5 Tips To Deal With Heartburn During Pregnancy | Hea Boosters
During my third trimester, no matter what I ate, I would get heartburn. I was initially worried as heartburn wasn’t one of my expectations. I knew, I would have some skin changes, swollen feet, maybe morning sickness and some midnight cravings but didn’t know heartburn could be one of the experiences.
The body produces a large amount of progesterone and relaxin during early pregnancy. These hormones help in relaxing our muscles, including those of the gastrointestinal tract. Usually, when we eat or drink, the lower oesophagal valve (which is controlled by muscles), opens for the food to go into the stomach before shutting tightly.
Due to the increased progesterone levels during pregnancy though, these muscles slacken, leaving the valve partially open which can allow stomach acids to flow back into the oesophagus and perhaps even all the way into the throat. This is what causes heartburn.
Phew! Yes, that was a lot of science for me too! I think what the body is are capable of doing is truly amazing and while nurturing a new life inside me was beautiful and heartwarming, but heartburn didn’t exactly add to the charm of the journey. However, there were a few things that helped me deal with the heartburn that I've mentioned here, in the hope they will help you too.
5 tips to deal with heartburn:
Sometimes a simple change in sleeping positions is enough to prevent heartburn. If you sleep on your back, (as I did) , it is easier for acids from the stomach to travel up to the oesophagus. Try elevating your head by 6 or 9 inches using pillows and sleeping on your left side. Since your stomach is situated on the left, this position naturally prevents acids from flowing back from the stomach as they will now have to travel uphill (against gravity), to reach the oesophagus.
Aside from these, try relaxing as much as you can. Stress can increase gastric compounds, so taking some me-time can help prevent heartburn. Prenatal yoga, meditation and the occasional manicure and pedicure really worked for me. If a else fails, there are a few over-the-counter medicines such as antacids that also help, but it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before taking these.