Most women know that they may experience some unpleasant things during pregnancy, like morning sickness and stretch marks. But for many women, the heartburn comes as a surprise. There's an old wives tale that holds that women who experience heartburn during pregnancy will have a baby born with lots of hair, but in reality, pregnant women experience heartburn because their bodies produce extra progesterone. The purpose of the progesterone is to relax the muscles of the uterus, but it also has the effect of relaxing the esophagus muscles, which allows acids from the stomach to seep up more easily. The result is an unpleasant burning sensation. If you're tired of dealing with pregnancy heart burn, take a look at some tips that can help you end the discomfort.
Eat Smaller Meals
Sure, you're eating for two, and you may find yourself absolutely ravenous at times. But if you eat until you feel stuffed, it's a lot easier for the contents of your stomach to find their way back up your esophagus, resulting in heartburn. Try breaking up each of your usual large meals into two smaller meals – so if you normally eat three times a day, eat six smaller meals instead. That way your stomach doesn't have so much to digest all at once. Not only can this help with heartburn, it can also help you fight off morning sickness.
Another thing you can do is add more smoothies, shakes, and soups to your menu. These liquid foods are filling enough to help you stave off hunger pangs, but they don't take as much work to digest, so they move through your digestive system faster. That means they're less likely to cause heartburn.
Wear Loose Clothes
Have you been avoiding those maternity jeans and dresses? If so, heartburn might be your body's way of telling you that it's time to start wearing them. Tight clothes, especially around your waist, are squeezing an abdomen that's already a little crowded, and that can put pressure on your stomach and force stomach acids upward. Pregnancy is no time for belt-tightening – it's time to choose some looser clothes.
Sleep On Your Left Side
If there's anything worse than heartburn during the day, it's heartburn at night. When you're laying down, it's that much easier for your stomach acids to travel up through your esophagus, since they don't have to fight gravity to do it. One trick is to sleep on an incline, with your head and shoulders propped up. That can help keep the contents of your stomach away from your esophagus. However, if that's not enough to prevent the nightly burning sensation, then you may need to try sleeping on your left side.
Studies show that lying on your right side actually aggravates heartburn, but lying on your left side calms it. Sleeping on the left also allows for the best blood circulation, which can prevent swollen legs during pregnancy, so you're getting at least two benefits just from changing your sleeping position.
For most pregnant women, over-the-counter antacids are perfectly safe during pregnancy. In fact, since one of the major ingredients in antacids is calcium, taking them might actually be good for you – both you and the baby can use some extra calcium while you're pregnant.
However, there is one important caveat: if you're taking prenatal vitamins that contain iron, or if you're taking a separate iron supplement, make sure that you don't take antacids at the same time. Antacids can bind to the iron in your prenatal vitamin or supplement, blocking your body from being able to absorb as much of the iron as you're supposed to get. You shouldn't take the iron within 1 hour before taking an antacid, and if you take the antacid first, you should wait at least two hours after before taking your iron supplement.
You should discuss any home remedies or over-the-counter remedies that you're using for heartburn with your obstetrician. Also, if nothing you've tried relieves the heartburn, you shouldn't hesitate to discuss that with your doctor as well. Your OB may be able to suggest a different heartburn relief method or write a prescription for a stronger remedy.Share