Heartburn is a strong, burning pain in the chest caused by stomach acid passing from your stomach into your esophagus — the tube that leads from your mouth to your stomach.
Over half of all pregnant women experience severe heartburn, particularly during their second and third trimesters.
What causes heartburn?
It happens when the valve between the stomach and the esophagus are unable to prevent stomach acid from passing back into the esophagus. The hormone progesterone which is produced in higher quantity during pregnancy causes the valve to relax. This allows stomach acid to pass into the esophagus and irritate the lining. Additionally, the enlarged uterus can crowd the abdomen, pushing stomach acids upward.
What can you do?
To reduce heartburn during pregnancy without hurting Your Child, you should try the following:
- Eat many smaller meals throughout the day rather than three large meals
- Eat slowly
- Avoid spicy, greasy, and fatty foods
- Drink less while eating — drinking large amounts while eating may increase the risk of acid reflux and heartburn
- Wait an hour after eating to lie down
- Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of your bed, or place pillows under your shoulders to help prevent stomach acids from rising into your chest
Natural ways to relieve the symptoms
- Eat yogurt or drink a glass of milk
- Try a tablespoon of honey in a glass of warm milk
See your doctor if your heartburn persists. He can prescribe medications that are safe to take during pregnancy. But don’t worry, your heartburn usually disappears when Your Child arrives.
Dr. Wanwadee Sapmee Panyakat, MD. (4 June 2020)