Dealing with Pregnancy Heartburn
During the second trimester and the third trimester of pregnancy, pregnant women normally experience a sensation of burning in their upper digestive tract, also called acid indigestion, which is caused by reflux of food contents present in the stomach.
Pregnancy hormones, overall, impact every pregnant woman’s body differently but it brings out similar changes to their body.
Acting on the digestive tract is one of its common influences. You see what happens is the esophageal sphincter is a muscular valve that separates the stomach from the esophagus. This sphincter gets loosened due to pregnancy hormones which results in backing up of stomach acids into esophagus.
Moreover, during pregnancy abdomen gets congested due to increased size of the uterus which also can cause to push stomach acids upward.
Gallbladder stones, which are formed by fat which gets deposited in the gallbladder, a small organ located under the liver. Such gallstones can sometimes be another cause of pregnancy heartburn.
Furthermore, progesterone is a sex hormone which hinders the digestion by slowing down the contractions of your stomach. As the pregnancy progresses, your uterus occupies more space and pushes your stomach upward, which in turn forces your acids upward.
Preventing Heartburn during Pregnancy
Heartburn is a common symptom during pregnancy and it’s one of those unpleasant experiences of pregnancy. However, there are way you can prevent or at least reduce the intensity of heartburn during pregnancy. Below are a few of those steps:
Breakdown Meals: Divide big meals into several smaller digestible meals every day.
Chew properly: Take your time to eat and chew well the food before swallowing it.
Follow a healthy pregnancy diet: Choosing the right food which prevents heartburn which can digest easily such as fibre-rich food.
Avoid foods not to eat during pregnancy: You must not take food which not only creates the situation but can worsen it as well such as deep fried food, hot and spicy or any heavy diet that results into relaxation of your digestive tract and slows down the process of digestion. Read on a list of foods to avoid during pregnancy here.
Avoid excessive fluids: Try to avoid taking lots of fluids while eating. Drinking large amounts while eating may increase the risk of acid reflux and heartburn.
Walk and Exercise: Try to walk for a bit after eating, it helps with digestion and prevents the feeling of heartburn. Read more on safe exercises to do during pregnancy here.
Proper posture and sleep positions: Correcting your posture while sleeping or lying down also helps, Keep your upper bodyin a little inclined position.
Note: It is always a good idea to regularly visit your doctor/medical specialist before, during and post-pregnancy to ensure a healthy pregnancy.