An upset stomach or commonly known as Gastrointestinal (GI) issues are common to pregnancy due to hormonal imbalances and due to different factors. You must be able to determine if your stomach ache is just a normal thing or something to worry about. Different types of an upset stomach may be attended to over-the-counter medicine or some home remedies. In this article, we’ll learn about how an upset stomach affects pregnancy and how to effectively get rid of it.
Why do you feel an upset stomach during pregnancy?
Experiencing pain and great irritability is felt when there is an upset stomach during pregnancy The most common reason why an upset stomach is experienced is indigestion. During the first trimester, the upset stomach is just due to hormonal imbalances and due to food and drinks that are not digested properly while in the second or third trimester, having an upset stomach is because of the weight of the baby pushing up against the stomach aside from the food and water not being digested easily.
Having an upset stomach during pregnancy will last for a few hours but if you notice that the pain that you are experiencing is not subsiding, you need to see your doctor because the feelings of an upset stomach would mean something serious.
Manifestations of an upset stomach
1. Nausea and vomiting
During pregnancy, when you experience vomiting and nausea, it is usually associated with morning sickness that is brought by an upset stomach. You can say that vomiting and nausea during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy is just normal but after the first trimester and you would still experience frequent vomiting and nausea, it could possibly mean that it is no longer related to upset stomach of pregnancy but it could mean something serious such as ulcer, pancreatitis or hepatitis that is why you need to consult your doctor.
Heartburn during pregnancy is brought by hormonal imbalances where the muscles between the stomach and the esophagus relaxes and at the same time, there is increased pressure on the stomach that may lead to an upset stomach because of the growing uterus. This is mostly experienced during the third trimester. You can avoid having heartburn if you will only eat in smaller amounts frequently.
This is considered as the worst manifestation of an upset stomach because it may last a few days. When you have diarrhea, it means that there is a triggering factor that is caused by an infection which is gastroenteritis or when you have eaten something that triggered the upset stomach. If there is no triggering factor, but you experience diarrhea with low back pain, it might be a sign that your labor is near.
Due to pregnancy hormones, the gastrointestinal tract has a slow down in activity that is why the transportation of the stool through the bowels is also slowed down. The slow-motion process makes it difficult for the stool to pass. Drinking more water and consuming foods rich in fiber is a great way to prevent constipation.
Nutrients that can alleviate upset stomach of pregnant women
1. Vitamin D3
You can only see this vitamin in a few food sources such as canned tuna, salmon, orange juice and milk. This vitamin ensures that all your organs are well synchronized to avoid autoimmune diseases that may cause severe complications. Aside from having an upset stomach, it also helps in decreasing respiratory illnesses.
This is one of the essential acids needed by the body during pregnancy. You may need to consume at least 250-300 mg of DHA daily. The fish is the primary source of DHA but most pregnant women avoid eating fish so as to avoid mercury contamination or food poisoning.
This nutrient is seen on beef, chicken, eggs, potatoes, soybeans, and mushrooms. This is an important nutrient that will not only help you have stronger immunity against different bacterial and fungal infections but it is also a needed nutrient for the development of the brain of the fetus. If you are to use choline supplements, you may need to consume at least 100-300mg of this nutrient.
Not only that it is vital for thyroid functioning but this nutrient is also an important factor that supports the psychological and neurological development of the baby. It also ensures that all the vital signs of the baby inside the womb is just fine so as to avoid any pregnancy issues.
This ensures that the mother’s immunity to fight different kinds of pregnancy illnesses is strengthened. Your iron intake should be increased as you move to a higher trimester. Iron is an important factor that will help the body produce more plasma and red cell mass.
Home remedies to ease your upset stomach
- Drink water. If you are well hydrated, it is easier for the body to absorb nutrients from the food and water intake. If you are experiencing frequent digestive issues during pregnancy, it is important to always choose foods that are easy to digest to avoid having an upset stomach.
- Avoid lying down. After eating, it is not advisable to lie down because the acid in the stomach has the possibility to travel upward that may cause heartburn. You need to wait at least 1-2 hours for the food intake to be digested before you can lie down.
- Drink ginger tea. Ginger contains chemicals that speed up digestion so that the food intake that causes an upset stomach will be digested easily. Ginger also reduces vomiting and nausea that is usually experienced by pregnant women.
- Use hot compresses or take a warm bath. The heat has the ability to ease indigestion and it relaxes the muscles. It is also advisable to drink warm water so that it could also rehydrate the body for a faster metabolism.
- Eat BRAT food. BRAT means banana, rice, applesauce, and toast. This diet is commonly given to patients who are suffering from diarrhea. These foods have the ability to bind all the matters in the stomach together that makes the stools firmer.