Pregnancy is without doubt one of the most exciting phases of every woman’s life. While it can sometimes be a roller coaster of emotions and physical changes, it does not have to be miserable. Heartburn and nausea is one of the most common nuisances of pregnancy that tend to plague most moms-to-be at some part of their pregnancy. This is because the hormone progesterone that is responsible for relaxing muscles in pregnancy among many other things, also relaxes the stomach valve that keeps acids out of the esophagus. The growing fetus too tends to crowd the stomach and forces acid into the esophagus.
But, like most other things, there are safe and effective ways that can help stop this. Today, we take you through some simple tips that will help you fight heartburn during pregnancy.
1. Eat smaller meals
Breakdown your meal size. Just as it does when you are not expecting, a stuffed tummy can make you feel queasy and contribute to heartburn. Instead of eating three square meals, start eating six smaller meals a day.
2. Go slow on Food
Relax and savor your meal. Never rush through it. Gulping food down can lead to a severe case of heartburn as well as indigestion. By going slow on your food, you will also avoid overeating.
3. Sit down after a meal
Do not lie down soon after a meal. Instead take a walk, sit down or do some light chores around the house. Lying down or bending over can wash acid back into your esophagus and leave you feeling restless and miserable.
4. Don’t sleep right after a meal
Hitting the sack soon after a hearty meal is the perfect recipe for heartburn. Most doctors and gastroenterologists recommend that there should be a gap of at least three hours between your last meal and sleep time. Also, try and avoid sipping on water or liquids a few hours before bed time.
5. Keep your chest and head elevated
If you suffer from heartburn more often than you should, try a wedge shaped pillow that will gently slant your upper body and keep the stomach where it should be. These pillows are rather inexpensive and will reduce acid reflux greatly. If the pillow does not do you good, you can also position blocks under the legs at the head of your cot.
6. Understand your triggers
Maintain a food diary and note your reactions to various food that you eat. What causes acid reflux in your friend may not be a trigger in your case. Doctors suggest that you steer clear from chocolate, caffeine and fatty food if you are prone to heartburn.
7. Wear comfortable clothing
Unless you have to go for a business meeting, opt for loose-fitting clothes. Tight fitted clothes tend to put more pressure on your abdomen which can worsen acid reflux. If you are trying to stamp out heartburn, go shopping for maternity clothing that are comfy, soft and flow-ey!
Those were a few lifestyle changes that you can make if you suffer from heartburn. Now, it is time for a few remedies to combat with that burning chest of yours!
You can much on an inch of ginger or chew on some ginger candy. Or you can simply sip on some ginger ale for quick relief from heartburn and an upset tummy. Apart from combating with heartburn, it will also reduce nausea and vomiting that often accompanies heartburn. And, yes it is absolutely safe to consume during pregnancy.
Eat a handful of almonds if you want to get rid of heartburn without having to resort to antacids. The rich oil content in these nuts help reduce heartburn by regulating gastric acid production. So munch on these crunchy delights as and when you like!
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
If you have gone pillar to post looking for a remedy for heartburn in vain, it is time you try ACV. Though vile in taste, it will help soothe the lining of your stomach and also will help counteract the negative effect of acid generating food. Simply dilute a tablespoon of ACV and drink it up for relief from heartburn.
Rich in stomach friendly enzymes, this tasty fruit aids in digestion and also naturally soothes your stomach. Eat a few slices of ripe papaya to fight heartburn. However, remember that raw papaya can cause uterine contractions. So, consult your physician before trying this remedy.
Heartburn is not an ailment in itself but severe and frequent bouts of heartburn could be a sign of some underlying health issue. If you get no relief from home remedies, be sure to consult a doctor before the condition worsens.