Heartburn (also known as acid reflux) is the fiery sensation that happens which often extends from the bottom of the breastbone to the lower throat. Most moms-to-be experience heartburn at some point during pregnancy. Even though heartburn during pregnancy is pretty common and generally harmless, it can be quite uncomfortable.
According to Fit Pregnancy and Baby, heartburn during pregnancy is common for 2 reasons. Firstly, it is the hormone relaxing. The hormone that relaxes muscles in pregnancy for easier delivery slows your digestion. Which means that your intake of food stays in your stomach longer. As a result, more acid production. Secondly, your growing baby in the uterus exerts pressure on both the stomach and lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which forcing acid into the esophagus.
Prevention is your best bet to reduce heartburn during pregnancy. Though you may not be able to avoid the condition entirely, here are some ways to soothe and minimize any discomfort you may come across during your pregnancy as a result of pregnancy related heartburn.
1. Eat small meals
An overly stuffed stomach can trigger heartburn. Instead of 3 big meals a day, try to split into 5 or 6 smaller meals.
2. Glass of milk
Drinking a glass of milk or eating yogurt may help to ease heartburn symptoms. If you are lactose intolerant, try lactose free products.
3. Chew gum after meal
Saliva helps to neutralize acid. By chewing some gum, it stimulates your salivary gland.
4. Sleep propped up
Elevate your upper body to about 6 to 8 inch while you sleep. This helps to keep stomach acid stays down and ease digestion.
5. Eliminate trigger foods or drinks
Know your trigger and keep them away. Things to avoid during pregnancy include carbonated drinks, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, mustard, vinegar, mint products, processed meats, and foods that are fatty, spicy, fried, or highly seasoned.
6. Wear comfortably
Avoid tight clothing, which puts more pressure on your abdomen and can aggravate reflux. Opt for loose fitting maternity wear.
7. Sleep smart – lay on your left side
According to MedicineNet, lying on the left side at night may decrease acid reflux. In this position, it is physically more difficult for acid to reflux into the esophagus.