Also known as acidity or acid reflux, heartburn usually affects the tube from your throat to your stomach, esophagus. It seems like some hot fiery tossing stomach acid which makes it to the throat. You may feel this burning sensation from several minutes to hours. It makes you –
- Belch more often
- Feel bloated
- Have a sore throat
- Cough constantly
- Feel a sour taste in the mouth
Spicy foods can worsen the condition, but hormones play a more critical role in this. If you suffered heartburn earlier, chances are you will have it during pregnancy. Heartburn can fire up, especially in second and third trimesters.
Also known as the pregnancy hormone, progesterone nurtures your baby and womb, but it also causes heartburn. It is a muscle relaxer, but it also causes loosening of the lower esophageal valve and closes off your stomach from the esophagus. When you drink or eat something, the muscle opens up and lets your stomach’s contents in before closing it tightly. But the progesterone levels rise and make the muscle slack. It causes acid in your stomach to backflow your esophagus in your throat too.
The contents in your stomach stick around longer than usual due to progesterone. As the stomach stays fuller for longer and digestion slows down, heartburn is more likely to affect you.
Baby is growing
With the growth of your baby, the uterus fights for space with some organs. The growing uterus pressurizes your stomach like a toothpaste tube is squeezed. So, stomach acids are more likely to spill out, especially when you are full. Your stomach will be compressed more often with the growth of your uterus.
How to Treat Heartburn in Pregnancy?
Watch your diet
Spicy and acidic foods create stomach acid so much. So, you should avoid tomatoes, garlic, onions, citrus foods, chocolate, caffeine, sodas, chocolate, and any acidic food. Also, avoid fatty or fried foods.
Eat small meals frequently rather than heavy meals thrice a day
Small meals won’t overwhelm your stomach and get it empty frequently.
Have meals at least 3 hours before sleep
Give a head start to your digestion before you sleep. It will control heartburn for the night. If you sleep just after having meals, it will slow down your digestion.
There are many reasons you should avoid smoking in pregnancy. Cigarettes have chemicals that allow undigested food and acids to splash up.
Sit up straight while eating
Gravity also plays its part when it comes to getting your food to the right place. Hence, your parents were right at this point and other things as well.
When to Ask Your Gynecologist?
Before taking any OTC medications for heartburn, you should ask your gynaecologist. They may recommend some antacids which may help calm down the stomach acid and quell that fiery burning.