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Milk for heartburn is a time-honored household remedy that even grandmother knew. Almost every second expectant mother suffers from heartburn during her pregnancy.
Especially in the days and weeks before the birth, the burning pain in the stomach and throat area becomes noticeable. Although heartburn is harmless, you should still do something about it to protect yourself in the long term.
How Does Heartburn Develop?
Heartburn can occur when acidic stomach fluid rises into the esophagus. In the medical world, this is referred to as reflux. Thus heartburn is moreover known as “gastroesophageal reflux disease”.
When the sphincter muscle, which is located between the stomach and the esophagus, no longer functions properly – for whatever reason – gastric fluid leaks out. Stomach acid is produced by certain glandular cells within the stomach wall.
If it repeatedly spills over due to a malfunctioning valve and comes into contact with the lower part of the esophagus, it can attack and damage the mucous membranes there.
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What Helps With Heartburn?
During pregnancy, the hormone progesterone relaxes the smooth muscles around the uterus. In this way, Mother Nature wants to ensure that possible premature contractions in the uterine muscles are prevented.
However, the influence of progesterone contributes to a slackening of almost all smooth muscle structures. This is also the case in the area of the stomach and esophagus. The stomach empties more slowly in a pregnant woman, so that the reflux of gastric fluid is favored.
The more the enlarging uterus pushes upward during pregnancy, moving closer and closer to the stomach and intestines, the more likely it is that stomach acid will be pushed upward.
Milk Is The Best Known Remedy For Heartburn
The sphincter muscle, which is located between the esophagus and the entrance to the stomach, works like a kind of valve. This small muscle is used to prevent the gastric juice and food pulp from flowing back into the esophagus.
If the valve does not close properly, the stomach contents can easily rise up to the esophagus. The functionality of the sphincter muscle in the esophageal tract can decrease, especially if you are overweight or if you are pregnant or have multiple pregnancies.
Stomach acid helps to transform solid food into an easily digestible food pulp for the human organism. The gastric acid juice contains up to two percent hydrochloric acid. Thus, it stands to reason that the esophagus can become successively irritated and painful if it comes into contact with the aggressive liquid too frequently.
These Are The Typical Signs Of Heartburn
Do you also feel that burning sensation in the throat and stomach area after you have eaten? Does a feeling of fullness with belching spread? In pregnant women, these complaints often intensify when they are lying down, bending over, or engaged in strenuous activity.
The further the pregnancy progresses, the more severe the complaints usually become.
Of course, with your child’s well-being in mind, you should avoid exertion as much as possible during pregnancy. Pay attention to your body and try to incorporate a few “rest islands” into your daily routine.
The sensitive mucous membrane of the esophagus becomes more and more irritated by the escaping stomach acid. As a consequence, these symptoms can occur particularly frequently:
- Difficulty Swallowing.
- Pressure In The Upper Abdomen.
- Feeling Of Fullness.
- Burning In The Stomach Area As Well As In The Throat And Pharynx Area.
- Reflux Of Liquid Stomach Contents Into The Mouth.
- Sore Throat.
- Cough, Hoarseness.
- Nausea And Vomiting.
- Problems Falling Asleep And Staying Asleep.
Other Recommended Home Remedies For Heartburn
Not only milk helps against heartburn, but over the years quite a few other natural ways have been discovered that can prevent or at least minimize the reflux of gastric fluid.
- Comfortable and loose clothing can help: Belts or other accessories that constrict the tummy are taboo.
- If possible, do not lie down immediately after a heavy meal, but wait about an hour before resting.
- Make sure you move regularly and fill up on fresh air.
- A slightly elevated sleeping position in bed or on the couch will prevent acid from running up into the esophagus.
- Try not to eat any more food about two hours before going to bed.
- It is better to spread your meals throughout the day. Many small snacks are healthier than three big ones. Each bite should be chewed as well as possible.
- You should drink as little or nothing as possible while eating.
Did you know that there are foods that increase acidity and thus promote the symptoms? You are therefore well advised to avoid acidic or acid-producing foods or at least to reduce their consumption.
Carbonated drinks, but also coffee, black tea and vinegar stimulate acid production in the stomach. So the less you consume of these during pregnancy, the better.
These Are The Foods You Should Avoid
If you like sweets such as chocolate, wine gums and the like, you should change this habit. Because foods with so-called bad carbohydrates – and unfortunately, these include tasty snacks – promote the production of stomach acid.
Fatty or spicy foods, onions and legumes should also be included in your daily diet as little as possible during your pregnancy. This will prevent the annoying and painful heartburn and you can thus simply enjoy your pregnancy more.
Home Remedies For Heartburn That Everyone Has At Home
While there are foods that promote the formation of stomach acid, you can also eat certain foods that bind it. Green vegetables, for example, have an acid-binding effect and can thus prevent heartburn.
Rusk, white bread, but also oatmeal as well as almonds and hazelnuts are also highly recommended in this context. Just as milk helps against heartburn, you can also use condensed milk. Chewing gum can also reduce reflux. This is because chewing stimulates the production of saliva.
Human saliva is slightly alkaline. This means that it can neutralize tiny amounts of stomach acid. In addition, saliva dilutes the fluid in the stomach and thus reduces the “irritating influence” of the acid.
When Milk Does Not Help Against Heartburn Just Now
If no home remedy for heartburn helps, some doctors recommend special medications. They sometimes prescribe preparations that bind the stomach acid. This involves minerals, such as magnesium, aluminum or calcium.
Good To Know
There are also drugs that can inhibit the formation of gastric acid. There are also drugs that accelerate the emptying of the stomach. For pregnant women, both variants are only recommended to a very limited extent, as they may have a negative effect on the health of the unborn child.
Milk Against Heartburn – Just A Placebo Effect?
Many pregnant women turn to milk to combat heartburn. After all, milk is known to be a good-tasting home remedy for heartburn. However, a look behind the scenes reveals that milk is not actually a particularly recommendable home remedy for heartburn due to its specific nature.
What helps against heartburn? This is a question that expectant mothers in particular ask themselves when they once again suffer from the burning pain in the throat or behind the breastbone after eating.
Milk against heartburn is considered a very promising home remedy against heartburn. But renowned scientists have now found out that milk against heartburn actually does not help.
The ph value of milk is slightly acidic. Thus the “white gold” is not at all able to neutralize stomach acid. On the contrary, researchers at the medical faculty of a university in Texas found that milk can even promote the production of stomach acid.
Drinking milk for heartburn only makes sense because the pain caused by irritated mucous membranes is briefly relieved by the cooling milk. It also calms and relaxes the stomach overall.
Therefore You Should Use Home Remedies Against Heartburn
If you still suffer from heartburn after your pregnancy, caution is advised. Milk against heartburn as well as numerous other home remedies against heartburn are recommended. But if you have to use them permanently, you should have a health check-up with your family doctor.
This is because there is a real risk of developing esophageal cancer due to the constant heartburn and irritation of the stomach and esophageal mucosa. Esophageal cancer is comparatively common among those who have frequent heartburn.
If acid from the bile or the stomach repeatedly enters the esophagus, the mucous membranes can be permanently damaged. In response to this “constant irritation,” the esophagus produces fewer sensitive cells.
In the long term, this change in cell composition can shorten the esophagus. In this regard, experts speak of beret esophagus – a precursor of esophageal cancer.
Milk against heartburn is definitely helpful due to its cooling effect. In addition, numerous other promising home remedies for heartburn have been established. Just like abstaining from certain foods, taking medication can help fight the burning sensation in the esophagus or throat.
However, if the heartburn does not subside or even intensifies, even after your child has long since seen the light of day, you should consult a doctor you trust. Because “permanent heartburn” is not quite so harmless. You should therefore watch your body to protect your health.