Pregnancy affects your body and emotions in many ways. Along with the joy and excitement of feeling the baby kick and choosing names, you may also experience numerous types of discomfort while you are pregnant. Heartburn affects many pregnant women. Stomach acids entering the esophagus may cause a burning feeling in your chest. According to the American Pregnancy Association, hormones can increase the frequency of this occurrence. You may experience bouts of heartburn throughout your pregnancy and notice a worsening of symptoms during your third trimester.
Eat small meals throughout the day. A practice that may also ease your first trimester morning sickness, grazing allows you to consume enough nutrients and calories during the course of the day, without causing you to overeat at mealtimes. Divide your food consumption, including meals, snacks and desserts, throughout the entire day, allowing yourself to eat something every few hours.
Sit upright at the table to encourage food to remain in your stomach. Good posture can ease the pressure on your stomach caused by slouching or leaning.
Toss out the foods that cause your esophageal muscle to relax and may lead to heartburn. The University of Washington recommends limiting or refraining from fatty and fried foods, chocolate, whole milk, spicy foods, tomato sauce and carbonated beverages.
Reduce your fluid intake during your meals. Allow yourself to sip on just enough water to rinse down your food, but avoid drinking large amounts of liquids while eating. Water, tea, sodas and other fluids during meal times can worsen heartburn. Make sure you get enough fluids by sipping on liquids throughout the day.
Stay up for at least an hour after eating. Many women experience heartburn after retiring for the night. Some people might think this is a good way to practice for getting up at night with your new baby, but sleepless nights will happen soon enough. Minimize your chances of nighttime upsets by refraining from food and drink before going to bed.
Raise the head of your bed if you still experience heartburn during the night. Place wooden blocks beneath the two legs under your headboard to lift your head about 6 inches higher than your feet while sleeping. If your husband dislikes the idea of sleeping at an angle, pile up pillows beneath your head to keep your upper body at an angle to allow gravity to help keep your food and stomach acids from entering your esophagus.
Talk to your doctor about your heartburn if home remedies fail to provide adequate relief. He may prescribe an antacid or advise you to take a nonprescription antacid to reduce your symptoms.
- Don’t take over-the-counter (OTC) antacids without consulting your doctor. Some contain lead or high levels of sodium.
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