Pregnancy is a beautiful and at the same time a difficult period in a woman’s life, because it is accompanied by various ailments: nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, back pain, varicose veins, etc. Some of these ailments may bother a future mother just for a short period of time. At the same time, , such a symptom as acid reflux pregnancy can disturb her throughout the whole gestational period. Thus, many women are wondering why belching arises and whether it is a norm or a symptom of some internal disease.
Is Acid Reflux Pregnancy a Norm?
Physiological restructuring during pregnancy affects the functioning of all internal organs, including the gastrointestinal tract. The uterus, which increases with the growth of the fetus, requires more space in the abdominal cavity, so it begins to exert pressure on nearby organs. Thus, the emergence of acid reflux, heartburn and other digestive problems is quite normal during pregnancy.
Belching is the removal of air from the cavity of the stomach through the esophagus. It usually occurs as a result of overeating. Sometimes it has an acid reaction, which is due to the ingestion of gastric juice into the lower part of the esophagus. As a result, gastric secret irritates this zone, provoking regurgitation.
In What Cases Is Reflux a Symptom of the Disease?
Despite the fact that the reflux is completely harmless, in some cases it becomes a symptom of serious pathologies. But you do not need to invent yourself terrible diseases yourself. Only a doctor can make the diagnosis. You can pay attention only to the peculiarities of belching during pregnancy.
Repeated acid reflux speaks about the changes that have arisen in the composition of gastric juice. A similar symptom occurs against a background of gastritis. This disease often aggravates in pregnant women. The culprit of gastritis is Helicobacter pylori, which becomes active when the immune system deteriorates, which often occurs in future mothers.
A belching in the early stages of pregnancy can provoke a reflux syndrome. Its cause is the inflammatory processes in the esophagus. Reflux is dangerous because of growth and ulceration of existing inflammation. Therefore, this pathology requires compulsory treatment.
If a pregnant woman is worried by frequent belching, she should pay attention to the quality of the air leaving the esophagus.
For example, the sensation in the mouth of the taste and smell of rotten eggs will be an alarming symptom. Most likely, food in the stomach lingers longer than expected, undergoing fermentation processes. In this case, we can talk about the pathology of the functioning and structure of the digestive system, as well as the intestinal obstruction.
As a rule, regurgitation of air in a person occurs unexpectedly and independently of his will.
Reflux during pregnancy can occur due to the following reasons:
- Hormonal changes in the body in the first trimester. An increased level of progesterone affects the tone of the musculature of the digestive tract. Thus, the process of food movement slows down. It stays longer in the stomach, against which a gas formation reaction occurs. As a result, it leads to the removal of gases from the stomach through the esophagus.
- In late pregnancy, reflux occurs when the stomach is deformed due to the pressure of the enlarged uterus. This is also a variant of the norm.
- Overeating or, conversely, inadequate intake of food, eating dry food – all these factors lead to nausea and belching during pregnancy. Thus, a future mother should always follow a balanced diet.
- Increased physical activity increases gas formation in the digestive tract, so bending and lifting heavy weights cause discomfort. Any stress, especially during pregnancy, should be in moderation.
Sometimes women are wondering – can belching be one of the first signs of pregnancy? This, indeed, occurs. At the same time, unexpectedly changed reaction to the usual food may be a sign of pregnancy. Even your favorite sweets and fruits may suddenly start causing belching.
All these factors are physiological. But most of the belching worries a woman in the last trimester. By 38 weeks it reaches its maximum. Fortunately, after the birth of the baby, its unpleasant manifestations decrease noticeably.
As for acid reflux pregnancy, it occurs after eating abundant amounts of fatty, spicy or fried foods. If an acid reflux has appeared, it can last for several hours or arise periodically during the day. But it may appear for a few minutes as well.
Factors provoking acid reflux pregnancy:
- A wrong diet of pregnant women, sweet dishes, sour berries, fatty, spicy food, marinades, fried food, etc.;
- Long staying in a horizontal position, turning from side to side;
- Bending the body forward when wearing pantyhose or shoes.
These factors affect the state of health of a pregnant woman, worsening it and causing discomfort. Therefore, it is necessary to take care of acid reflux pregnancy.
Acid reflux in a future mother is not always the only symptom. If its cause is pathology, air release is accompanied by other signs of discomfort associated with dysfunctional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.
A woman can complain of the appearance of such symptoms as:
- pain in the stomach.
Belching can also be accompanied by the following phenomena:
- the release of gases from the esophagus with characteristic sounds and odor;
- contraction of the diaphragm;
- an unpleasant aftertaste in the mouth.
You must pay attention to the symptoms accompanying belching. These symptoms can tell the doctor about the pathology.
What if belching brings a discomfort during pregnancy? First of all, visit a gastroenterologist and get directions for the necessary examinations.
Most often fibrogastroscopy is appointed. This is a time-tested method of examination of the digestive organs – the esophagus, stomach and intestines for the detection of possible diseases. Fibrogastroscopy allows revealing gastritis, gastroduodenitis, polyps, gastric ulcer of stomach and duodenum.
The procedure lasts no more than 15 minutes. During this time, a flexible hose with illumination at the end is inserted into the esophagus through the oral cavity into the esophagus. It almost doesn’t cause pain, since the oropharynx is treated with an anesthetic. After inspecting the organs, the hose is removed.
If there are suspicions of pathology, during the procedure tissue samples for biopsy can be taken. The accuracy of fibrogastroscopy is quite high, so the method is used universally.
What Doctor Should a Pregnant Woman Consult?
Constant belching during pregnancy is an occasion to appeal to the gastroenterologist. The specialist will explain to the future mother what could cause this symptom and tell how to get rid of it.
Drug therapy is not always needed. But if there is a need, then the treatment is carried out with safe for the fetus preparations. Most often, future moms are diagnosed with gastritis. Thanks to effective medications, the acidity of the gastric juice decreases, pain, eructation and nausea disappear during pregnancy.
How to Get Rid of Acid Reflux Pregnancy?
As mentioned above, treatment for future mothers is not always required. In most cases, correction of the diet and the number of meals is helpful enough. It is necessary to exclude foods that enhance fermentation in the stomach. These include legumes, grapes, fresh pastries, cabbage. Partly limit the use of black bread, potatoes and oatmeal as the starchiest food.
But not only food products are able to provoke acid reflux pregnancy. You also need to refrain from carbonated drinks and dry food. And of course, bad habits. Nicotine and alcohol are not only dangerous for the developing fetus, but also provoke problems in the digestive tract, contributing to the development of acid reflux, heartburn and nausea.
Ideally, the expectant mother should eat fractional – up to five times a day in small portions. For half an hour before a meal it is advisable to drink a glass of water in small sips. This will prevent the woman from overeating.
Food should be chewed slowly. Try not to talk at this moment. Exclude any snacks 2-3 hours before sleep. A glass of yogurt for the night will help to get rid of hunger.
Include sour-milk products, fruits and vegetables in the diet. Compliance with dietary recommendations allows you to adjust digestion and avoid such an unpleasant symptom as acid reflux pregnancy.