Indigestion and Heartburn:
These problems occur because the stomach empties more slowly during pregnancy and the enlarging uterus crowds the digestive organs, especially the stomach. Food may back up into the lower part of the esophagus, causing a burning sensation.
- Limit the fat content in your diet to prevent further slowing of digestion.
- Eat frequent smaller meals, 4-6 smaller meals rather than the usual three.
- Avoid lying down immediately after eating.
- At bedtime, use and extra pillow to elevate your upper body.
- When the above suggestions are not adequate, try an antacid much as Mylanta, Maalox, Pepcid AC, Zantac, Prilosec.
- Some find it helpful to chew Doublemint gum 30 minutes after a meal and/or while experiencing heartburn.
- You may use Kaopectate or Imodium AD as directed.
- A BRAT diet of bananas, rice applesauce and tea is sometimes helpful.
- Slipping clear liquids (water, 7-Up, Gatorade, and broth) may be helpful.
- Avoid milk products, high fat foods, fresh fruits and vegetables
Constipation with pregnancy is very common. As the pregnancy progresses, the enlarging uterus puts pressure on the lower intestine, making bowel movements difficult. Your prenatal vitamin and iron supplement may contribute to the problem, but it is important that you continue to take them.
- Drink at least 6-8 ounces of water each day.
- Include in your diet bulk-producing foods, such as whole grain cereals, bran, whole wheat breads, fresh vegetables and fruit, fruit juices and prunes.
- If your stools are hard, you may add a softener, such as Fibercon, Colace, Citrucel, Metamucil, Miralax, Benefiber Fiber Supplement. These can be taken daily and are not habit forming.
- If you continue to have problems, you can occasionally use Milk of Magnesia at bedtime. Regular use of Milk of Magnesia or any stimulant laxative may result in laxative dependency.
- A glycerin suppository may be used rectally.
Excessive gas/gas pain:
- Try to avoid gas-forming foods, such as beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.
- Avoid carbonated beverages
- You may take Phazyme or Mylicon Chewable Tablets as needed.
Dilated veins at the rectum are caused or aggravated by the increased pressure in the abdomen during pregnancy, increased weight and/or constipation.