Is Heartburn a Sign of Early Pregnancy?
Heartburn is a common medical condition with numerous symptoms, the main one being a burning sensation in the chest.
In most cases, heartburn is not a life-threatening condition. It will either go away on its own or after you have made certain lifestyle changes such as avoiding alcohol and spicy foods. Sometimes though, heartburn can be a sign of more serious digestive issues that have to be treated separately.
Is heartburn a sign of early pregnancy? In the past few years, there has been a heated debate about whether heartburn is or isn’t a sign of early pregnancy. Several studies have concluded that it is indeed one of the best indicators that you are in the first month of pregnancy.
The Heartburn No More website has some excellent info on how heartburn can be caused by pregnancy and how you should treat it.
In order to give you a better understanding of this issue, we have decided to discuss both the symptoms as well as the potential treatments that can help ease heartburn. Without further ado, let’s get right to it!
Why Does Heartburn Occur During Pregnancy?
Before we get into how to prevent and treat heartburn, let’s look at why it happens in the first place. The main cause of heartburn during pregnancy is the increased production of the hormones relaxin and progesterone during the first few months of pregnancy.
The reason your body does this is so that food is digested at a slower pace, which should be beneficial for the baby but leaves you with an unpleasant burning sensation in the chest area caused by the reflux of juices from the stomach to the esophagus.
The cause and the mechanism of heartburn is quite clear, but is there any way to prevent it?
Preventing Heartburn During Pregnancy
To be honest, heartburn is an unavoidable part of pregnancy for many women. Unless you are a rare case, it will at least be present in the first few weeks. This is due to the increased production of progesterone and relaxin, which is an entirely natural process.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t prevent the heartburn from getting worse or affect how long will it last. Thus, we have prepared a few tips that should help you prevent the symptoms of heartburn from getting worse.
First and foremost, you should avoid trigger foods, especially spicy and fatty foods. These are known to increase the acidy of your stomach and cause digestive issues that can trigger acid reflux and the heartburn that you are looking to avoid.
Additionally, while water is a must and you should try to get around 12 glasses a day during pregnancy, drinking and eating at the same time can once again cause the stomach to fill up with air, once again resulting in heartburn.
Now, one of the most important tips when it comes to heartburn is to eat slowly and try to avoid overeating. While your appetite certainly increases during pregnancy, you should avoid eating too much at once, or eating too quickly.
This will ensure proper digestion and allow you to escape the burning chest sensation that can hinder your daily routine.
Also, when it comes to posture, you should try to stand and sit up high with your head lifted. Along with that, try to wear loose clothes in order to relieve the constriction over your belly.
Treating Heartburn During Pregnancy
Since heartburn is such a common symptom of pregnancy, tons of treatments have been developed that you can try out. The Heartburn No More website is a great source of tips and tricks on how to relieve the symptoms during both the first, second and third trimester.
First of all, you should try chewing more gum! No matter how simple this may sound, chewing gum, especially the sugarless and non-minty ones, can solve the problem of excessive acid in your stomach, thus preventing the reflux to your esophagus.
Another tip is to supplement your diet with nuts such as almonds. This will not only be of great benefit to your overall health but will also help neutralize the acids with their alkaline properties.
Other foods that are good for this purpose are greens including kale, spinach and broccoli. While fruits can help, you will want to avoid citrus fruits. Instead, focus on dried papaya which is a great source of vitamins A and C.
Also, adding milk or yogurt to your diet may give you a much-needed sensation of relief. Yoghurt is a good option due to its probiotics. Milk can be combined with honey to provide your stomach with some comfort and relieve possible inflammation.
Last but not least, you should try treating heartburn by investing more time in regular light exercise including stretching and yoga. Also, try to avoid stress and counter it with a 15-minute meditation session daily.
Medication for Heartburn
You should try to avoid most medications during pregnancy, but certain over-the-counter drugs are perfectly safe. Some medications you can take to counter heartburn include Tums, Rolaids, Maalox and Mylanta.
So, is heartburn a sign of early pregnancy? Yes, heartburn is one of the first signs that you could be pregnant.
Thankfully there are several ways to treat it, whether you’re pregnant or not. Yes, you might not be able to avoid it completely, but as long as you bring the symptoms down to a reasonable level, it won’t cause you too much discomfort.
Remember, while the burning sensation is not something that you will enjoy, it is a sign of slower food digestion which does benefit the baby that you are bearing!