Heartburn or indigestion during pregnancy is often a normal or physiological occurrence during pregnancy. It is that burning sensation you feel around your chest. The sensation is actually coming from the esophagus, though you feel it in the chest region. Indigestion/heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy. Hence, you should learn natural ways to treat heartburn during pregnancy at home.
Causes of Heartburn
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Heart burn results when there is reflux of excess acid secretion into the esophagus from the stomach, due to undigested food staying longer than necessary. Indigestion usually aggravates heartburn.
In pregnancy, the belly is expanding in size and this will lead to lapse in the contraction around the lower esophageal sphincter leading to the up rushing of the content of the stomach back into the esophagus and this will cause the painful or burning sensation in the esophagus called heartburn. However, heartburn during pregnancy can be treated with lifestyle modifications, dietary changes and other natural ways. There is often no need to use drugs.
How to Prevent Heartburn During Pregnancy
Follow the following tips in order to reduce your chances of having a heartburn in your pregnancy.
- No heavy meal: In order to curb heartburn during pregnancy, make sure you do not eat too heavy meal. You can divide your meals into smaller portions and take them at intervals during the day. The gastric reflux causing heart burn is due to the digestion process going on in the stomach.
The risk of heartburn in pregnancy is further increased with increase in the amount of food to be digested by the stomach. However, heartburn risk decreases if there is little quantity of food to be digested by the stomach. Take 5 small food portions during the day instead of 3 square meals.
Natural ways to treat heartburn during pregnancy
Take your food slowly: You must not rush your food at all; take it slowly and spend minimum of 15 minutes on each meal. This way, indigestion risk will reduce and you will have fewer occurrence of heartburn. Do not rush at all while eating; rather, take your time and relax. This will equally remove the risk of overeating.
Drink gently and slowly: It is equally important not to rush your drinks during after or before meals.
- Do not gulp down a big glass of drink; just sip it during meal and make sure it is done very gently and a little at a time.
- Do not lie down after meal: It is better to stand up or sit down after your meal. You can use that time to sit down to read a book, do some housework or take leisurely walk. Make sure you also do not bend over after your meal. This will help reduce the risk of the stomach’s acidic content getting into your esophagus and causing heartburn.
- No meal before bed: You will most probably end up with heartburn if you go to sleep almost immediately after your meal. In your best interest, make sure that you eat some three hours before you ever retire to bed.
- Keep your upper chest and head elevated while sleeping: Make sure you use a pillow under your head and this will help to slant your upper body rather upward to help keep the acid in your stomach from going to your esophagus.
- Avoid heartburn triggers: This is one of the natural ways to treat heartburn during pregnancy. Some specific foods are known to trigger heartburn. It is in your best interest to avoid such foods to prevent heartburn from Examples of such foods are citrus, chocolate, caffeine and fat. These foods may not cause or trigger heartburn in all cases, but they are culprits in a number of pregnant women.
How to Treat Indigestion During Pregnancy
Well, for obvious reasons stated above, a pregnant woman may occasionally experience indigestion during pregnancy. A mild laxative may be prescribed for use by your doctor. However, you should also adjust your diet to include fruits and vegetables and take lots of water following each meal. Stay off consuming large bulky diets that are rich in high calories. They may further worsen your indigestion, and lead to constipation.
Hope you find this guide on natural ways to treat heartburn during pregnancy helpful. Let us read your comments and questions in the Comment section
This post was written by Dr. Adeniyi Adesanya, a qualified & passionate medical doctor who loves to educate people about healthy living and lifestyle. Adeniyi is the owner and publisher of the Human Health Hub website.