Heartburn During Pregnancy
When you're pregnant there are many surprises along the road to motherhood - like heartburn. In fact 40-80% of all pregnant women will suffer from it.
What causes pregnancy heartburn?
When you're pregnant your body has changes in its hormone levels. Some may act as a muscle relaxant that helps to prepare your body for childbirth. The downside? The increase of some hormones may also relax the lower esophageal sphincter [LES]. That's the valve responsible for keeping stomach acid from moving up into the esophagus, where it doesn't belong. If the acid moves into that area it can irritate the esophagus causing heartburn.
As your pregnancy progresses your baby is going to grow. As it does, its size can put pressure on your stomach. Sometimes this can push the acid in your stomach past the LES and back into the esophagus, causing heartburn.
Does heartburn stop after the baby arrives?
The good news is that heartburn will likely stop for most women after giving birth. However, if you have heartburn while pregnant, you may be at an increased risk of having heartburn later in life.