Indigestion which is ‘unusual abdominal conditions’ may occur to anybody at any stage of life. Similarly indigestion may occur during pregnancy which is a normal thing but should be taken care of with proper remedies. 98 percent of pregnant women out of 100 witness indigestion during their pregnancy.
The chances of indigestion occurs more as the pregnancy period progresses further. Pregnant women suffer from indigestion due to change in hormone levels in their body and increase in their abdomen size. Indigestion problems may come and go during the pregnancy period. But continuity of it is not good for health and must be consulted by a doctor at the earliest.
Causes of Indigestion during pregnancy:
- Eating a lot of fatty, oily and spicy foods
- Large intake of coffee, tea, and other drinks containing excess amount of caffeine
- Eating a very large quantity of meal at one time
- Sleeping immediately after having a heavy diet
- Smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy
Symptoms of Indigestion during pregnancy
- Heart burn: It is the burning sensation in the heart and throat. However, this does not mean that there is some problem in the heart as the actual problem lies with the stomach. Due to irregular digestion problems in the stomach this burning sensation occurs.
- Nausea and vomiting: A feeling of vomiting is known as nausea. Ejection of unwanted food materials or undigested food is known as vomiting. Initially a pregnant lady undergoes nausea which then sometimes results in vomiting.
- Stress and anxiety: Stress and anxious nature might sometimes result in indigestion problems in the body.
- Constipation: The scientific term for constipation means irregular excretion process of bowels. It starts at the initial stage of pregnancy and sometimes lasts till the end of all the 10 months. During pregnancy many of them are been advised to consume iron rich diet but excess of it results in constipation. In such circumstances women should immediately talk to their doctors to know the exact quantity and type of food they should have.
- Bloating: Consumption of a heavy diet results in a heavy stomach. You feel that your stomach is heavy and full.
- Belching and burping: Belching is exhaling gas from our belly through our mouth. When this gas is released a particular sound is made, this sound is called as a ‘burp’ sound.
- Regurgitation: (a feeling that food is coming back up to the mouth from the stomach): It is a state where the hormones responsible for digestion relax and do not help in digestion of food within the proper time, which results in release of enzymatic acids from the stomach back to the throat.
Visiting your gynecologist if all these problems exist for a long time, or if you feel uncomfortable, is the best way to cure indigestion problems during pregnancy stages.
It would be preferred to seek advice from a doctor and then take any kind of pills or medicines to get rid of indigestion as it is not only the mother but also the child who might get affected.
We all know that ‘Prevention is better than cure’.
Below mentioned are some useful tips on how to stop indigestion during pregnancy:
- Avoid certain foodstuffs (eatables and drinks) that are too oily and spicy and the ones that contain caffeine. Do consult a gynecologist to know the appropriate foods you need to have during the pregnancy period.
- Taking small quantities of meals at regular intervals say after every 3 or 4 hours is appropriate rather than having a heavy meal at one go, and then suffering from stomach upset.
- Intake of ginger candy after meals will help in proper digestion of food.
- Do not sleep immediately after having a meal. You should sit straight so that the body digests the food properly. Have food at least 3 hours before going to sleep.
- Proper intake of tums (fruit antacid tablets) helps in reducing indigestion problems. Tums contain calcium carbonate which reduces the acidity level in the stomach. Excess intake of tums is harmful so it is advisable to consult a gynecologist and then consume it.
- Smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy period should be strictly prohibited.
- Maintain your pregnancy weight normal so that there is no pressure on the digestive tract and on the abdomen.
- Do not swallow your food in a hurry. Eat and chew them nicely so that there is proper digestion of enzymes in your body.
- Wear loose clothes so that your belly fits easily and there is no pressure of tight clothes on your belly.
- Try to avoid the consumption of water during your meals. Preferably drink adequate amount of water after meals.
- Go for a walk after having a heavy meal. Walking increases your enzymatic reaction in the body thus increasing the digestion level. At the same time it would be appropriate if you go for a walk 20-30 minutes after having lunch.
- Drink a glass of milk every day (preferably cow’s milk). This helps in reducing heart burn.
- Sleep in a correct posture. Use a pillow for balancing your head
Thus, indigestion during pregnancy is a normal thing and one should not worry about it. Proper precautions at the exact time will help pregnant women fight against it and give birth to a sweet and healthy baby.