For some women, pregnancy proves not only to be a heart-warming experience, but also a heart-burning one. Bouts of acid reflux while pregnant leave many women feeling the pain and eager for a solution to their woes. If you find that your enjoyment of pregnancy is marred by a burning you can’t ignore, you may be one of the many who find acid reflux a common occurrence during gestation.
What Is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux is a condition in which contents from the stomach seep back into the esophagus. Because these contents are mixed with stomach acid, the occurrence leads to irritation of the esophagus, which causes burning pain.
Acid reflux issues are extremely common during pregnancy. As HealthCentral reports, approximately 50 percent of all pregnant women suffer from some form of acid reflux issues.
Why the Increase?
The complex processes that are at work inside the body of a pregnant woman make them naturally more prone to acid reflux. As WebMD reports, pregnant women experience acid reflux more frequently than others because of two factors. First, their hormones are in a state of flux, leading their organs to have to adjust to these ever-changing hormone levels. Additionally, the growing baby puts pressure on the mother-to-be’s stomach and this increased pressure can lead to leakage of stomach contents into the esophagus.
If you suffer from acid reflux while pregnant, you can do some simple things to ease your symptoms. As Health Central reports, elevating your head while you lie down can reduce your suffering, as gravity keeps stomach contents in check. Avoiding caffeine also often proves helpful, as this compound can be particularly irritating. Eating small meals more frequently can ensure that your stomach doesn’t become overly full and also helps prevent this heartburn pain.
While being pregnant does limit what you can take to ease your pain some medicines are generally considered acceptable. Many doctors encourage their patients to munch on chewable antacids, as these pain easers are not absorbed into the bloodstream and, as a result, pose little risk to the developing baby. Some doctors also allow their patients to take pills designed to ease heartburn pain. Before you take any medicine to ease your acid reflux, however, you should speak to your doctor.