Nausea and heartburn signs of pregnancy

Nausea During Pregnancy

23.03.2016 Andrew Johns 1 Popular

Nausea in Pregnancy

In most cases, the woman bearing a baby doesn’t pay attention to any discomfort. However, some women suffer from nausea throughout 9 months of pregnancy. Pregnancy nausea may appear several times, or may not appear at all.

The experts cannot say exactly when you will have nausea during pregnancy, and whether it will appear at all. It all depends on the woman’s body peculiarities.

Nausea in the First Trimester

Morning sickness is identified as the first sign of pregnancy. It usually starts on the 5th week of pregnancy. Nausea in pregnancy subsides between 13-14 weeks, and if you are bearing twins, nausea may last up to 15-16 weeks.

Nausea in Early Pregnancy: Causes

The fact of experiencing nausea in the early pregnancy has a very simple explanation. The body perceives your future baby as a foreign object that will harm your health, and tries to get rid of it cleansing with vomiting. That means that after the embryo implantation your body tries to expulse it. Your body attempts to get rid of the fetus, but it resists.

Nausea in the early pregnancy can be caused by food, smell of the husband's perfume, shaving foam, the taste of the toothpaste. This is explained by the heightened senses in the pregnant. The nausea cannot be treated, only tolerated.

Norm or Abnormality?

Nausea in the first weeks of pregnancy can occur only in the morning when the stomach is empty, the woman may feel sick throughout the day, but won’t vomit, the nausea may even start the next day. It’s normal to vomit up to five times a day. However, this shouldn’t be accompanied by weakness, dizziness, weight loss. If you have nausea, try to drink many fluids, as it dehydrates your body.

It’s abnormal to have nausea more than 10 times a day, in this case it’s necessary to see the doctor. These are signs of a toxemia. In this case, the vomiting is accompanied by weakness, fatigue, weight loss, fever, high blood pressure. The toxemia is treated in hospital under the doctor’s supervision.

Severe toxemia (severe nausea during pregnancy) is vomiting up to 20 times a day. In this case, the body is very dehydrated, and the woman loses up to 3 kg (6.6 pounds) per week. Severe toxemia is treated strictly under medical supervision.

Second Trimester: Causes of Nausea

Sometimes in the beginning of the 4th month of pregnancy the women may still have nausea. It’s not frightening or dangerous, if the baby is developing normally, the nausea is quite rare and you lack other symptoms. In most cases, during the second trimester nausea may persist, but vomiting has already terminated, because the body "has made up" with the baby. The hormonal peak starts to subside and everything is normalized up to the birth time.

Large amounts of acetone in the blood that the body has accumulated to combat the embryo may cause the persisting nausea. Special medications will help to remove the excess acetone. If the toxemia during the second trimester persists, and still causes you discomfort, be sure to inform your doctor. The doctor may assign you drips that will provide you relief.

Third Trimester: Causes of Nausea

Sometimes nausea subsides in the second trimester and comes back in the third. In this trimester, the pressure that the baby puts on the internal organs causes it. The liver is an especially tender organ, if it’s touched, it causes nausea, heartburn and sometimes pain in the stomach.

At this term, nausea may be the sign of gestosis. This is another name of the late toxemia accompanied by the oxygen deficiency. However, this disease has other symptoms too.

The gestiosis is also characterized by the presence of protein in urine. That is why in the last weeks of pregnancy tests are made every week. Nausea at the 40th week of pregnancy can be a normal manifestation of the late toxemia, as well as testify of the uterine dilatation and the beginning of contractions.

When to See A Doctor?

In any case, you should tell the doctor about your nausea during the routine check-up. He should assess your state and decide whether you need to go to hospital. It is not necessary to contact your doctor separately to report having nausea and vomiting, if your general condition is normal, and vomiting happens no more than 5 times a day.

Pregnant: Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy

If the vomiting is observed more than 10 times a day and is accompanied by weakness, dizziness, diarrhea, fever, apathy, you should immediately contact your doctor. In this case, you could even call an ambulance, if it happens on a holiday or a weekend, for example.

Nausea and fever, diarrhea, weakness in the pregnant may be caused by the intoxication during the food poisoning. This can gravely affect the baby’s development. The poisoning requires immediate cleansing with the help of doctors. Only a specialist can determine how to clean your body without causing harm to the baby.

How to Relieve

Nausea during pregnancy usually occurs when the stomach is empty. To avoid this, do not let the body starve, eat small and often. Going to bed take a glass of water and an apple or a cracker with you. Eat them in the morning before you get up, and you won’t have nausea.

Vomiting in the evening during the pregnancy can start, if you have worked a lot, experienced a stress, or, again, have had nothing to eat. So try to be less sensitive to troubles at work, relax during lunch break and have snacks.

Long walks, mineral sparkling water, lemon tea, herbal peppermint, valerian, chamomile, vervain tea can reduce nausea during the pregnancy. To make nausea less frequent, aerate the room where you work and sleep, you need a lot of fresh air.

Your doctor can prescribe you medications from nausea if you have a medium and a high degree of toxemia. You can overcome nausea in the morning having breakfast of products rich in protein (eggs, dairy products, cheese) and in carbohydrates (fruit).

A good remedy for nausea during pregnancy is to avoid oily, hot and spicy food, which provokes vomiting. You also need to avoid everything that makes you feel sick (unpleasant odors, food).

Video: Nausea and Vomiting in Pregnancy – 10 Tips to Feel Better

Relief from Heartburn and Morning Sickness During Pregnancy with TCM

If you are dealing with nausea, vomiting and/or heartburn in pregnancy, comments like, “It’s normal; you’ll be fine,” are not usually helpful. You are looking for some relief. You want to enjoy your pregnancy to the fullest. While many women don’t suffer from morning sickness after the first trimester, some women do – and whether you are 10 weeks pregnant or 28 weeks pregnant, the symptoms can be debilitating.

On the other hand, heartburn is commonly a late pregnancy concern, but can also give women “heartache” throughout pregnancy.

Don’t despair! There are things you can do for relief. Below I will introduce some ideas from Chinese Medicine theory and then focus on what you can do by yourself and for yourself.

In Chinese Medicine practice, acupuncture is the primary treatment for both morning sickness and heartburn in pregnancy. Acupuncture helps the body to balance itself and redirect energy flow, bringing relief from symptoms.

Energy can flow upward, downward, inward and outward. In digestion, the normal flow is downward. Food is eaten, digested and evacuated. But when a person is nauseated, vomiting or experiencing heartburn, the usual downward flow has been reversed. This is called “counter flow of Stomach Energy (Qi).” There are a number of patterns that underlie counter flow. Distinguishing the exact pattern allows the health practitioner to offer an effective treatment.


  • Spleen and Stomach Energy (Qi) deficiency: Nausea and vomiting with epigastric fullness and bloating, no desire for food and drink, exhaustion and heaviness of limbs.
  • Liver invading Spleen: Nausea and vomiting with a bitter or sour taste, depression or irritability, tendency to sigh and to be easily angered, chest heaviness.
  • Stomach Fire: vomiting of food soon after it has been eaten, persistent thirst for cold drinks, heartburn, dizziness, constipation, red face, chapped lips.
  • Phlegm: vomiting mucus or constant spitting of saliva.


  • Stomach Fire: burning and heat in the the upper and median part of the abdomen, thirst for cold drinks, vomit of sour fluids.
  • Food Stagnation in the Stomach: epigastric fullness, distension and pain, belching, acid regurgitation, vomiting after eating.

In Western Medicine, both morning sickness and heartburn are attributed to the hormonal changes of pregnancy. Women are commonly affected by morning sickness in early pregnancy and heartburn later in pregnancy, but both symptoms can arise at any time.

Since these hormonal changes are a necessary and natural part of pregnancy, some suggest that these “discomforts” are natural; however, all women have a unique experience of pregnancy and although all women undergo hormonal changes, not all women experience these symptoms. A woman’s likelihood to experience symptoms is connected to her genetic inheritance (in Chinese Medicine we call this her “Congenital Essence”). Women whose mothers experienced nausea are more likely to do so themselves.

More importantly, a woman’s general health and balance (between expending and receiving, stress levels, nutrition and hydration) will affect her experience of pregnancy.

In Chinese Medicine, symptoms are understood as signs of an overall imbalance in the body. So the whole person is treated. Treatment aims to re-establish “relative balance.” Once this is accomplished, the symptoms disappear.

If you are experiencing symptoms, a practitioner of Chinese Medicine may offer the relief you seek. There are also many self-help techniques that have proven very effective in conjunction with treatment as well as on their own.


Below are some ways you can take care of yourself. Not all suggestions will be of interest to everyone, but I hope that you will find some that bring relief and comfort. Although the suggestions are written with a focus on morning sickness, they are also helpful for heartburn. Strategies specific to heartburn are added at the end.

1. Rest and Relaxation. Your body is doing a tremendous amount of work. Consider that the fetus and placenta are entirely developed by 12 weeks gestation (all systems have developed, ready to grow and mature), so it is understandable that your body needs some extra rest. When exhausted, a woman is more prone to suffer from nausea and vomiting. Enjoy guilt-free afternoon naps and going to bed early.

2. Eat Little and Often. All women want to eat well for themselves and their babies, but often morning sickness makes many of the dream foods unpalatable. Eat what you can. Avoid sugary foods.

Eat frequent and small meals to keep blood sugar levels stable. A small snack every 1-2 hours is recommended. In the case of heartburn, frequent small meals are easier on the stomach, especially in later pregnancy.

Hunger makes nausea worse. The key is to snack throughout the day. Try to eat nutritious foods, but also respect your body’s limits and messages. Have protein-rich snacks (e. g. nuts, yogurt, bread and tahini, brown rice with miso) before bed. Increase your protein, iron and vitamin B intake and avoid spicy and greasy foods. Some recommended foods include almonds, rice, crackers, dried fruit (especially apricots and raisins), egg sandwiches, grapefruit, miso, noodles, peaches, pears, peppermints, potatoes, yogurt, baked vegetables, and soups – especially potato soup and rice congee.

3. Drink up. Drinking plenty of water is good for us all the time. Women experiencing morning sickness benefit from drinking between meals since drinking with meals can increase nausea and heartburn. The key is to stay hydrated. Dry lips, feeling thirsty, and scanty or infrequent urination are signs that fluid intake is inadequate.

You can also get lots of water (along with valuable nutrition) by drinking herbal teas. Below are some beneficial teas I would suggest:

  • Ginger Root tea relieves nausea for many women. A study comparing the effectiveness of ginger root tea with vitamin B6 found no significant difference between the two, with all women having reduced nausea, retching and vomiting.
  • Raspberry Leaf tea is a pregnancy tonic that many women find brings gentle relief of nausea and stomach distress. This tea has a rich concentration of vitamin C, the presence of vitamin E, and an easily assimilated form of calcium and iron, in addition to vitamin A and B complex as well as many minerals, including phosphorus and potassium.
  • Peppermint or Spearmint tea are fragrant teas which can bring relief and settle the digestion of those sensitive to smells.

Making an herbal infusion: use a jar that has a lid and holds at least four cups of water. Put one handful of loose leaves (or roots in the case of ginger) and pour boiling water into the jar. Leave for four hours or more. It’s easy to prepare this before bed and have it ready room temperature in the morning.

If you want to steep a fresh hot cup of tea, leave a teaspoon of herbs in a cup of water for at least 15 minutes. Long steeping extracts all the chlorophyll, as well as the vitamins and minerals. Drink over the course of the day.

4. Visualize. The digestive tract is meant to have a downward motion (you eat, food goes down to your stomach to be digested, and then down to the intestines to be absorbed and eliminated). As mentioned above, nausea, vomiting and heartburn are examples of upward motion. Visualization can re-establish downward flow.

I like to imagine I am standing under a beautiful natural waterfall. I feel the water gently falling onto my head and then flowing across my shoulders and down my body. My feet are solid on the ground in pools of water. This water is absorbed into the ground. This visualization can be done standing up or sitting down (with feet flat on the floor). Imagine warm sun and cool refreshing water. Breathe deeply with this image in mind for a couple minutes.

5. Touch. Any loving supportive touch can be very soothing and relieving. Try downward strokes along your arms or legs. Have someone massage your feet if you can’t reach them comfortably yourself. A special pressure point for nausea is called “P6” in Chinese medicine. To find it, put three fingers along the inside of your forearm, with one finger directly above the upper crease of your wrist. Near the spot where the third finger rests you will find a sensitive point in the middle of your forearm if you press with firm pressure with your thumb. This technique has been used for thousands of years to bring relief of nausea. Press into the spot and maintain pressure while you take four breaths and then release and repeat; or you can apply the pressure with the breath – pressing into the point when you breathe out and coming off the point when you breathe in. See which ways feel better to you. Repeat for five minutes every couple hours.

6. Exercise and Fresh Air. Even if you don’t initially feel like doing much, exercise like walking, tai chi and yoga has been found to make women feel much better once they get started. A gentle push out the door may make all the difference in the world.

7. Massage for Heartburn. There are two special points to massage on the feet. The first one clears “Liver Heat” and is found on the top of the foot in the web between the big toe and the second toe (Liv 2). Feel for sensitivity in this area (between the metatarsal bones). The “Stomach Fire” point (St 44) is at the same level, one toe over (between the second and third toes). There areas can be stimulated (see Touch section for suggestions).

8. Teas for Heartburn. Try Anise or Fennel Seed tea after meals. They offer a calming aid to digestion and have a pleasant taste. Slippery Elm Bark is recommended to neutralize stomach acid. A convenient way to take Slippery Elm is in the form of throat lozenges with are available at most health food stores.

9. Eat Papaya. Containing digestive enzymes, a small amount of papaya (fresh, dried, canned, juice or in tablet form) aids digestion and helps relieve or even prevent heartburn.

The Early Warning Signs of Pregnancy

Christina is a pharmacy technician with an interest in women’s health related to pregnancy.

Are you anxious knowing that it is too soon to have a urinary pregnancy test taken? Well, pregnancy is one of the most precious moments in a woman’s life. Whether you are anxious with nerves or with hope, this article will help you learn what the earliest signs and symptoms are of being pregnant.

Are Cravings an Early Sign of Pregnancy?

“Cravings typically occur by the end of the first trimester and peak in the second trimester,” says Dr. Mark P. Trolice, director of Fertility C. A.R. E at the IVF Center in Winter Park, Florida. “Approximately 50-90 % of women have these cravings, most commonly for dairy and sweet foods and less commonly for spicy or salty foods.” According to New Kids Center, cravings can potentially occur as soon as a week after conceiving, so they can be an early sign of pregnancy. They can disappear by the second trimester after peaking.

The exact reason for cravings is unknown. “A hypothesis for cravings involves changes in hormones, nutritional deficits, and cultural influences, but a specific cause is unknown,” says Dr. Trolice. Changing hormones impact your sense of taste and smell, which could cause some food aversions and cravings. While the body demanding some type of nutrition it’s lacking is a strong theory, Dr. Judith Brown says that there is no solid data that supports that idea. Your favorite food may even make you feel sick or nauseated during your pregnancy.

Below are some possible theories as to why women get cravings for certain foods.

What Does It Mean When You Crave Spicy Food?

Food like curry or peppers can make you sweat, which can actually cool you down. You may feel overheated while pregnant so spicy food may be helpful. You should be cautious of things like heartburn and indigestion if you consume a lot of spicy food during pregnancy.

What Does It Mean When You Crave Red Meat?

A craving for steaks and burgers may indicate a deficiency of iron or protein. According to Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, you could eat beans and dried fruit to get iron in your system. You should also stick to lean meats like sirloin. Vitamin C can help the body in absorbing iron so you should also consume lots of citrus.

What Does It Mean When You Crave Sugar?

You may be experiencing drops in blood sugar levels if you are craving sweets. It may also be a symptom of gestational diabetes; you can read more about that condition here. It is important to maintain a nutritious diet during pregnancy, so you could fulfill your cravings with some fruit or juice. You may also consider taking chromium supplements to combat sugar cravings since it helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Possible Meanings of Other Cravings

  • Ice: While not exactly food, some women do have a craving to chew or suck on ice. Some women may do this because they are suffering from anemia; a common symptom of this is inflammation in the mouth or tongue.
  • Chocolate: An urge for chocolate may indicate a magnesium deficiency since chocolate is rich in that. You should obviously limit your intake to light amounts, ideally with dark chocolate. Foods like nuts and fish are also high in magnesium.
  • Salty food: According to Livestrong, a craving for salt may be the body demanding more sodium to allow it to retain more water. The rise of progesterone levels can also cause you to lose sodium through your urine. You should stick to table salt since salty processed food can have other bad ingredients.
  • Beans and vegetables: You may be lacking in magnesium and fiber if you are craving more healthy food.
  • Cheese: A craving for cheese or pizza may mean you have a fatty acid deficiency. Fish and walnuts can serve as healthy supplements of fatty acids.

How to Handle Cravings During Pregnancy

In a perfect world, we would be craving healthy food during pregnancy. However, as seen above, you will more likely have the urge to eat stuff found in the candy aisle. While it is ok to indulge in some cravings, you should still maintain a healthy and balanced diet. You should also avoid an excessive amount of unhealthy food if that is what you’re craving. Studies have shown that 40 to 60 percent of women gain too much weight during pregnancies. This is the biggest contributor to postpartum weight retention. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you have unhealthy cravings.

  • According to psychologist Jon May, it can help to think of something else when your craving pops in your head. Ideally you could perform a visual task, like play video games.
  • You should keep your kitchen stocked with healthy foods and snacks. That will make it so that those are your only options when your cravings hit.
  • You should not go grocery shopping when you are hungry. The temptation to pick up your cravings may be too great to overcome.
  • A diet rich in fiber and lean protein can be very filling, potentially squashing your cravings.
  • Be sure to get plenty of sleep. Women who are sleep deprived will often crave junk food more than healthy food.
  • Be sure to avoid things like sushi, raw eggs, or undercooked meat. These could potentially carry bacteria that could be harmful to your baby. Consider reading this article on foods to avoid while pregnant.

Feeling exhausted during the first trimester is quite common. According to the University of Rochester, the rising levels of hormones like progesterone and the increase of blood supply to the developing placenta and fetus circulation is the main culprit behind feeling tired. Your body is telling you that major changes are happening and you need to slow down for it to adjust. While this is usually relegated during the early stages, you may feel tired later on if you have an iron deficiency.

You can check out this article for tips on dealing with pregnancy fatigue.

Nausea and vomiting can often be the first sign of pregnancy. It can begin as early as two weeks following gestation. According to researchers, more than half of all pregnant women will experience morning sickness. Nausea can intensify during weeks eight and 12 but can settle down a bit afterwards. It is generally believed that the rise of human chorionic gonadotropin is responsible for this symptom.

Here are some tips to help alleviate nausea during your pregnancy.

  • Eat small meals and snacks throughout the day. Be sure to eat slowly as well. Foods with high protein and complex carbohydrates are the most beneficial.
  • Avoid lying down after eating.
  • You should get out of bed slowly in the morning. Sit up and gather yourself first instead of quickly hopping out of bed.
  • You may want to avoid food that could irritate your digestive system. This includes anything spicy or fried.
  • Be sure to sip water throughout the day to keep hydrated.

Be sure to read this article for natural methods to alleviate morning sickness.

You may be experiencing a burning sensation from the bottom of the breast bone all the way up to the lower throat. According to BabyCenter, this is a very common symptom during the second and third trimester, but it can occur early during the first trimester. During a pregnancy, the hormone progesterone is produced by the placenta. This is responsible for relaxing the valve that separates the esophagus and the stomach. This relaxation could cause acid to float up into the esophagus, which would irritate the liner of your stomach, causing you to feel heartburn.

You may not be able to get rid of heartburn completely, however, there are certain things that you could do to possibly reduce it.

  • Ask your doctor about any kind of medication you may take. They can likely offer you an antacid like Tums.
  • Avoid big meals. Try eating multiple small meals throughout the day. Eat slowly and try not to consume so much, even though it is tempting.
  • Avoid foods and drinks that may contain high acid or citrus levels such as carbonated drinks, caffeine, chocolate, fruits, juices, spicy food, and really fattening food. These are very likely to upset your stomach.
  • Try to chew gum after meals. This could help because when you chew gum it stimulates your salivary glands, which could help neutralize acid.
  • Wear loose clothing. Try to avoid tight clothing around your stomach and waist area.

Sore Breasts

You may suddenly experience tenderness in your breasts. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, this is due to the hormonal changes that are happening throughout your pregnancy. Women can notice their breasts feeling sore or heavier as early as a week after conception. This is due to increased blood volume. Some women experience even more tenderness in the areola area. It is also common for the areolas to become darkened in color.

To avoid breast tenderness, it is suggested that you wear a supportive bra. A warm bath can soothe sore breasts as well.

Frequent Urination

This common symptom can start as early as the second week after conception. According to Dr. Thomas Ruiz, most women will notice more frequent urination at around 10 to 13 weeks. This is because the uterus will begin pushing against the bladder. Frequent urination is caused by the spike in hormones such as hCG and progesterone. The increase in blood volume also means that extra fluid is getting processed by the kidneys, which leads to your bladder. You may also experience frequent trips to the bathroom while you are sleeping. This happens because when you lay down at night, blood flow from your lower body can easily flow back up into your kidneys, thus processing more fluids.

This symptom is unavoidable during pregnancy. However, there are some simple ways to try to reduce the number of bathroom visits you have to take.

  • You can reduce drinking fluids before going to bed to avoid nighttime bathroom visits. Be sure to remain properly hydrated throughout the day.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee. They actually increase your need to visit the restroom.
  • Sitting or laying down could relieve pressure from your bladder.

Another restroom-related problem you may suffer is constipation. You could check out this article which covers that dilemma during pregnancy as well as some additional early symptoms.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, this is likely another result of the changes in your hormones and increased blood volume. Tension headaches are the most common kind and women usually experience them during their first trimester. If you are trying to stray away from caffeine during your pregnancy (which you should!), then a tension headache may be the result of the abrupt lack of caffeine. Other things that can aggravate headaches include lack of sleep, sinus congestion, and stress.

Here are some ways to treat and prevent headaches during pregnancy.

  • Get plenty of sleep and rest.
  • Use a warm compress for tension headaches and a cool one for migraines.
  • A warm shower can soothe a tension headache. A cold shower can bring some relief for a migraine.
  • Eating frequent small meals can keep your blood sugar levels up, which can help prevent headaches. Staying hydrated helps as well.
  • You can consult your doctor over possibly taking some medication. Acetaminophen will likely be allowed. Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen unless approved by a doctor.
  • Regular exercise can reduce stress, which contributes to tension headaches.

Most pregnant women will experience backaches during the first trimester. According to researchers, this is due to the typical 15 to 20 percent weight gain. This puts more of a burden on tendons and joints. The increase in estrogen also loosens ligaments, making them easier to injure. The growing volume of the uterus and breasts also moves your center of gravity more forward. This could create spinal issues related to poor posture.

Fortunately, there are several ways to ease backaches during your pregnancy.

  • Performing exercise approved by a doctor could help strengthen back muscles.
  • When picking things off of the ground, always bend at your knees and not at your waist. Pull up with your legs instead of your back.
  • Elevate your legs when you are lying down.
  • Avoid shoes that don’t offer much support such as high heels.
  • Consider wearing a support belt.
  • Try not to gain more weight than what is recommended. More weight means more strain on the back.

Cramping can be one of the first signs of pregnancy. According to Dr Chad Klauser, cramping in the first trimester is caused the embryo implanting into the uterine wall. It’s also caused by the rapid growth of the uterus during this period. Mild cramping can be expected during the first 16 weeks.

To avoid cramping during pregnancy, try to stay well hydrated. Stretching exercises can also ease the pain of cramping. Taking warm showers and getting off your feet is helpful as well. Be sure to check out this article for more information on early pregnancy camps.

Mood Swings

According to the American Pregnancy Association, mood swings during pregnancy can be caused by a variety of reasons such as physical stress, fatigue, changes in metabolism levels, and rising hormone levels. You may experience a wide variety of different moods such as being excited, depressed, or anxious. Mood swings can be detected around 6 to 10 weeks into your pregnancy.

Try to avoid stress by taking it easy. Get plenty of rest and be sure to talk things out with your partner or a close friend.

Increased Sense of Smell

Around two-thirds of pregnant women report that their sense of smell became more powerful during pregnancy. They also become more sensitive to various odors. According to Dr. Jordan Gaines Lewis, there is no real hard evidence of pregnant women having a stronger sense of smell. However, research has shown that they may be better at identifying smells. It is believed that hormonal changes are affecting parts of the brain that affect the perception of odors. Pregnant women will often find things like cigarette smoke to be more repugnant than usual. It is believed this is how the body protects itself from things that may harm the baby.

Positive Pregnancy Test

According to WebMD, the best time to take a pregnancy test is when your period is late. This may give you the most accurate result. Once you have received confirmation that you are in fact pregnant, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Enjoy the next nine glorious months of headaches, backaches, nausea, heartburn, cravings, constantly being tired, super smell, and mood swings! Remember, it’s all worth it in the end when you’re pushing.

I hope for the best for you and your baby. May all of your children be born healthy and well.

Heartburn during Pregnancy

Heartburn is a burning sensation felt in the esophagus and chest due to indigestion and reflux of stomach acids. Women often experience mild to moderate heartburn [1] during the early stages of pregnancy. It is quite common during the second and third trimesters as well.

Is Heartburn an Early Sign of Pregnancy?

It is counted among the earliest signs of pregnancy along with nausea, vomiting, food craving and aversions, dizziness and mood swings [2] .

What Does Heartburn Feel Like?

  • Burning sensation in the chest, behind the breastbone especially after eating [22]
  • Burning sensation in the throat with a feeling of sour, hot, acidic fluid at the throat’s back
  • Feeling of foods stuck in the middle of one’s throat or chest [21]
  • Mild to moderate chest pain especially when lying down or bending over
  • Chronic cough or sore throat

What Causes Heartburn in Pregnancy?

Causes during early pregnancy: The high levels of the hormone progesterone relax the valve between the esophagus and stomach. As a result, it is unable to close properly to prevent stomach acids from entering the esophagus and irritating the lining, causing heartburn [1]

Causes during later stages: The growing uterus is the main reason for the symptom, especially after the 20th week. It pushes the stomach against the diaphragm, causing the stomach contents to move into the esophagus. This leads to acid reflux and heartburn [3] .

Foods that Cause Heartburn when Pregnant

  • Alcohol (especially red wine)
  • Fried and fatty foods [4]
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic
  • Raw onions
  • Avocado [5]
  • Cheese
  • Citrus fruits like oranges (or orange juice), tomatoes and grapefruits
  • Chocolate [6]
  • Peppermint
  • Coffee and caffeinated beverages like tea and soda
  • Carbonated beverages

Tips for Preventing Heartburn While Pregnant

  • Eating several small meals rather than three large ones [7]
  • Eating slowly, chewing the food properly
  • Drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water every day [8]
  • Avoiding the common food triggers [9]
  • Maintaining a certain activity level as prolonged inactivity (e. g. extended bed rest) can relax the muscles, worsening the symptom [10]
  • Drinking less water during meals [11]
  • Sitting upright in a high-backed comfortable chair instead of slouching
  • Avoiding lying down or bending over directly after a meal
  • Keeping the head and chest in a higher position than the rest of the body when lying down
  • Wearing loose fitting clothes to reduce the pressure on the stomach
  • Trying not to gain too much weight
  • Avoiding smoking

Heartburn Relief during Pregnancy

Medicines for Severe Heartburn Symptoms during Pregnancy

Non-prescription antacids like TUMS can be safely used for getting rid of heartburn in pregnancy while they also provide certain nutrients (e. g. calcium) essential during pregnancy [12] . Physicians strongly recommend avoiding antacids containing aluminum while sodium bicarbonate (or baking soda) and sodium citrate sold as antacid tablets should be avoided as well [13] .

Apart from calcium containing antacids, a few other safe medications are:

  • Ranitidine [14] (Zantac: pregnancy category B in US)
  • Omeprazole (Prilosec: pregnancy category C in US)

One should consult her doctor before using any of the above medicines; otherwise, they may lead to various pregnancy-related problems. The following side effects [14] may occur in some rare cases:

Home Remedies to Cure Heartburn during Pregnancy

Here are some other ways to stop heartburn:

  • Eating some Yoghurt after each meal [15] (the probiotics found in yoghurt are believed to neutralize the stomach acids)
  • Papaya (in any form) [16] as its digestive enzymes soothe the stomach
  • ChewingGums [17] reduces the acid levels by encouraging saliva flow while the bicarbonate in gums helps to neutralize the refluxed acids.
  • Drinking some Milk (preferably cold) or having some Ice cream before meals and whenever the symptom occurs [14]
  • Taking a glass of Warm milk mixed with a tablespoonful of Honey [18]
  • Having two teaspoonfuls of Apple cider vinegar along with 8 oz water (add honey if desired) [19]
  • Ginger (in any form)
  • Taking 1-2 teaspoonfuls of Mustard [23]
  • Raw almonds
  • Snacking on a fresh Celery stick [23]
  • Basil leaves

When to Call the Doctor?

It is advisable to call the doctor in case of the following symptoms along with heartburn:

  • Constant heartburn [9]
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Severe heartburn causing sleep disturbances
  • Spitting up blood
  • Excessive weight loss [9]
  • Black stools

Myths Associated with Heartburn during Pregnancy

One myth says that if a woman suffers from heartburn during pregnancy, she is going to have a baby with a full head of hair [20] . There is another myth saying one can find out if she is going to have a boy or girl depending on whether or not she has heartburn while pregnant. But in truth, these are just old wives tales as each pregnancy is different with different signs and symptoms.

Heartburn ICD-9 and ICD-10 Codes

Its ICD-9 code is 787.1 while the ICD-10 code used for heartburn is R12.

По материалам:

Http://infobaby. org/nausea-during-pregnancy/

Http://vitalitymagazine. com/article/relief-from-heartburn-and-morning-sickness-during-pregnancy-with-tcm/

Http://wehavekids. com/having-baby/The-Early-Signs-of-Pregnancy

Http://www. pregmed. org/heartburn-during-pregnancy. htm