Heartburn is very common in during pregnancy, especially the second and third trimesters. When youre pregnant, hormone levels fluctuate and cause the sphincter (LES) at the top of your stomach to weaken, allowing acid to back up onto the tender tissues in your esophagus. As the baby grows, there is more upward pressure put on your stomach which also makes heartburn more likely. This is very painful and you need relief, but you dont want to harm your baby with any remedy you might choose.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you are trying to ease your pain safely:
Antacids and Other Medication:
Antacids such as Tums are usually considered safe to use when youre pregnant. However, some antacids contain magnesium which could interfere with contractions. You should avoid them during later months of pregnancy. If an antacid has sodium bicarbonate as an ingredient, the acid balance of your system can be thrown off, which can become serious. They can also cause you to retain an unhealthy amount of water. You should always check with your doctor if you think you need anything stronger than a simple over the counter solution.
There are two types of foods that you should be aware of when it comes to heartburn relief: food that encourages heartburn and food that helps you get rid of heartburn symptoms.
Some foods to avoid include: acidic food like tomatoes, tomato sauce and oranges, chocolate, coffee and other caffeine-containing drinks, soda and red meat. What you may not realize is that foods like ripe banana, almonds and papaya have acid reducing qualities and can ease heartburn pain when eaten before or after a meal.
Also, eating 5 or 6 small meals rather than a few large ones, will put less pressure on your stomach. And, although drinking water is important, try to drink most of your liquids between meals where it wont add to an uncomfortably full stomach.
There are certain things you can do and things you should not do, that will help relieve heartburn. Bending over from your waist will increase pressure on your LES, so bend at your knees. Dont lie down after eating. Wait 2-3 hours to give your body a chance to digest your food and your stomach to empty. Exercise is important, but nothing bouncy. Walking is great and may even aid your digestion as well as improve your mood.
What you eat and how you eat it will directly affect the health of your baby and your comfort. You may want to create a food diary where you can keep track of exactly what food bothers you, when you ate it and what you were doing at the time. That way you will be able to spot patterns and avoid the things that seem to cause the most problems.
Once you have your baby, the heartburn symptoms should go away. Keep your doctor informed and remember there are lots of natural ways to deal with heartburn that are safe and effective.