Updated: 2018, Sep 28

What Are The Causes And Remedies For Indigestion During Pregnancy?

By - Reviewed by CHD Team
Indigestion During Pregnancy

Though indigestion can have the same case (usually overindulgence) during pregnancy as when you are not expected, there are other causes why it may be plaguing you now. The increased progesterone and relaxin in your system relaxes the smooth muscles, one of which is the cardiac sphincter of the stomach. This allows stomach fluids to re-enter the esophagus. These acid stomach secretions are also pushing up into the lower portion of the esophagus when the uterus enlarges and pushes the stomach upward. As a result, food sometimes moves more slowly through your system, results in indigestion and bloating. The esophagus is not protected by the same mucous lining as the stomach so the acid fluids burn. Since the muscular movements are slowed the stomach secrets less hydrochloric acid and pepsins. These are the substances that start the breakdown of the proteins you eat. Therefore, food remains longer than usual in the stomach, with the muscle between the esophagus and the stomach more relaxed.

Many women suffer from bloating problem; especially sometimes feel quite uncomfortable due to heartburn. Moreover, the opening in the diaphragm through which esophagus passes (from the chest into the abdomen) widen in pregnancy. It becomes a physiologic “Hiatal Hernia”; and if the portion of your stomach slides up through it, it also causes interference with stomach acids going back down. Once again, esophageal reflux. This particular aspect of heartburn is worse when lying flat instead of in a slightly up through this hernia. Propping yourself up will allow gravity to do it and the stomach can fall back down into place. Due to the increased amount of iron, prenatal vitamins can be irritating to the stomach. Sometimes it is necessary to put the vitamins on hold for a couple of weeks.

Indigestion Problem and Your Baby

The positive result of this slowing down is that it allows better absorption of nutrients into your blood stream and subsequently though the placenta and into your baby. While you are painfully aware of your digestive discomfort, your baby is delightfully oblivious to and unaffected by it-as long as it isn’t interfering with you’re eating the right foods.

Remedies to Ease Bloating and Indigestion

The most conservative treatment for stomach upset is an antacid other than sodium bicarbonate. Besides that the following ways can also help you to ease bloating and indigestion:

  • Take Gelusil or Maalox, in liquid form or suck on the tablets.
  • Milk of magnesia, a teaspoonful or tablet after each meal And WHENEVER heartburn reoccurs, is soothing. The trick you have to remember is to use these about twenty minutes before you eat, otherwise you are just pouring it over the food and it won’t act as well as an antacid at the site of acid production as the gastrointestinal lining.
  • Chewing Gum after meal lessens heartburn for some pregnant women.
  • The most aggressive approaches use agents that decrease the secretion of acid, like cimetidine (Tagamet). These agents are for the most part safe (excluding “Cytotec” that can induce abortion or preterm labor).
  • If the medications you are prescribed seems not effective, your physician may refer you to a gastroenterologist; even you may also be referred to a specialist treatment if the doctor thinks that you are suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, which is a long-term condition that affects the digestive system.

Ways to Prevent Bloating

It is nearly impossible to have indigestion free nine months; it’s just once less pleasant facts of pregnancy. There are some other effective ways, avoiding heartburn and indigestion most of the time, and of minimizing the discomfort when it strikes:

  • Avoid large meals.
  • Avoid gaining too much weight; excess weight puts excess pressure on the stomach.
  • Avoid greasy, spicy foods. Eliminate from your diet any food that notice causes indigestion discomfort. The most common culprits are zesty and highly seasoned foods; fried or fatty foods – processed meats, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, spearmint and peppermint.
  • Sleep propped up, with your head elevated. That way stomach acid can’t flow back up into your esophagus at night
  • SIP milk, warmed, if you like, which coats and soothes the stomach. Buttermilk works better than antacids foe some and provides protein.
  • Do not take bicarbonate soda (baking soda) which has high sodium (salt) content and causes swelling.
  • Eat slowly, taking small mouthfuls and chewing thoroughly.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Avoid bending your waist; bend instead with your knees.
  • Relax and relax. Also try some complementary or alternative medical approaches such as meditations, visualization, biofeedback, or hypnosis.

If above these prevention techniques would not work out for you or having any sort of side effects after trying antacid or other anti-gas medication, you must have to contact with your practitioner. Your health care provider can prescribe that medicine which is effective for you and also suggest a safe choice of over-the-counter medications.

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