5 Ways to Reduce Heartburn During Pregnancy
Experiencing heartburn during pregnancy is quite common. It is also very uncomfortable. Although it obviously has nothing to do with the heart, heartburn involves a burning sensation in the center of the chest.
You can seek advice from a qualified prenatal Dietitian who will guide you on which foods are recommended and which foods should be avoided.
What Can Cause Heartburn during Pregnancy?
Heartburn occurs when the valve that is located between the stomach and the esophagus is unable to prevent stomach acid from passing back into the esophagus.
When pregnant, the hormone progesterone causes the valve to relax. This increase the frequency of heartburn. It also allows stomach acid to pass into the esophagus and irritate the lining.
When is heartburn more common in pregnancy?
Heartburn is more common during the third trimester. This is due to the growing uterus putting pressure on the intestines and the stomach. The pressure on the stomach may also push contents back up into the esophagus.
How To Relieve Heartburn when Pregnant
1. Eliminate Trigger Foods
When you know what triggers the onset of heartburn you can set about eliminating these foods from your diet. Known foods that trigger heartburn include:
- fried foods
- spicy foods
- citrus fruits
2. Take a prescribed antacid
Ask your doctor for a recommended antacid. If approved, you may be able to take an over-the-counter antacid. Your doctor will advise you to adhere to the recommended dosage as too much calcium can block iron absorption which is not what you want.
There are also some antacids that you should avoid when pregnant so always follow your doctor’s advice in selecting the best antacid for you.
3. Split your meals up
If you overeat during pregnancy you may be contributing to increased heartburn a there’s less room for your stomach to expand. Smaller meals are easier for your body to digest. Instead of three big meals, try and break this down to six smaller meals.
4. Replace solids with fluids
Liquids tends to move through the stomach more quickly so you may be able to replace some solids with liquids such as smoothies, soups and yogurt.
5. Avoid eating right before bedtime
To reduce the severity of heartburn when sleeping; you should avoid eating anything for at least three hours before bedtime. You can also make yourself more comfortable when pregnant by elevating your head on a comfortable pillow.