in the group with heartburn and acid reflux. The mean well-being score in the control group was significantly higher than that in the group with heartburn and acid reflux .11
Don’t Miss: Can I Be Pregnant And Still See My Period
What Medications Can I Take For Heartburn During Pregnancy
Keep a supply of Tums, Maalox or Mylanta at popping distance: In addition to helping curb the burn, they’ll also give you a healthy dose of calcium while they ease your discomfort.Trusted SourceCleveland ClinicMedicine Guidelines During PregnancySee All Sources For all of these choices, be sure to check with your practitioner for the right dosage.
Avoid other heartburn medications during pregnancy unless they’re prescribed by your doctor.
However, if your heartburn is persistent, your doctor may suggest that you try an over-the-counter heartburn medicine that controls acid production, like proton-pump inhibitors or H2 blockers. They’re generally considered safe during pregnancy for women whose symptoms are severe and don’t respond to antacids and other lifestyle changes, but you’ll want to get the okay first from your practitioner.
What Helps Heartburn Naturally While Pregnant
The following tips may help relieve your heartburn:
Recommended Reading: How Can I Get Rid Of Pregnancy Acne
Good Posture Is One Of The Easiest Ways To Prevent Heartburn
Posture is another factor that can positively or negatively affect the lives of people with heartburn. Thus experts recommend straightening your back as much as possible. This is because, by adopting a hunched posture, the stomach area can compress and release acid, causing symptoms such as spitting up or unexpected vomiting.
Also Check: How Long Are Probiotics Good For
What Helps With Heartburn During Pregnancy
Prevention is your best bet to reduce heartburn during your pregnancy. Though you may not be able to avoid the condition entirely, here are some ways to prevent it and minimize any discomfort:
BabyCenter’s editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you’re seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.
ACG. Undated. Pregnancy in gastrointestinal disorders. American College of Gastroenterology.
ACOG. 2020. Problems of the digestive system. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Katz PO et al. 2013. Diagnosis and management of gastroesophageal reflux disease. American Journal of Gastroenterology 108:308-328.
You May Like: When Can I Test For Pregnancy Calculator
Who Is The Most Likely To Get Heartburn
While no one is exempt from heartburn, OB/GYNs say there are certain factors that make it more likely for pregnant women. For instance, women who experience heartburn before pregnancy are also more likely to experience heartburn during pregnancy. Women who are overweight or obese prior to pregnancy also tend to be more likely to have heartburn during this time. And expecting moms who drink coffee during pregnancy are at increased risk for heartburn symptoms.4
Consume Small & Frequent Meals
According to Rachel Brandeis, a well known nutritionist from Atlanta, overeating aggravates heartburn. When expecting a child, there is less space for the stomach to increase and trying to maintain a healthy diet won`t just turn back heartburn on the long run, but also during the entire period of pregnancy, as adding more weight than the recommended limit will add more pressure on the abdomen, triggering this medical condition,
Instead of 3 meals per day, try to target 6 smaller meals of maximum 1 ½ cups of food for every meal. This will make it easier for your body to digest.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Pregnant At 47 Fast
What Does Gerd Feel Like During Pregnancy
GERD can wear many hats and feel different in each individual, says Dr. Garza. Some may experience an intense burning sensation in the chest and throat, while for others it is a sharp pain just below and slightly to the left of the sternum. Some will have a sour taste or frequent regurgitation or burping. Often, symptoms are worse after meals, and this may make eating challenging, notes Dr. Ross.
Because the symptoms can be wide-ranging and different for each person, it is important to know what symptoms are concerning. Rarely, GERD can cause severe esophageal irritation that leads to pain or difficulty with swallowing, or even bleeding. Passing dark or black stool would be concerning for the development of bleeding and should prompt an immediate discussion with your physician/obstetrician, says Dr. Garza. He also cautions that GERD does not typically cause shortness of breath, pain with breathing, nor chest pain with exertion. Any of these symptoms could be signs of a more worrisome complication of pregnancy, especially the development of a blood clot, and would indicate that medical advice is necessary.