Most moms-to-be experience heartburn at one or the other point in their pregnancy. This is due to the progesterone hormone which is responsible for relaxing the muscles during pregnancy also relaxes the stomach valve which keeps the stomach acids away from the esophagus. As the baby grows, the expanding uterus puts pressure on the stomach which allows for the acid to enter into the esophagus eventually resulting in a heartburn.
Heartburn might be inevitable but there are safe and effective ways to soothe it and get relief from it.
1. Slow and steady wins the race
While having meals, have them slowly rather than rushing things along. Chew at least 10 to 15 times before you swallow. It’s not recommended that you eat while watching the television because you don’t concentrate on the food and end up eating more than you need.
2. The smaller the better
We know you’re eating for two but rather than having 3 full meals, have 5 smaller ones. Portion your food and eat only what you like. Overly stuffed tummy is a major contributor towards heartburn. If you still feel hungry after a meal, try whipping yourself up a fruit or a veggie salad.
3. Bedtime is for sleeping and not for eating
Don’t eat just before you go to bed. There should ideally be a gap of 3 hours between your dinner and bedtime. If you have a heavy meal and then go to sleep immediately, your body won’t be able to digest everything since your organs don’t work as efficiently when you are asleep.
4. Avoid certain foods
Trigger foods are ones that will cause heartburn. These are different for different women, for some caffeine is a trigger and for some, chocolate is. Figure out what foods cause reflux for you and avoid them completely.
5. Ginger is the miracle herb
Ginger in any form can help relieve an upset stomach. It also helps combat nausea and vomiting which generally accompany heartburn. You can consume ginger ale or throw a few pieces of shredded ginger in your tea and enjoy a warm ginger tea.
6. Sleep right
While sleeping, it is recommended to sleep such that your upper body is elongated and is slanted upwards slightly. This will prevent the acid from getting into your esophagus and causing heartburn. There are a few pillows available that will make this easier for you or you can just place sturdy wooden blocks underneath the top 2 legs of your bed to give it that slight tilt.
If you are still experiencing heartburn then please do consult with your gynecologist to get prescribed medicine that will make you more comfortable.