Indigestion during pregnancy – the why and how

So, the thought of eating that samosa has got you worried because of the how your stomach might feel after? Well, this is a common problem most expectant mothers normally have – INDIGESTION!

Poor you! Your body has so many things to worry about from morning sickness, heartburn, fatigue, and indigestion. Let’s take a closer look at indigestion now.

Indigestion is not a condition in itself but is a sign of an underlying problem in the digestive process. Normally when you eat, food moves down through the esophagus (situated in between your mouth and stomach). This has a valve at its lower end. So, each time you eat and swallow, this valve relaxes to allow food (and liquid) to pass through. In indigestion, the valve is relaxed when you’re not eating, causing the stomach acids to go up into the esophagus. This causes a burning sensation and irritation of the throat, which is nothing but indigestion.

Why do you see indigestion during pregnancy?

You can blame progesterone and your growing bump for that! Medications that you take (you have no choice) during your pregnancy may also contribute partially to your indigestion.

Progesterone causes a relaxation of the muscles in the body, causing havoc all over and your digestive tract is also not spared. Owing to which, your digestion slows down leading to:

  • Indigestion
  • Acid reflux
  • Heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Fullness in your stomach even after eating less

Your growing bump (especially in the later stages of your pregnancy) puts pressure on your stomach, which leads to indigestion.

It may seem nice to blame it all on your body and your hormones. But, YOU are equally to blame, especially in cases when you:

  • Binge on chocolates
  • Have coffee/caffeinated drinks
  • Lie down immediately after eating
  • Have a heavy meal (pregnancy is no excuse for it!)
  • Eating fast
  • Eating unhealthy food – fatty and oily in particular
  • Have too much onion and garlic in your food

Whatever may be the cause, indigestion is unavoidable. All you can best do is know the symptoms and remedies of it. Also, it would be best to listen to your mother and avoiding eating anything spicy in these 9 months.






Dr. Aishwarya Rajeev has completed her MDS degree and is currently pursuing her PhD. She is an avid reader and loves to teach and write!

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