Heartburn During Pregnancy

Heartburn actually has nothing to do with your heart.  It is a painful or at least uncomfortable burning sensation in the esophagus jut below the breastbone.  It became known as heartburn because the pain occurred in the chest area.

What causes heartburn during pregnancy?

Heartburn is caused by a combination of factors that are hormonal and mechanical.  First, your pregnancy related hormones cause the smooth intestinal muscles to relax which makes food travel through your system slower.  This can create a tendency for a backup.  Additionally, gastric reflux is ore prevalent in later pregnancy because the uterus is pushing the stomach upwards.

When does heartburn occur during pregnancy?

Heartburn can occur at anytime during pregnancy, but it is more common in the later half of pregnancy when the expanding uterus is pushing the stomach upwards causing a greater tendency for gastric reflux.

How frequently does heartburn occur during pregnancy?

About half of all women who are pregnant will experience heartburn to some degree.  It may be mild to more severe and vary for each person even between pregnancies.


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