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 Heartburn and Indigestion during pregnancy

Heartburn and Indigestion during pregnancy

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Heartburn actually has got no connection with the heart and is a common minor health problem that many pregnant women experience. Heartburn is also commonly called as acid reflux.

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

You know you are suffering from heartburn when you experience a burning sensation in the throat and chest.

Why is Heartburn Common during Pregnancy?

Hormones during pregnancy relax muscles including the valve at the end of oesophagus. This causes the valve to be open, which is otherwise closed on intake of food. The opened valve allows acidic stomach contents to return back into the oesophagus. As pregnancy proceeds, heartburn can be worse as the growing uterus pushes the stomach upwards.

Pregnancy hormones can slow down the speed of passage of food through the digestive system. It will also slow down the muscles that usually contract to allow digestion of food. As a result, you can experience indigestion and feel full, bloated and gassy.

Some tips that can help you deal with the heartburn:

Heartburn during pregnancy is generally temporary and mild. If you have difficulty in swallowing or heartburn wakes you up at night, you should talk to your doctor.

  • Eat small and frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Be relaxed at meal times and eat slowly.
  • Avoid foods that can trigger heartburn such as:
    • Fatty or fried foods
    • Spicy foods
    • Citrus foods
    • Caffeine and carbonated drinks
    • Onion and garlic
  • Avoid large quantity of water/fluid while eating. You might find it helpful to drink water between meals and not during meals.
  • Have your last meal 3 hours before bedtime.
  • Try to achieve a healthy weight gain as excess weight can cause heartburn by putting pressure on the abdomen.

Following lifestyle changes can also help you prevent heartburn:

  • Refrain from lying down after meals
  • Keep your head elevated while sleeping
  • Avoid tight clothing
  • Your doctor can help you by prescribing the right form of antacid if needed

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