Pregnancy brings about great excitement to the family however along with that, it also brings about heartburn which the expectant mother often needs to endure. Heartburn during pregnancy is usually felt as a big lump in the chest and throat which is really uncomfortable. Heartburn in general is a burning sensation felt in your throat and chest.
What causes heartburn during pregnancy?
Change in hormonal levels is the main culprit. The steroid hormone progesterone usually reaches a very high level during pregnancy which can cause stomach acids to back up into the esophagus causing irritation and heartburn.
The growing size of the uterus also contributes to the occurrence of heartburn during pregnancy as the pressure on the intestines is increased. This can result to stomach acids passing into the esophagus causing heartburn.
Expectant mothers also tend to experiences changes in their eating habits and may crave more food. Eating big meals at one time can also contribute to heartburn. It is advisable to break down your meals into smaller portions i.e. instead of 3 big meals, eat 6 small meals a day. This method will also curb your craving and so you won’t gain weight easily.
How do you treat heartburn during pregnancy?
There are various ways to prevent heartburn during these crucial 9 months.
- Eat at least 1 hour before sleeping to allow your meal to settle and get properly digested before lying down.
- Don’t drink lots of fluids during meal.
- Don’t drink too many caffeinated and carbonated beverages.
- Antacids can relieve severe heartburn and are generally considered safe to take during pregnancy. Still, consult with your health provider before taking antacids.
- Avoid fatty and spicy foods.
- Avoid wearing tight clothes at the waist.
- Chew gum after meals to help neutralize your stomach acids and reduce heartburn.
Women who have experienced heartburn even before pregnancy may find their heartburn during pregnancy symptoms a lot more difficult and may need more aggressive forms of treatment. If the above measures are not helpful in relieving your heartburn check in with your health provider as he may be able to prescribe something stronger to ease your discomfort.