Pregnant, lots of saliva

Lots of saliva during pregnancy. Saliva or spit is the fluid that the salivary glands produce. It has a useful function, but sometimes we produce just a little too much saliva. This is mainly seen during pregnancy. Under the influence of hormones, the salivary glands go crazy and sometimes produce four times as much saliva as normal. The woman notices this: drooling, having to swallow a lot and a wet pillow or mattress. What can you do about this?

Pregnancy symptoms

A pregnancy is characterized by a number of symptoms or characteristics. For example, the absence of menstruation is an important factor, but also more frequent urination, more white discharge, sensitive bowel movements, rumbling intestines, ligament pain and light blood loss. What some have never heard of is having more saliva as a symptom of pregnancy. Some call it a pregnancy ailment, but it just depends on whether you also experience this as annoying (as an ailment).

Salivary glands work harder

Early in pregnancy, the salivary glands start working harder. They respond to pregnancy hormones produced by the placenta. The salivary glands are located in and around the oral cavity. There are six major and several minor salivary glands. They lead to the oral cavity via a tube. Salivary glands produce saliva. Saliva consists of water, proteins, antibodies and enzymes. We know these enzymes in particular all too well: they keep the oral cavity healthy. In addition, the saliva already breaks down starch in the food.
Because the salivary glands sometimes work harder during pregnancy, more saliva is produced. Normally the amount is 500 to 600 ml per day. In pregnant women this can amount to up to 2 liters per day.

Swallowing a lot

Sometimes saliva production is so high that the woman has to swallow extra. This is annoying, but not serious. Saliva can simply be swallowed. In some cases, however, the saliva turns into a viscous mucus. Certain foods such as dairy products or meat in particular have an influence on this. It is often unpleasant to have to swallow this mucus. You can also spit it out. Make sure you have a tissue at hand: the saliva can form threads and this can sometimes be difficult to remove. It is also useful to always have some tissues at hand: you can unnoticed spit out some mucus and wipe it away without anyone seeing it. Women who produce up to 2 liters of saliva should have a cup or container at hand to spit out the saliva at home. Sometimes the saliva has a nasty aftertaste. Swallowing is then not pleasant.

Sleeping and salivation

Excessive saliva production or salivation is sometimes very difficult while sleeping. Some women wake up in the middle of the night drooling. The pillow can be quite wet, but so can the mattress. A bag shop nearby is recommended. In case of severe salivation, it is better to protect the pillow or mattress with an extra cloth. The hydrophilic diapers that are normally used for babies absorb sufficient moisture. Lying on your back can be difficult with so much saliva loss. Lying on your side makes it easier for saliva to escape.

When will it end?

It is not fun to have these complaints, especially when they also occur frequently during the day. No one wants to be seen with saliva in the corners of their mouth or strings of saliva dangling from a lip. In most cases it will not be that serious, but having to swallow extra is just annoying. Acidic foods and drinks as well as spicy dishes can increase saliva production even more. It is better to avoid these. Around the 5th month of pregnancy, most women will no longer suffer from excessive saliva production. Some women benefit from ginger tea, but this does not work equally well for every woman. Unfortunately, there are no medications or other things that can reduce the symptoms.
In addition, not every gynecologist or obstetrician is familiar with excessive saliva production during pregnancy. This is because it is not very common, especially when up to 2 liters of saliva are produced per day. This is more than four times the normal amount. Double saliva production, up to 1 liter per day, is more common but is not experienced as a nuisance by every woman. For what it’s worth: the complaints disappear around 5 months of pregnancy, sometimes only a little later. But after giving birth, everyone can swallow normally again without having to drool.

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  • Pregnancy symptoms
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