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What can i take for indigestion while pregnant
What Medications Are Safe During Pregnancy?
There’s no doubt that along with the joys of pregnancy, women can and do experience uncomfortable side effects. If you’re feeling under the weather, you may be wondering if over-the-counter remedies are safe for you and your baby. In most cases, it’s best to avoid OTC (over-the-counter) medications particularly in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. While some medications are safe to use in limited quantities, other medicines are known to increase the chance of birth defects or other problems.
If you have questions or are considering a medication that’s not listed below, please reach out to your doctor for additional safety information. You should also call your doctor if you have a fever 100.4 F or greater, or if symptoms persist or worsen. The obstetrics specialists at Northeast Georgia Physicians Group are here to help you weigh the risks and benefits of prescription and over-the-counter medications that are safe to take during pregnancy.
Safe Over-the-Counter Medications
Tagamet, Pepcid, Prilosec, Prevacid (If no relief from Tums or Rolaids)
Tylenol (for Aches & Pains, limited to 2000 mg in 24 hrs)
Chloraseptic/Cepacol Lozenges (for sore throat)
High-bran diet and increase water
Milk of Magnesia
Robitussin (plain) Mucinex
Instant Ocean Spray
BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, tea or toast)
It’s okay to see a dentist, but be sure to use an abdominal shield if having x-rays done. You can also have Novocaine® and certain antibiotics and pain medications. Be sure to notify dentist that you are pregnant.
Pepcid, Prilosec, Prevacid (If no relief from Tums or Rolaids)
Tylenol (limited to 2000 mg in 24 hrs)
Sitz baths (with or without Epsom salts)
Konsyl Easy Mix (daily to keep
Look for a supplement with a stool softener or add Colace/Docusate when taking iron
Tylenol PM (if you also have pain & limited to 2000 mg in 24 hrs)
Calcium, magnesium supplement
Epsom salt baths
Small, frequent meals (every 2-3 hrs)
Sea bands (wristband)
Vitamin B6 (25mg 3 times/daily and 1 Unisom/Doxylamine at night)
Ginger, ginger tea
Peppermint and cinnamon
Warm salt water gargle (several times/day)
Vicks lozenges or spray (Avoid anything with phenol)
Herbal Supplements and Vitamins
Some alternative therapies have been found to safely and effectively alleviate some of the uncomfortable side effects of pregnancy – but ‘natural’ doesn’t always mean these herbal supplements are safe. As with any over the counter medication, it’s important to talk with your doctor about every supplement or vitamin you take while pregnant.
Prenatal vitamins are also an important part of a healthy pregnancy. Multivitamins that include folic acid are safe and important before and during the first few weeks of pregnancy because they can help prevent some birth defects. Your doctor or midwife can advise you about which type of multivitamin with folic acid you should take. Medical providers sometimes prescribe extra folic acid or iron supplements, depending on your specific situation.
The obstetrics specialists at Northeast Georgia Physicians group offer the full range of pregnancy and delivery services including prenatal screening, genetic counseling, midwifery, genetic counseling, high-risk pregnancy care and more. For questions or to schedule an appointment, call 770-219-9300 or fill out the form to the right of this page.
Pregnancy Heartburn? 7 Ways to Get Relief
Kathryn Walker, MD
Women and Newborn
Learn more about women and newborn services we offer.
Expectant mothers everywhere are aching to know one thing: “How can I get some relief from this awful pregnancy heartburn?”
To help ease your pain, here are some answers to your “burning” questions. (Pardon the pun.)
When you’re growing a human being, you don’t have time for that yucky acid reflux. But your usual go-to methods for treating it may not be safe for your unborn baby. (Remember Pepto Bismol? That’s on the No Fly List for moms-to-be, according to FDA recommendations.)
Instead, here are some of the safest and best ways to get rid of heartburn when you’re pregnant:
Dip into some yogurt. Its probiotics and soothing texture make yogurt a great option for extinguishing heartburn – or at least dousing the flames a little.
Drink milk with honey. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a tablespoon of honey mixed in a glass of warm milk may be just what you need to neutralize heartburn-causing acid.
Snack on almonds. Munching on a handful of almonds may provide heartburn relief since these nuts have a lower acidity level than others.
Eat pineapple or papaya. For some women, the digestive enzymes in pineapple and papaya have helped ease symptoms. Eating these fruits after your meals can aid digestion and reduce your chances of heartburn.
Try a little ginger. You probably knew ginger was a good remedy for an upset stomach. Well, that makes it a helpful candidate for fighting off heartburn, too. Among ginger’s many benefits, it can reduce inflammation and prevent stomach acid from traveling up the esophagus.
Chew sugar-free gum. Another effective method for taming the burn is to chew some sugar-free gum. One study found that chewing sugar-free gum for 30 minutes after a meal can reduce acid reflux.
Take (doctor-approved) medication. When all else fails, certain medications are considered safe to use for pregnancy heartburn relief. Just make sure you speak to your doctor or OB-GYN first. If your heartburn is severe, they may prescribe special medication to help control it.
While not every tip mentioned above may work to ease your symptoms, you’ve got nine months to try them all and figure out what works.
It’s important to be extremely careful about the medications you take when pregnant.
For heartburn relief, over-the-counter antacids (such as Tums, Mylanta, Rolaids, and Maalox) are all considered safe medications to use during pregnancy.
As always, consult with your provider about any medications you’re taking – even if they’re considered safe. (This is especially true for high-risk pregnancies.)
If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking an over-the-counter medication, call your doctor immediately.
They say prevention is the best medicine, so knowing common heartburn triggers can help you keep the acid at bay.
Of course, pregnancy itself is a major trigger for heartburn. As your growing uterus puts pressure on your stomach, this pushes stomach acid up your throat.
Those lovely hormones are no help either. They tend to relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus, which makes it easier for acid to make its way upward.
While there’s nothing you can do to stop this entirely, there are a few things that can help prevent heartburn from flaring up during pregnancy:
Avoid lying down after eating. It may be tempting to take a post-meal nap, but if you want to prevent heartburn, don’t lie down after eating. Consider napping in an upright recliner instead.
Prop yourself up at night. It’s hard enough to sleep well while pregnant without throwing acid reflux on top of everything. To prevent nighttime heartburn, try propping yourself up when you go to sleep to counteract the acid.
Don’t eat before bedtime. In addition to propping yourself up at night, try not to eat anything within three hours of hitting the sack.
Skip spicy, acidic, or fried foods. Ask yourself: Are those greasy chips worth being doubled over in pain later? (Probably not.) If you want to avoid the risk, steer clear of any and all rich, fatty foods. Not only will this help prevent heartburn, but making more nutritious choices helps ensure that you your baby is getting the important vitamins and minerals that they need to stay healthy in utero.
Eat small meals, but more frequently. Your pregnant tummy doesn’t love to be hit with large amounts of food to digest in one go. Make things easier on your gut by eating several small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones.
Eat slowly. Wolfing down those small meals will defeat the purpose of spreading them out. Eating quickly increases the risk of acid reflux, so slow down and enjoy your food.
Wear loose clothing. Tight-fitting clothes are not your stomach’s best friend when you’re trying to prevent heartburn – particularly during pregnancy. Wear clothing that offers support without being restrictive.
Drink your liquids between meals. If you’re the type of person who likes to take a swig of their drink between each bite, it’s time to change course. Drinking liquids during meals can exacerbate heartburn symptoms, so take little sips if you’re thirsty at mealtime.
Someday, scientists may very well invent a miracle medication that promises permanent pregnancy heartburn relief. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet.
So, if you’re wondering how long you can expect to deal with heartburn while you’re pregnant, it will probably be throughout your entire pregnancy. (Now may be a good time to remind yourself that you get a cute little baby out of this when you’re done.)
However, just because there’s no cure, that doesn’t mean you can’t find some relief in the meantime.
If severe pregnancy heartburn is getting in the way of everyday life, it’s time to see a doctor.
Intermountain Healthcare offers individualized and compassionate pregnancy care for women of all ages and health needs.
To get the care you need, search for a provider or find an Intermountain Healthcare location near you.
Baby Your Baby,
Women and Newborn
During the period of gestation, the vast majority of expectant mothers are faced with violations of the digestive organs. This is explained by the fact that during pregnancy all the forces of the body are aimed at maintaining the fetus, and the body itself is experiencing serious overload. Therefore, the work of the stomach can be disturbed. During pregnancy, in no case should you neglect your ailments and you should visit the consultations of a gastroenterologist in a timely manner.
Causes of indigestion
Indigestion and discomfort can develop under the influence of various factors. But usually they overtake as a result of an illiterate diet, diet, an increase in acidity, the development of pathogenic microflora or an exacerbation of chronic ailments.
The expectant mother must understand that if she feels bad, then the fetus will definitely suffer. Malfunctions in digestion can provoke abnormal or inhibited development, premature birth, spontaneous abortion. If you experience frequent belching, sour taste, heartburn, or signs of poor stomach function, you should immediately visit a doctor. The examination will provide an opportunity to find the cause of the ailments. The doctor will prescribe drugs that are harmless to the fetus, which will help alleviate the condition of the mother.
Heartburn in pregnancy
Heartburn is one of the most common disorders of the stomach during pregnancy. It manifests itself in a burning sensation in the stomach. Heartburn develops with an increase in acidity, as well as splashing out the contents of the stomach into the esophagus. The inner lining of the esophagus is irritated and the woman experiences discomfort. Heartburn should not be considered a disease - it is just a sign of some disorder in the body. Eight out of ten pregnant women experience this unpleasant phenomenon.
Causes of heartburn
The reason for this, in the first place, is the relaxation of the abdominal muscles, which is provided by a high level of progesterone. The volume of the uterus does not allow the valve to close completely, which protects the esophagus from spilling semi-digested food masses into it. In addition, most expectant mothers constantly "allow themselves too much", overeating, eating foods that increase acid production.
It is interesting that the appearance of heartburn during pregnancy is usually combined with a deterioration in the emotional state, belching, pain behind the sternum. In addition, this phenomenon can cause other ailments of the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, if heartburn occurs, you should consult a doctor. This will help prevent possible complications.
Indigestion during pregnancy is usually due to the lack of a meal schedule, as well as the use of inappropriate foods. If digestion is disordered, the whole organism suffers. If abdominal pain, diarrhea and heartburn are the result of a single food poisoning, then they are not dangerous for the course of pregnancy. However, if these unpleasant phenomena are frequent, you should definitely visit a doctor. Indeed, with improper digestion, the body does not receive enough calories, proteins, fats, vitamins and carbohydrates, that is, it experiences a kind of starvation, and the body of the unborn child suffers along with the mother's body.
To be honest, no tricks will help one hundred percent prevent heartburn, as well as other minor digestive disorders. They are an unpleasant addition to the joys of motherhood. But you can try to reduce their manifestations. For this:
try not to overeat,
eat more often, but reduce the single portion,
grind food very well in your mouth,
choose a comfortable wardrobe so that the stomach is not squeezed by rubber bands, belts or tight belts,
try not to smoke, fast food, fried foods, alcohol, coffee;
Flatulence is called an excessive accumulation of gases in the intestines. This problem occurs in almost all women during pregnancy. Flatulence in pregnant women is an urgent issue due to the fact that it causes a lot of trouble and embarrassing moments for a woman who is expecting a baby. As a result of bloating, there is a feeling of fullness, rumbling and belching.
Causes of flatulence
The causes of flatulence in pregnant women are varied. There are specific factors for its appearance that occur during pregnancy. These include a change in the hormonal status in a woman's body and a change in the position of the internal organs of the abdominal cavity.
So, from the moment of fertilization (conception) in the body, the production of the pregnancy hormone (progesterone) increases, which helps to relax the muscles of the uterus. But, unfortunately, its action is not selective: under the influence of progesterone, the muscles of the stomach and intestines also relax. This contributes to the violation of intestinal motility (wave-like movement of the intestinal walls). As a result, there is a delay in bowel emptying and an increase in fermentation processes, which leads to increased gas formation and the development of flatulence.
In the second and third trimester, the development of flatulence in pregnant women is additionally promoted by an enlarged uterus. It compresses the intestines and exacerbates the problems described above, which usually already exist by this time.
Of course, it is impossible not to note the effect of factors not related to pregnancy. These include functional bowel disorders (dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome), as well as organic diseases of the digestive system (gastritis, chronic colitis).
The main symptom of flatulence is bloating and pain in the abdomen. The pain is often cramping, it disappears after the discharge of gases, which occurs frequently during flatulence, more than 20 times a day. Flatulence in pregnant women may be accompanied by belching, hiccups, headaches, bad breath. This condition is dangerous because it can provoke an increase in the tone of the uterus and stimulate its contractions, which in turn can lead to the development of a threat of miscarriage.
Treatment and prevention
Following a few simple rules for eating will help reduce the risk of flatulence during pregnancy. In no case should you eat while standing or on the move, hastily eating, as in this case the swallowing of air increases, which creates an "air pocket" in the intestines, and is accompanied by characteristic pain.
It is necessary to exclude foods that cause flatulence, because the most affordable, simple and safe method of dealing with flatulence for a pregnant woman is to adjust the diet. From the diet, you need to remove foods that contribute to increased gas formation in the intestines (legumes, black bread, raw vegetables and fruits, whole milk, sweet, fried, spicy). It is recommended to use lactic acid products, stewed or baked vegetables.
Physical activity stimulates the intestines well: daily walks lasting at least 1 hour will help in the fight against flatulence. You can do self-massage of the abdomen - light strokes clockwise. Decoctions (teas) of medicinal herbs are also popular: chamomile, dill, mint, lemon balm and others.
But, unfortunately, with severe flatulence and in the presence of concomitant pathologies, it is often necessary to resort to the help of drugs.
Constipation in pregnancy
Among the typical problems that pregnant women face is difficulty with bowel movements (in other words, constipation). Two-thirds of women complain of constipation during pregnancy and one in three after childbirth.
During pregnancy, especially in the second half, the intestines are compressed by the enlarging uterus. This leads to a violation of the outflow of blood and the occurrence of venous stasis in the vessels of the small pelvis. As a result, hemorrhoids can develop - an expansion of the veins of the rectum and, as a result, constipation.
The human body produces special substances that stimulate intestinal contractions. During pregnancy, the susceptibility of the intestinal musculature to such stimulants is significantly reduced. Nature disposed very reasonably - after all, the intestines and the uterus have a common innervation, so any excessive activation of intestinal motility can stimulate the contractile activity of the uterus, causing a threat of abortion. Unfortunately, this positive defensive reaction also has undesirable consequences - constipation.
The development of constipation is facilitated by hormonal changes that occur in pregnant women. In particular, the digestive process slows down under the influence of the pregnancy hormone, progesterone.
It is no secret that pregnant women are often emotionally unstable, stressed, and suffer from unfounded fears. Modern medicine has come to the conclusion that constipation in general and - in particular - constipation in pregnant women are often caused by stress and other psychological factors. In the postpartum period, women are less likely to suffer from constipation - perhaps because their psycho-emotional state after childbirth improves quickly and significantly.
Allergic and autoimmune processes also play a certain role in the development of constipation.
Constipation is the absence of a bowel movement for three days or more. In pregnant women, constipation may be accompanied by a feeling of incomplete release, pain in the abdomen (often in the left half). With hemorrhoids, streaks of blood may be present in the stool. Some women, along with abdominal pain, feel a burning sensation in the rectum and itching in the anus. With constipation, nausea, bitterness in the mouth, bloating, rumbling in the stomach can also disturb.
Diet helps to cope with constipation. The intestines should receive as much fiber as possible. It is not digested, but only swells, increasing the volume of feces and promoting bowel movements. Therefore, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, zucchini, pumpkin, apples, as well as wholemeal bread and dried fruits should be included in the diet. Often, fermented milk products give a good laxative effect: kefir, curdled milk, as well as kvass, sour cabbage soup. Vegetable fats are useful: when split, they form fatty acids that stimulate peristalsis.
Prunes are best used as an infusion: pour 100 g of fruits with two cups of boiling water, add a little sugar, cover with a lid and leave for 10-12 hours. It is better to do it in the evening. The next day, they drink half a glass of infusion before meals, and eat plums. Another remedy for constipation is to drink a glass of cold water on an empty stomach. You can add a spoonful of honey to it.
You should not get carried away with strong tea, black coffee, cocoa, chocolate, white bread, flour and mucous soups, semolina, blueberries. All these products, as well as dry food, have a fixing effect.
With severe bloating, it is allowed to take infusions of chamomile flowers, mint leaves, caraway seeds, dill, and carbolen (activated charcoal). But only in the amounts recommended by the doctor.
You should also try not to stand for a long time, not to lift weights, to do gymnastics to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. By the way, exercise will help increase intestinal motility.
How not to treat constipation during pregnancy?
Physiotherapeutic methods of treatment (novocaine electrophoresis, inductothermy, electrical stimulation, diadynamic currents, sinusoidal modulated currents), often used for constipation, are contraindicated for pregnant women: there is a great danger of stimulating the contractile activity of the uterus, sensitizing the body (i.e. increasing its sensitivity to various stimuli), adverse effects on the fetus.
It is undesirable to take laxatives because of the possible termination of pregnancy. This applies not only to such potent drugs as magnesium sulfate, Karlovy Vary salt, castor oil, but also to weaker ones - buckthorn bark, rhubarb, joster fruits, senna leaves. Cafeol, besacodyl drugs cause cramping pain in the abdomen, frequent loose stools. Therefore, it is better to avoid laxatives, limiting yourself to foods rich in fiber.
OSTEOPATHICS AND DIGESTIVE DISORDERS
The following facts will help you understand the use of osteopathy as a remedy for the above problems during pregnancy. Osteopathic treatment is carried out only in cases where the presence of other serious diseases is excluded. The lower part of the intestine receives signals through the nerves from the lower segments of the spinal cord. Signaling can be affected by deformities and problems in the lumbar spine. Thus, a problem with the disc can lead to a complete cessation of bowel movement, paralysis of the legs, as well as urinary retention. In the event of a violation in the mechanics of the spine, intestinal mobility may be impaired. However, it does not cause serious complications associated with nervous activity. Such disorders can lead to degradation of the joints and discs, stiffness in the spine and pelvic region, severe tension in the joints, accompanied by swelling. Osteopathic treatment is suitable for correcting the above conditions.
Osteopathy seeks to reduce tension in the pelvis and lower spine. The goal of treatment is not only to relieve bone and muscle pain, but also to improve bowel movement. The treatment theory also advocates meeting the need for exercise for all those who suffer from problems related to the mechanics of the pelvis and lumbar.
For the treatment of some forms of constipation, direct action on the intestines can be used. Osteopathic techniques are commonly used on the hepatic flexure, the sigmoid colon, the splenic flexure of the colon, and the iliocecal valve.
toxemia, bowel problems and heartburn
Find out how pregnancy affects the digestive tract, which trimesters are more likely to cause symptoms of indigestion and nausea, and what to do to manage them.
During pregnancy, the burden on the mother's body increases. The body needs more nutrients, the body produces additional hormones. And the growing fetus puts pressure on neighboring organs, including the stomach and intestines. We tell you what symptoms are observed in each trimester, how to cope with toxicosis and get rid of heartburn.
2. Toxicosis and pregnancy
3. Causes, risks and treatment of diarrhea during pregnancy
4. Heartburn and stomach pain during pregnancy
5. Bloating, constipation and microbiota during pregnancy
Changes in the work of the gastrointestinal tract by trimesters of pregnancy
The average duration of pregnancy is 40 weeks, which are usually divided into trimesters in accordance with the stages of intrauterine development of the child.
Each trimester is accompanied by a number of changes in the body, including in the gastrointestinal tract:
The first trimester 26 weeks
The Atlas genetic test will help you find out how your genes affect the level of female sex hormones necessary for fertility and pregnancy.
Causes of gastrointestinal problems during pregnancy
Every pregnancy is accompanied by inevitable changes in the functioning of the digestive system. They are more often caused by hormonal changes and increased stress on the organs, but they can also be associated with lifestyle and health conditions, for example:
Sedentary lifestyle and unbalanced diet;
Certain drugs, including calcium or aluminum antacids;
Viral and bacterial infections;
Intolerance to certain nutrients and allergic reactions;
Diseases of the thyroid gland.
If you have chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and you are planning a pregnancy, try to consult your doctor in advance. Symptoms of conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or acid reflux are more likely to get worse during pregnancy. Your doctor will help prepare your body and create a prevention plan to help relieve symptoms during this time.
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a functional bowel disease that causes frequent abdominal pain, impaired peristalsis, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.
Morning sickness, vomiting and general malaise during pregnancy
Morning sickness and morning sickness during early pregnancy are common, because the body undergoes important changes necessary for the development of the child.
up to 90%
women experience nausea during pregnancy
Doctors find it difficult to say with certainty why pregnant women feel sick in the morning. The main theory is hormonal changes. But there are some patterns associated with an increased risk of morning sickness:
Toxicosis during previous pregnancy;
History of morning sickness during pregnancy in close relatives;
Tendency to motion sickness in transport;
Use of oral contraceptives containing estrogen before pregnancy;
BMI 30 and above;
Elevated levels of stress hormones
Risks of severe morning sickness and how to reduce nausea
Nausea and vomiting are usually not associated with a risk for mother and child and disappear by 16-20 weeks of pregnancy, but it is not necessary to wait so long - there are ways that can help reduce nausea and enjoy the process of waiting for a new person:
Get plenty of rest - fatigue increases toxicosis;
Avoid smells and foods that cause nausea;
Eat something right after waking up. A toast or a slice of bread will help reduce nausea;
In rare cases, pregnant women may develop hyperemesis gestationis or excessive vomiting. This is a serious condition that can lead to dehydration, kidney damage, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms, and even death.
Signs of dehydration include dry mouth, dizziness, dark urine, infrequent urination and/or dizziness.
Symptoms of excessive pregnancy vomiting:
frequent nausea for a long time and regular vomiting after meals;
dry skin and lips;
sudden weight loss;
low blood pressure (below 90/60).
If symptoms of excessive pregnancy vomiting occur, do not wait until the condition resolves on its own. It is necessary to seek medical help as soon as possible - the doctor will prescribe treatment, help adjust the diet and lifestyle of the expectant mother.
pregnant women experience excessive vomiting
Diarrhea in pregnancy
The word "diarrhea" comes from the Greek language and literally means "to flow through". This is a condition during which bowel movements or bowel movements occur three times a day or more often. This phenomenon is especially typical for the third trimester of pregnancy, but it can also occur earlier.
Symptoms of diarrhea:
Three or more bowel movements per day
Urgent urge to have a bowel movement
Abdominal pain and cramps
Causes of diarrhea during pregnancy poisoning, dysbacteriosis, bacterial and viral infections:
Use of lactose and gluten in case of intolerance to these nutrients
Certain antibiotics and antacids to reduce acidity
Sugar substitutes such as sorbitol
Overconsumption of certain foods
Tip: If you have recently returned from a vacation in an exotic country with nausea and diarrhea and find out you are pregnant, see your doctor as soon as possible.
One common cause of diarrhea during pregnancy is gastroenteritis, or stomach flu. It is caused by bacterial or viral infections: norovirus, rotavirus, E. coli, salmonella, which enter the body through contact with contaminated surfaces, dishes, food and water.
Gastroenteritis usually lasts about three days. However, severe illness is a health hazard, especially during pregnancy, as it can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and lead to preterm labor.
The main symptoms of gastroenteritis are diarrhea without blood, nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps and pain, slight fever, headache and muscle pain.
Take extra precautions to reduce your risk of getting sick: frequent handwashing and surface disinfection. If the expectant mother has small children, they are not recommended to use the same cutlery.
Risks of diarrhea during pregnancy
Usually diarrhea during pregnancy is not a cause for concern. However, you should consult a doctor if the following symptoms occur during this period:
Diarrhea for more than two days;
Stools with blood or mucus;
Sudden weight loss;
How to treat diarrhea during pregnancy
If you have diarrhea during pregnancy, drink plenty of fluids, avoid foods high in fat and sugar, avoid dairy products, and caffeinated drinks.
Dehydration is a serious risk, especially during pregnancy, so electrolyte balance should be restored first with fluids and simple foods:
Moderate fruit juices
Drinks without alcohol and caffeine
Light soups and broths
Find out about your body's ability to break down lactose and gluten with the Atlas Microbiota Test.
Stomach pain and heartburn during pregnancy
Many women experience stomach pain during pregnancy, especially the upper part of the stomach, as well as heartburn - a burning sensation in the chest and esophagus.
This is more common in the third trimester, after about 27 weeks. This is an unpleasant but natural phenomenon during pregnancy: the baby grows inside the uterus and presses on other organs, including the stomach. And hormones cause the muscles to relax, which causes acid from the stomach to enter the esophagus and irritate it. In addition, pain can be caused by problems with certain organs such as the gallbladder, or inflammation of the pancreas.
Symptoms of heartburn during pregnancy:
Burning in chest and esophagus;
Feeling of overeating, heaviness or bloating;
Belching, including with acid and/or food particles;
Avoid cramps and heartburn during pregnancy is unlikely. However, some tips can help reduce their frequency:
Nutrition : try to avoid overeating - eat easily digestible food in small portions; do not eat three hours before bedtime; watch your posture while eating - so the pressure on your stomach will be less.
Smoking and alcohol: In addition to known harms to mothers and babies, tobacco smoke also relaxes the muscles in the lower esophagus, allowing acid to enter the esophagus. And alcohol provokes heartburn and acid reflux.
Although stomach pain and heartburn often accompany pregnancy, abdominal pain, especially in the third trimester, should be taken seriously. It can be a sign of preterm labor or placental abruption, and puts mother and baby at risk.
If you experience severe abdominal pain during pregnancy that is accompanied by the following symptoms, seek medical attention as soon as possible:
Abdominal pain and fever
Unusual vaginal discharge / spotting
Low back pain
Pain or burning when urinating
Severe pain that lasts 30-60 minutes
Bloating, constipation and microbiota during pregnancy
Excessive gas and constipation during pregnancy can be caused by hormonal changes, such as increased production of progesterone. This hormone, essential for nourishing the uterus and fetus, relaxes the muscles of the body, including the muscles in the intestines, which slows down digestion and increases flatulence. A similar reaction of the body can be observed before each menstruation, when the production of progesterone increases.
Flatulence - bloating of the abdomen due to the accumulation of gases.
Here are a few simple rules that will help improve intestinal motility and avoid constipation and bloating:
If you do not usually eat a lot of fiber and indigestible foods like legumes, try to gradually introduce them into the diet;
Avoid carbonated drinks and fatty foods;
Drink plenty of fluids.
If bloating and constipation are accompanied by severe pain that lasts more than 30 minutes, or if you have been constipated for two or more weeks, see your doctor.
Gut microbiota and bacteria during pregnancy
A woman's body goes through many changes during pregnancy, and this can affect the microbiota, the bacterial ecosystem that lives in the gut. Trillions of microorganisms do important work for the whole body: they synthesize vitamins and essential acids, keep your intestines working and protect it from disease and inflammation.
The additional influx of female hormones that accompanies pregnancy alters gut function and affects the microbiota. This is good, because the bacterial community is constantly adjusting to external and internal conditions in order to keep up with the needs of the body.
To keep your gut bacteria running smoothly, they need your help. Provide them with healthy foods and plant fibers. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds contain prebiotics, special substances that beneficial bacteria feed on. When properly balanced, the bacteria even increase your body's defenses against harmful microorganisms that can cause gastroenteritis during pregnancy.
The Atlas Microbiota Test helps you understand how to prepare your gut for future pregnancies and reduce the risk of digestive problems.
☝️ Take note
Now you have all the necessary knowledge and tools to help you deal with digestive problems during pregnancy. They are quite varied and quite natural, but in some cases it is necessary to immediately seek medical help:
Blood in stool;
Diarrhea for more than two days;
Constipation for more than two weeks;
Sudden weight loss;
Severe pain interfering with daily activities;
Pain when swallowing or difficulty swallowing;
More articles on the causes of digestive problems on the blog:
7 foods that cause gas and bloating
When the intestines are upset
Mayo Clinic, sick2038
Lindsey J Wegrzyniak, Treatment of Hyperemesis Gravidarum, 2012
Edwards A. et al., The Maternal Gut Microbiome During Pregnancy, 2018
National Health and Safety (NHS), Vomiting and morning sickness in pregnancy
Kudzai Kanhutu, Travel and pregnancy: an infectious diseases perspective, 2011