Q&A: What causes vomiting and heartburn during pregnancy?
Hi, I'm 27 years old and 16 weeks pregnant with my first child. Since the eighth week I have had a lot of thick saliva and mucous in my mouth. It's really uncomfortable and is getting worse as my pregnancy progresses. It causes me to vomit especially at night when I have heartburn. Can you tell me what causes it and what I can do to get rid of it?

Tina Otte answers:

I can understand your frustration and discomfort with this very annoying niggle that some pregnant
women experience. Excessive salivation is called ptyalism or sialorrhea. Why it happens in pregnancy is not entirely clear. Experts believe that hormonal changes may be the culprit. Also, nausea may make some women swallow less, causing a build up of saliva in the mouth. Increased salivation can also be related to heartburn. When the acidic contents of your stomach come back up into the oesophagus it becomes irritated. The acid sensors in this area then trigger your salivary glands to produce saliva that has an increased concentration of bicarbonate which is alkaline. If you can, swallow any excess saliva you create. However, if swallowing it makes you feel nauseas, you may nd that you need to spit it into a tissue, washcloth, or cup. If this is the case, be sure to drink plenty of water so you don’t get dehydrated.

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