Heartburn During Pregnancy

If you haven't experienced heartburn before pregnancy you now probably start to understand what is all about. Many women experience heart burn during pregnancy, some will experience it in the first trimester while others in the second and third trimester. Unfortunately it comes and goes until your baby is born.

What is Heartburn?

Heartburn, also called acid indigestion, is a burning sensation of the esophagus caused by stomach contents that reflux (comes back up) from the stomach.

What is the Reason Women Get Heartburn During Pregnancy ?

As part of the process of preparing your body to give birth , the changing of hormones level can cause the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscular valve between the stomach and esophagus) to relax, allowing stomach acids to splash back up into the esophagus which causes that unpleasant burning sensation. In addition, the enlarged uterus can crowd the abdomen, pushing stomach acids upward.

What Can You Do About It ?

Take these steps in order to reduce your discomfort:

Eat several small meals each day instead of three large ones.
Take your time and eat slowly.
Avoid fried, spicy, or rich foods, or any foods that seem to cause you gastrointestinal distress.
Avoid drinking large quantities of fluids during meals. Drinking large amounts while eating may increase the risk of heart burn. It's important to drink eight to ten glasses of water daily during pregnancy, but sip it between meals.
Don't lie down directly after eating.
Keeping the head of your bed higher than the foot of your bed (or you can sleep propped up with several pillows or a wedge) can prevent stomach acids from rising into your chest.
Avoid any tightness around your waist and tummy. Wear loose-fitting clothing.
Don't eat close to bedtime. Give yourself two to three hours to digest before you lie down.

Here are some extra tips that can help you prevent heartburn during pregnancy:

Try chewing gum after eating.
Eat almonds.
Drink a cup of milk.
Chew ice or ice pop.
Eat cracker or toast.

When Should You Call Your Doctor?

Ask your doctor about using medications which are generally safe to use during pregnancy.
If your heartburn persists, see your doctor. He or she may prescribe medications that are safe to take during pregnancy.

Return from Heartburn During Pregnancy to Pregnancy Week by Week Checklist

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