The first time I experienced indigestion, I had finished a big meal from my favorite Chinese restaurant. I started to get stomach and chest pains and assumed I had over-indulged. Little did I know that indigestion is a common pregnancy symptom; one I didn't necessarily prepare for. So, how do you know if you have it, and what does it feel like? I asked some wonderful moms to describe what indigestion is really like, thinking it probably isn't exactly the same for every single pregnant and/or postpartum woman who experiences it. Turns out, I was right.
When I first felt the pain of indigestion, I wasn't pregnant at all, but the excruciating sensations continued all night and intensified right between my breastbone. I honestly felt like I was being impaled. Unfortunately, the pain continued on and off for the next five years; each attack beginning with mild discomfort in my chest and throat, only to progress to a burning sensation and intense pressure until finally culminating in severe pain and vomiting.
I started to think I would have to live with these symptoms forever, when suddenly my family doctor retired and I was seen by a new doctor. He was troubled by my attacks and ordered tests. An ultrasound showed I had numerous gallstones, so I was scheduled to have my gall bladder removed. Finally, after a few too many years, I had found some relief. A few years later, when I became pregnant, I recognized the familiar feelings associated with indigestion, although I was relieved to find that the intensity was far less than with my gallstones.
So if you're wondering if you are suffering from heartburn or indigestion, read on to see how the common pregnancy symptom affected the following moms:
"My throat would burn and then it would move down to my chest. It was just an uncomfortable hot feeling."
"I would always get like a hot flash over me and feel really flustered and then, usually, I would get a stomach ache."
"I would get stomach cramps and feel like I was going to throw up. Oh, and it started right after my morning sickness stopped. FML!"
"I would get a prickly feeling all across my chest, like pins and needles. I kept antacid companies in business during my pregnancy!"
"I found my throat and mouth would burn and get really hot. The only way I got relief was to stick my tongue out and pant like a dog. A really good look."
"I would burp a lot and feel like I was going to puke, but it never came."
"When I was pregnant I could get indigestion after drinking a glass of water. It literally had no relation at all to what I was eating, and I always felt bloated even if I was hungry."
"Back pain. Oh, the worst back pain. I would writhe around in bed with it and have my partner apply counter pressure. During delivery I had back labor and found it quite similar to a bad bout of indigestion."
"Like fire in my mouth and crushing pressure on my chest. Sometimes I found it hard to breathe. It really was the worst, but it did disappear right after I gave birth."
"I got severe chest pain and I actually found it really scary, I kept thinking I was having a heart attack and even went to the hospital once, but it was 'just' indigestion. What no one tells you is that even though its pretty common, it still really hurts!"