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Ways to prevent heartburn during pregnancy 

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Almost every woman has suffered from heartburn at some point in their pregnancy. With surge of progesterone the pressure in lower esophageal sphincter decreases. As a result, the valves of the oesophagus are relaxed and stomach acids easily move up, causing heartburn. Furthermore, expansion of the uterus also puts pressure on the stomach resulting in acidity and heartburn.

However, there are several solutions to this problem and they are mostly related to making corrections in lifestyle.

Eat small meals, frequently

Instead of devouring heavy meals thrice a day, cut down the portion size. You can eat 6 times in a day. Eat light foods, snack in and keep your diet simple. When you eat less food, your stomach pressure reduces and the stomach acids do not travel backwards to oesophagus. 

Watch out what you eat

You will have cravings for this and that but if you want to keep heartburn problems at the bay, then you need to carefully manage what you are eating. Avoid consuming too many cups of tea and coffee and cut down on spicy foods, citrus fruits, chocolates, carbonated drinks and other types of acidity causing foods.  However, the effect of foods differs from one woman to another. So better you know your triggers.

Go to bed early

Heartburn is inevitable during pregnancy when you don’t adjust your habit of going to sleep late at night. Your stomach remains empty when you sleep late. This triggers heartburn. So have your supper early and go to sleep early.  

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Do not sleep immediately after eating

Your food doesn’t get digested properly when you go to sleep immediately after eating. Make sure you walk around in your home or at least sit and engage yourself in some activity post lunch and dinner. Give a gap of at least 2 hours between meal and sleep. It helps in proper
digestion and would prevent stomach acids from reaching your oesophagus.

Do not rush while eating

Make sure you dedicate ample time to finish your food. Do not gulp down your food or drink hastily. Munch on slowly, chew well and then swallow. Food when not chewed properly inside mouth can cause acidity.

Check your sleeping pattern

Make sure your head is raised 4-6 inches while sleeping. When your head and chest are slanted slightly upwards the stomach acids remain in stomach, being unable to reach the oesophagus. You can also recline on a comfortable chair for naps.

Wear loose clothes

It’s the time to get a wardrobe makeover done. You won’t be fitting in your old clothes. So make sure you wear loose, light and comfortable fabrics. Do not wear tight clothes that would cram your waist and abdomen. Shop for maternity wears to kick off heartburn.

Consider the remedies for heartburn

Sipping some ginger ale or chewing carom seeds would reduce acidity. You can also take OTC antacids to deal with normal heartburn symptoms. However, check with your doctor if you are having severe episodes of heartburn. In that case your doctor might prescribe a stronger pill.

Pop in chewing gum and ginger candies

Chewing gums work wonders by enhancing production of saliva in your mouth. And saliva promotes digestion. Apart from those you can also stock in some ginger candies or Ayurvedic candies formulated for heartburn during pregnancy.

Bid adieu to cigarettes and alcohol

Practise abstinence from tobacco and alcohol to prevent heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. This would also ensure better health of your baby.
Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: 01 March, 2014

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