A woman’s pregnancy is one of the most wonderful and special phases of her life. For mothers, nurturing another life inside is one of the greatest joys in their lives. During pregnancy, one feels happy and excited, their skin glows, and they are surrounded by extra love from those in their life.
The joy that comes with having a child is obvious, but there are also some not-so-pleasant experiences your body may go through when you are pregnant. Do you know what is one of the worst things your body experiences during pregnancy? Heartburn along with acid reflux. When you suddenly transition from perfectly healthy eating and digestion process to one that is riddled with heartburn, it can really be hard, especially if you never had the issue before! But the good news is, you do not have to live with this problem forever!
What Is Heartburn?
Pregnant women often complain of heartburn. Heartburn, even though it has nothing to do with the heart, is characterized by a burning sensation in the middle of the chest. It occurs because the lower esophageal valve that normally prevents stomach acids from splashing up the esophagus relaxes due to progesterone, a hormone that relaxes muscles during pregnancy.
The change in the food can trigger really bad heartburn symptoms, or even GERD, which is a kind of chronic digestive disorder affecting the lower esophageal sphincter, (which connects the esophagus to the stomach by way of a muscular ring of tissue). As the uterus grows, it puts pressure on the intestines and the stomach, which is why heartburn and indigestion are more common in the third trimester. Excessive pressure on the stomach can cause contents to go back up into the esophagus.
It is crucial that you adjust your eating habits to compensate for your smaller stomach, which is more restricted and the weaker valve on top of your stomach during pregnancy, in order to alleviate any heartburn. You need to watch what you eat, get rid of any bad habits, and even examine your wardrobe.
In most cases, pregnancy reflux will go away after you have given birth, but until then, here are 10 tips on how to reduce heartburn during pregnancy. Several of these tips involve medication and lifestyle changes.
Reduce Your Meal Size
Reduce the amount of food you eat at each meal to avoid overloading your stomach. It may work better for your digestion to switch to five or six smaller meals rather than three main meals.
Be Careful Not to Drink Too Much During Meals
Having fluids with your meals takes up stomach space and dilutes your stomach acids, making them ineffective. Therefore, drink less fluids with your meals.
Do Not Forget to Drink Water
Throughout the day, drink plenty of water and leave half an hour between meals to aid digestion.
Avoid Acid-Causing Foods
Foods that are spicy, fatty, heavy, creamy, and sugary tend to cause heartburn. Naturally, fatty, rich, and sugary foods will be among the most harmful. Often, onions (especially raw) and tomatoes (sauces) are a cause of heartburn, as are citrus fruit juices (and sometimes even the fruit itself) like lemon, grapefruit and orange as well as very sour fruits (like cranberries).
Symptoms can also be aggravated by alcohol, sugary drinks, and caffeine, and you may also find that decaffeinated tea and coffee do not improve symptoms very much. You should be aware of your own sensitivities by taking note of how foods affect you and avoiding or cutting back on the foods that cause you problems.
Aim for Better Pre-digestion
In order to lessen heartburn, you need to digest your food better, and good digestion begins before you even swallow it. In response to the sense of smell and taste, your body starts producing the right amount of stomach acids. Hence, eat simpler meals, cut your food into smaller pieces, chew more slowly, and cut up your food into smaller pieces, so you need less stomach acid to digest your meals.
Do Not Eat Late at Night
While lying down, stomach juices can easily flow up to the throat, so it is important to allow plenty of time for digestion before you go to bed. In order to keep your energy up at a late hour, opt for something that is easy to digest if you must have a late-night snack.
Consume Yogurt and Capsules Containing Probiotics
As probiotics improve the balance of bacteria in the digestive tract, they can reduce heartburn by improving digestion and reducing pressure. Try non-dairy sources of probiotics, such as capsules or powders, if you find dairy products trigger your heartburn.
Avoid Wearing Tight Clothing
You should avoid wearing tight clothing when you have acid indigestion since it puts pressure on your stomach and digestive tract. Wear maternity clothes that are stretchy and have plenty of space. Choosing the right bra size for you can also make a huge difference (your chest will grow and expand during pregnancy).
Stay Away From Smoking
Even though it is generally not recommended to smoke when pregnant, if you still manage to sneak a cigarette, remember that smoking aggravates heartburn.
Keep Your Pregnancy Weight Under Control
During pregnancy, you should gain weight, but you should be careful to make sure that this is due to your pregnancy rather than to your diet and overeating. Weight affects your digestion in a negative way because it puts more pressure on it. However, you might want to give one thing a try in order to improve your digestion.
Take a sugar-free piece of gum after you eat a meal. This stimulates saliva production and helps to neutralize PH levels in your mouth and throat. This may also reduce the risk of tooth decay (which usually accelerates during pregnancy).
In reality, heartburn during pregnancy is just another part of the process. Luckily, though, heartburn and acid reflux do not last long and need no additional attention. After you give birth, if your symptoms still persist, you would be wise to see a reflux specialist as it is likely you have developed GERD.
Are you looking for more such tips and tricks? Check back soon!
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MEDICAL AND GENERAL DISCLAIMER
The above content is intended for informational purposes only. Any information shared above should NOT be considered a substitute for medical advice from a healthcare professional. If you are experiencing any form of health problem, always consult a doctor before attempting any treatment on your own.