5 Easy Ways To Cure Heartburn During Pregnancy

As beautiful as the entire experience of pregnancy is, it does come with its share of troubles too. Heartburn, indigestion or acidity are just some of those troubles that can be really annoying.

Indigestion during pregnancy is extremely common owing to the physiology associated with it.1 During pregnancy, there is delayed gastric emptying as the hormone progesterone decreases smooth muscle contractility. What this means is that undigested food remains in the stomach for a longer time and leads to greater acid production, which in turn causes 
indigestion and heartburn.2

Another reason for indigestion during pregnancy is the relaxation of the LES (lower esophageal sphincter) whose function is to keep the stomach contents in their place; this can cause the contents to flow upwards into the oesophagus. Additionally, the growing weight of the baby puts pressure on the stomach and LES resulting in indigestion and heartburn.

Heartburn affects more than two-thirds of pregnant women. Here are some easy ways to cure heartburn during pregnancy:

Eat Smaller Meals5

During the time of pregnancy, the stomach is unable to expand much because of the growing fetus. Therefore, it is observed that some women experience heartburn and indigestion in the later stages of pregnancy even if they had no such symptoms earlier. To prevent this, it is advisable to have smaller meals at regular intervals and substitute the three big meals a day with six smaller meals.

Avoid Late Night Meals6

Late night meals should be avoided as eating a heavy meal and immediately sleeping after increases the likelihood of heartburn. Eating at night should be avoided. If one eats a heavy meal and immediately goes to bed it increases the chances of heartburn.

Avoiding Fatty Foods

There are some food items that go down well with one person but lead to acidity in others. Fatty foods, however, are commonly known to cause acidity. Thus, these foods should either be avoided or consumed sparingly. Make sure to watch out for foods that may cause acidity, especially at night.

Right Sleeping Posture

Keeping the head and upper chest in an elevated position while sleeping can prevent one from waking up due to a gastric reflux.8 There are special wedge-shaped pillows that help the upper body stay slightly propped up while sleeping. This small change can help reduce gastric reflux.  

Use Of Medication9

Apart from taking all the mentioned precautions, there may be a need for medication to relieve heartburn and acid reflux in some cases.

Antacids are commonly used as the first line of treatment for heartburn and acid reflux during pregnancy. One could go in for antacids after consulting a physician.

References:

1 The effect of relaxin on the musculoskeletal system
Read More »

2 Nausea and Vomiting of PregnancyRead More »

3 The management of heartburn in pregnancyRead More »

4 Interventions for heartburn in pregnancy
Read More »

5,6 Interventions for heartburn in pregnancyRead More »

7 Body weight, lifestyle, dietary habits and gastroesophageal reflux diseaseRead More »

8 Gastroesophageal reflux disease in COPD: links and risksRead More »

Treatment of heartburn and acid reflux associated with nausea and vomiting during pregnancyRead More »

Author: Ruchi Rajan

How To Shift Acidity
Into Neutral

Powders are easy to carry and administer, so long
as water is accessible, and they start acting
quickly to relieve acidity symptoms.

Liquids tend to act more quickly on an acidity
problem than tablets and are often the preferred
form for children, but can be difficult to
carry around when you’re on the go.

Tablets are easy to carry, but tend to act more
slowly than either liquids or powders to relieve
acidity symptoms.

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