Heartburn during pregnancy: Ways to deal with it

Heartburn during pregnancy

Nearly half of all pregnant women at some point experience heartburn in pregnancy. Thank you again, hormones! The relaxation of your gut makes it harder to digest spicy and complex foods resulting in heartburn.

Causes of heartburn during pregnancy

Heartburn or acid reflux is a burning feeling that often extends from the bottom of your breastbone down to the lower throat. It is caused by some of the hormonal as well as physical changes in the body.

When you are pregnant, the placenta produces the progesterone hormone, which relaxes the muscles of your uterus. This progesterone also relaxes the valve that lies between the esophagus and the stomach, allowing gastric juices to go back up, which in turn causes an unpleasant burning sensation.

Progesterone is also responsible for slowing down the wavelike contractions of the esophagus and intestines thus making digestion sluggish. Later on during pregnancy, the growing size of your baby cramps up your abdominal cavity, pushing the stomach acids back up into the esophagus, which manifests itself as heartburn.

Heartburn remedy

There are several ways to control and treat heartburn relief during pregnancy. And with so many options — and so much time – you'll probably try them all:

  1. Watch your weight. Keep your pregnancy weight gain gradual and moderate to minimize the amount of pressure on your digestive tract
  2. Avoid heartburn-trigger foods . Avoid highly seasoned spicy food, caffeine, greasy foods of all kinds, and too much citrus.
  3. Drink before and after meals. And try not to drink while you're eating.
  4. Break it up. Eating frequently is the solution to practically all the pregnancy symptoms you are having, from heartburn to bloating to lagging energy level.
  5. Use pillows. Try sleeping with your head elevated about six inches. This keeps the gastric juices down there.
  6. Think loose. Wear clothes that breathe and are comfortable.
  7. Catch the early bird special. Whether you're eating at home or out, take your last big meal at least two hours before bedtime.
  8. Sit up and take notice. Make sure to sit upright while eating.
  9. Chew it over. Do your body a favor and eat slowly. The more you chew, the less work your stomach has to do.