Tuesday, December 3, 2013
My New Best Friend
Heartburn (also called acid indigestion or acid reflux) is a burning sensation that often extends from the bottom of the breastbone to the lower throat. It's caused by some of the hormonal and physical changes in your body.
During pregnancy, the placenta produces the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the smooth muscles of the uterus. This hormone also relaxes the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach, allowing gastric acids to seep back up, which causes that unpleasant burning sensation.
Progesterone also slows down the wavelike contractions of your esophagus and intestines, making digestion sluggish. Later in pregnancy, a growing baby crowds your abdominal cavity, pushing the stomach acids back up into the esophagus.
Many women start experiencing heartburn and other gastrointestinal discomforts in the second half of pregnancy. Unfortunately, it usually comes and goes until baby is born."