The heartburn is the reflux of gases and part of the content of the stomach through a valve separating the esophagus from the stomach, called the sphincter. The woman feels that the food returns up the esophagus, producing a burning sensation in the sternum, between the ribs, and possible desire to vomit, this is what is called gastroesophageal flow. It is because there is a relaxation of those muscles after digestion and it usually appears after meals that were very spicy, spicy or we simply ate a large amount. The valve with an excess of food sometimes has a hard time closing itself.
There are also conditions of the person that make them more sensitive to heartburn, as is the case with pregnant women. The reasons why gastroesophageal refluxes are more frequent are:
– During pregnancy, the woman suffers an increase in the hormone progesterone , which among other causes increases the production of gastric juices from the stomach.
– From the second and especially the third trimester, the belly exerts pressure on the woman’s stomach and this facilitates the opening of the sphincter that separates both sections. The result is the rise of gases and acid residues into the esophagus. You have the feeling that the food “returns” to the throat.
– During pregnancy there is a general relaxation of the muscles of the digestive system . First, the esophagus loses power to send food through it and the valve into the stomach. Second, the stomach walls lose some of the power they had to contract in order to break down food. That is, digestions are lengthened.
REMEDIES AGAINST HEARTBURN
Then we leave you with some remedies that can alleviate heartburn in pregnancy.
1- Infusions against heartburn :
There are many infusions to use after the meal and that facilitate digestion. Try taking them instead of the typical coffee , which is not recommended if you are pregnant. The infusions that will relieve you the most are chamomile, pennyroyal or a ginger infusion. To do this, boil water on a stove and place a teaspoon of any of these herbs. Let it infuse for an average of three minutes and strain it. Do not drink it too cold or too hot , preferably in small sips. The ginger infusion will also reduce the typical nausea of this period.
Other lesser known but equally effective infusions are cardamom, basil and lemon verbena . In all of them it is recommended to make them in advance and let them infuse, to have a cup after each main meal.
2- Antacids :
If you have a lot of pain, it is the quickest remedy to solve it. In general, pregnant women can take them without risk, unless you abuse them. Anyway, check with your gynecologist before to see if the antacids you are going to take are suitable for you because although most of them are available over the counter, it is always better to make sure. There are some, for example, that are less recommended because they have aluminum among their components, which in large quantities can be toxic,Therefore, although they are not dangerous if you take them in a timely manner, it is better not to risk it if we have other options at hand. On the other hand, sodium bicarbonate is not highly recommended because sodium helps retain fluids, not very beneficial for the mother because she is in a state in which she tends to retain herself.
On the other hand, chewable tablets and antacids made from calcium bicarbonate or magnesium hydroxide are safe for mothers, apart from being quick and easy to take.
3- Take a yogurt or a glass of cold milk :
It is a very unappetizing remedy, especially if you have eaten too much, but the truth is that it works because it drags the remains of acid back into the stomach through the valve.
4- Chewing gum :
If you are away from home and you cannot take any of the above, you can try chewing gum . With the gum you will stimulate the salivary glands and balance the acidic pH.
5- Papaya juice or coconut water :
Another lighter option is to take half a glass of natural papaya juice 30 minutes after the meal. You can even try coconut water to get a similar effect, which also has the advantage that it is sold in some supermarkets in tin form.
HOW TO PREVENT HEARTBURN
As prevention is better than cure, we leave you with some tips to avoid suffering from heartburn, so you will know in advance that inappropriate habits contribute to discomfort.
– Eat less in the main meals and spread them throughout the day . That is, eat five modest meals a day instead of two or three large ones. Also avoid going to sleep shortly after having eaten, by lying down you increase the chances that gastroesophageal reflux will appear, wait at least a couple of hours. Also at bedtime it is advisable to raise yourself at least 30 degrees so that your stomach is in a position lower than your chest, so the acids will remain in the stomach.
– Wear loose clothing to avoid pressure on your belly. Also bend your knees if you want to bend over, for example if you have to pick something up from the ground. Never bend your waist down.
-Avoid all kinds of overly spicy or spicy foods. Strong sauces, curries, garlic powder, vinaigrettes, etc. In the same way, citrus fruits such as oranges, tomatoes, or plums can make symptoms worse. On the other hand, drink the water between meals but do not drink it in excess in the main meals. If we fill the stomach a lot, it will be easier to suffer heartburn because the gastrointestinal acids can return through the valve. On the other hand, foods with too much fat or oil are not recommended because the body takes longer to digest it, so if you can, choose skimmed dairy, lean meats and cook using less oil.
– When you are eating chew food very well so that your stomach does not have to work so hard to digest the food.
Finally, if you have tried to follow these recommendations and heartburn prevails over time, do not hesitate and go to your doctor. He will give you more specific recommendations that will best suit your problem.