Heartburn in pregnancy caused by high hormones, can’t make babies have lots of hair –Gynaecologist


Lara Adejoro

The Lead Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Edo State, Dr. Joseph Okoeguale, says having heartburn in pregnancy does not mean that babies will have full heads of hair. 

Dr. Okoeguale said there is no link between the amount of pregnancy heartburn women experience and the amount of hair the baby will have.

According to the physician, women who have high levels of hormones are more likely to have heartburn episodes during pregnancy. 

Heartburn is a burning pain in the chest, just behind the breastbone. The pain is often worse after eating, in the evening, or when lying down or bending over.

The gynaecologist said “During pregnancy, heartburn occurs mainly due to the effect of progesterone, which reduces the reliability of the esophageal sphincter causing reflux of acid into the duodenum 

“Other risk factors for heartburn in pregnancy include overweight or obesity, women who smoke, eating too soon before bed; eating large meals; lying immediately after meals, or those who have previous gastric ulcers.

“So heartburn is very common in pregnancy, it can be a hormonal effect in early pregnancy and an effect of gastric acid.”

Explaining further, he said as the pregnancy grows, it can put pressure on the stomach and the chances of having reflux on gastric content are also high.

“As the pregnancy advances so the heartburn tends to be higher, so the frequency of having heartburn is high as the pregnancy advances.

“A pregnant woman is more likely to have heartburn than a non-pregnant woman when you compare them because of the effect of progesterone relaxing a segment of the gastrointestinal tract

“Even a growing pregnancy can put some level of pressure on the stomach and causes that reflux to happen, so that’s the science that explains it

Heartburn tends to be commoner in people who have a history of heartburn than those who have not had it before,” Okoeguale said.

According to an online portal, Healthline, heartburn can affect people differently. In general, heartburn symptoms begin shortly after eating and can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours, or even longer.

“How long you experience symptoms depends on the underlying cause. It also depends on what you do at the first sign of symptoms. For example, sometimes heartburn symptoms last until your body digests the triggering food. Other times, it goes away if you stand up instead of lying down after eating,” it said.

It added that if one experiences heartburn more than twice per week or has heartburn that does not improve with treatment, it could be a sign of a more serious condition.


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