The issue of pregnancy heartburn is common affecting between 30-40% of women during their pregnancy. Many dismiss it as part of being pregnant however, there are steps you can take to relieve the discomfort.
The truth is, pregnancy heartburn is caused in the most part by the same problems affecting the rest of the population. In short, digestive acids will slip through the LES(lower esophageal sphincter) back into the esophagus causing discomfort.
Relieving Heartburn During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, the chances of the LES not functioning properly are thought to be increased because of the additional pressure put on the stomach through extra weight.
Try it yourself; have someone sit on your stomach after a meal and watch the acid rise back up the digestive tract. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling. Imagine how uncomfortable it will be for a pregnant woman.
Let’s take a look at some of the steps you could take to avoid uncomfortable episodes of pregnancy heartburn:
1. Notice what you eat shortly before there is any sign of heartburn and make a note of it.
2. Consider your current lifestyle and try to identify anything about it with a heartburn attack.
3. Try eating smaller meals. Instead of one or two large meals a day, split them up into five or six smaller ones. Once you’ve identified those foods and drinks which may be triggering an pregnancy heartburn attack simply eliminate them from your diet. Talk to your doctor first because some of those foods may contain certain nutrients important to your pregnancy.
4. When you have had a meal, resist the temptation to either lay down or sit back with your feet in a raised position.
5. Elevate you head 4-6 inches when going to sleep at night.
6. Producing saliva can neutralize acid. Try chewing gum or sucking on candy to encourage saliva production. Saliva is a great way to form a barrier to any acids rising up from the stomach.