With both my pregnancies I suffered from heartburn. I wasn’t alone as it is a really common problem in pregnancy and by the third trimester almost 75% of pregnant women suffer from heartburn. Although unpleasant, it is a problem that you can get relief from, Gaviscon was great when I suffered from heartburn as they have a couple of different products that are safe to use when pregnant so you should be able to find one that suits you.
So what is heartburn?
Heartburn, sometimes referred to as acid reflux, is a common condition that affects many people. It occurs when acid, which normally resides in the stomach escapes back up into the oesophagus. The oesophagus is not as well protected as the stomach and this acid can irritate the lining, causing painful symptoms that can last for a few minutes or a few hours. Heartburn can feel like a burning chest pain and tends to occur after eating. Some people also experience a bitter or acidic taste in the back of the throat and feeling of sickness.
Heartburn whilst pregnant is thought to be due to increased levels of progesterone which relaxes the smooth muscles of your uterus (womb). Experts believe this hormone also relaxes the valve that separates your gullet from your stomach which allows acid to creep back up your oesophagus, which causes the burning sensation.
As your baby grows he/she pushes your intestines and stomach upwards, this slows digestion and forces acids up from your stomach. Whilst it is not recommended to take over the counter medicines while pregnant fortunately Gaviscon is safe to use when pregnant - one of the key ingredients is alignate which works with the body by forming a protective barrier on top of the stomach contents. The physical barrier helps prevent the acid rising into the oesophagus (food pipe) meaning that Gaviscon does not need to be absorbed into the bloodstream to provide effective relief.
So if you suffer from heartburn why not give Gaviscon a try?