Pregnancy is one long, beautiful and full of changes journey. Heartburn is one such change or symptom which you can say you will experience in your pregnancy. It is truly said, no one can understand heartburn like the pregnant woman does. Nearly half of the expectant mother suffer from heartburn during pregnancy. Usually, this symptom starts in the second trimester, but many of them face it even in the second month, the first trimester.
Heartburn or Indigestion is caused due to the hormonal change in your body and also as your baby grows, it puts a lot of pressure against your stomach. This article will learn about the symptoms and the remedies to cure Heartburn during Pregnancy.
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What causes Heartburn?
During early pregnancy, your body produces a large amount of hormones relaxin and progesterone, these both tend to smooth and relax muscles throughout your body. As a result of this, the food you eat tends to move slower through your system, giving the feeling of bloating and gas resulting in heartburn.
Heartburn may be uncomfortable for pregnant woman, but it is very beneficial for the baby. The slow the digestion process, the better is the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream and this absorption goes to the placenta and to your baby.
If we see it biologically, heartburn occurs when the ring of muscle separates the esophagus from the stomach relaxes, giving the food and all the digestive juices to stay in the esophagus. The stomach produces acid, and this irritates the esophageal lining causing the burning sensation near the heart, hence the term heartburn.
Symptoms of Heartburn during Pregnancy
Some of the symptoms of Heartburn and Indigestion are-
- A burning sensation
- Pain in chest
- Feeling uneasy
- Burping or bleaching
- Feeling or being sick
- Bringing up food
The above symptoms usually start after eating or drinking anything. But sometimes, your body may react to the indigestion later.
Food that causes Heartburn
There are some trigger foods, which causes heartburn such as-
- Spicy foods- Many of us like Spicy foods, Mexican foods and other spices which are inflammatory in nature. But these foods create more acids, which result in heartburn. Therefore, it is good to avoid these foods completely.
- Fatty foods- Fatty foods or high fat foods such as red meats, nuts, and cheese can stimulate heartburn and also slow down the digestion process. To digest these foods, stomach has to produce more acids resulting in heartburn.
- Carbonated drinks- Carbonated drinks are generally not good, and having them during pregnancy can worsen the situation. Gas present in carbonated drinks gets trapped in your tummy. And these acid than travel back to esophagus.
- Caffeine- Just like alcohol, drinking too much of caffeine can also relax the sphincter muscles. Therefore, drink tea or coffee in a very small portion.
- Citrus fruit- I know citrus fruits are good for our body, but they contain acid which causes heartburn. Grapefruit, oranges and tomatoes are some fruits which you should stop eating to avoid heartburn.
- Chocolate- Yes, it feels good to have a chocolate but chocolate is filled with caffeine and it causes heartburn. Other heartburn content which chocolate contains are theobromine. So, try to avoid eating chocolate just after meals.
- Peppermint- It feels good to eat peppermint as it soothes the stomach, but it triggers heartburn. Avoid your after-meal peppermint as it can worsen heartburn. Peppermint relaxes the sphincter muscles, which brings the stomach acids into esophagus.
- Garlic and Onion- These two root vegetables, increases the gastric acids. They slow down the digestion, causing reflex.
Remedy for Heartburn
- The best way to deal with heartburn during pregnancy is to eat less and more frequently. Eating in small portions helps your stomach from not generating excessive acids.
- Try to avoid spicy and fried foods. Choose foods which are easy to digest.
- Avoid drinking or eating three hours before bedtime. Heartburn during night-time is worst.
- After eating sit in an upright position for at least an hour. Bending or leaning immediately can make the symptoms worse.
- Chew on sugarless gum after eating, it increases saliva production, which neutralizes excess acid in esophagus.
- Soothe your stomach with a glass of almond milk after meal, just when the heartburn starts. You can also have warm milk with one tbsp. of honey.
- Eat few Almonds after every meal, it helps to neutralize the juices in the stomach preventing heartburn.
- Focus more on fluids rather than on solid foods. Fluids tend to easily go into stomach. Also chew your solid food slowly and extremely well until it becomes liquefied.
- Avoid trigger foods such as citrus fruit, chocolate, carbonated drink, spicy food, coffee and alcohol.
- Keep your head high while sleeping.
- Wear loose fitting clothes, so that they do not create a pressure around your midsection.
- Give acupuncture a try. It improves the ability to sleep and eat.
So these are some of the ways to deal with heartburn during pregnancy. In pregnancy, heartburn is common and also very uncomfortable. But with above tips and tricks, you can subside the heartburn. You cannot prevent or remove it totally. So, if the above remedies do not give you relief. Try to consult your doctor for this.
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