There are few things that spoil the fun of pregnancy. Heartburn is one among them. It happens because progesterone relaxes the stomach valve, thereby allowing stomach acids to reach the esophagus. In addition, a growing baby compresses your digestive organs and diaphragm, forcing acid into the esophagus. This burning sensation in your chest is the last thing you want in your pregnancy. However, there are a few ways to prevent heartburn to a great extent.
1.Eat Small Meals
This should be your new mantra. Overeating may contribute to heartburn as there is very less room for your stomach to expand. Instead of three meals a day, shift to five or six smaller ones. Make lunchtime your main meal of the day. And make it a habit to have dinner two or three hours before you go to bed, thereby giving your system enough time for digestion. Eating too rapidly can also trigger heartburn. So, relax and eat slowly. It also helps restrict your intake.
2.Drink Less While Eating
Drinking water is imperative for moms-to-be. But, you have to keep few things in mind while you increase your water intake. Limit your fluid intake during meals and keep your body hydrated between meals. When you drink large amounts of water while eating, digestive juices get diluted and will not be able to function properly, thereby accelerating heartburn. Take it as a caution and fall in love with fluids, as they move through the stomach quickly and cause you less trouble.
3. Don’t Lie Down After Meal
Lying down immediately after a meal will be a welcome note for heartburn. Also, do not bend down after eating since it increases the risk of acid reflux. Sit or stand or take a walk after meals to give the gastric juices ample time to move in the right direction.
4. Avoid Triggers
Say no to spicy, fatty, and fried foods. Caffeinated and carbonated drinks may worsen your heartburn. However, it may not be true for every pregnant woman. Triggers will be different for everyone. You will have to resort to trial and error to figure out what causes your heartburn. Once you identify the trigger, steer clear of it.
5. Sleep Smart
When you lay flat in bed, it is easy for stomach acids to flow up your esophagus, aggravating heartburn. Hence, sleep with your upper body elevated. Sleep on a wedge-shaped pillow or place few books underneath the mattress. You can also try putting blocks under your legs at the head of your bed. Right from the start of your pregnancy, you may have started sleeping on your left side. If you haven’t already, start doing it now because many studies have pointed out that lying on your right side may exacerbate heartburn.
6. Wear Loose Fitting Clothes
Embrace loose-fitting maternity clothes. Wearing tight-fitting clothes invites acid reflux. It will increase the pressure on your already crammed stomach and abdomen, worsening heartburn.
Heartburn intensifies as you enter the second and third trimester. If you can’t quell heartburn and find it difficult to eat, seek your doctor’s advice as soon as possible.