It is common for many pregnant women to experience symptoms of heartburn during their second or third trimesters. While this is normally harmless, the symptoms can be severe and bring serious discomfort. Heartburn during pregnancy may occur due to changing hormone levels, changing the way foods are digested or tolerated. Hormones at this time relax the muscular valve between the esophagus and the stomach, causing acids to climb back up and result in burning sensation.
Pregnancy hormone or progesterone, furthermore, makes digestion sluggish. In the later months of pregnancy, the growing fetus will crowd your abdominal cavity, which will push the acid back up. Gastrointestinal discomforts like heartburn usually go until the baby is born. You cannot eliminate all the symptoms, but there are steps to minimize pain.
Avoid Certain Foods
Revere Health and OB/GYN clinics note that certain foods and beverages can cause gastrointestinal discomfort. Make sure to avoid alcoholic drinks, caffeine, carbonated beverages, and chocolate. You should also avoid acidic foods like mustard, tomato, citric fruit and juices, as well as fatty, spicy, fried, and excessively seasoned food products.
Eat and Drink Right
When you feel hungry, it is normal to eat big servings or meals. Change this habit by eating small, several meals over the course of the day. It is also important to chew your food thoroughly, instead of eating in a rush. It is also not advisable to guzzle large quantities of fluid during meals, as it causes bloating. While it is important to drink enough water, be sure to sip it between meals.
Allot Time for Digestion
Avoid eating close to bedtime. Note that you need to give yourself about two to three hours to digest before lying down. When it is bedtime or you need to lie down, elevate your upper body to assist your digestion and keep the acids from seeping back up. You can do this by putting pillows under your shoulders.
Apart from these suggestions, it is important to wear loose and comfortable clothing since tight clothes can put additional pressure on the stomach. Some over-the-counter medications are also safe for pregnant women and effective in treating heartburn. It's best, however, to consult your doctor if the pain persists.