During the first trimester many women experience more episodes of heartburn than they have in the past. This is completely normal and just another symptom of pregnancy. The hormones progesterone and relaxin are produced and occur at elevated levels in the body, which results in the heartburn and indigestion so many pregnant women have. The effect of these hormones is that the gastrointestinal linings smooth muscle begins to relax. When this happens your digestive system works more slowly and food is digested at a slower rate. This results in heartburn, indigestion, and even bloating. Also at fault for heartburn is when the ring between the stomach and esophagus relaxes the stomach acid comes up and irritates the lining of the esophagus which causes the common burning sensation.
Tips to Avoid Heartburn
When you are pregnant you will certainly want to reduce your heartburn symptoms if at all possible. The following tips might help although alleviating the heartburn altogether might not happen until you deliver!
The first tip is to quit smoking if you do, not only for the health of your baby, but also to help relieve the heartburn.
The next tip is to eat healthy and gain as little weight as is recommended. The reason why this helps with heartburn is because the heavier you are the more pressure there is on the stomach. So, if you don’t gain too much weight your risk of heartburn will be less.
Also, eat several smaller meals throughout the day. This helps you digest the food quicker than if you eat just a couple really big meals. Also, try not to eat anything a couple of hors before bed.
Avoid eating acidic or spicy foods as well as alcohol, chocolate, coffee, or fatty foods. These only add to your heartburn headaches.
Wear loose clothing that does not put pressure on your stomach.
These tips may not work for everyone, but if you do follow them you will likely see an improvement in your heartburn symptoms. If not, try using an over the counter antacid. Just make sure you talk to your doctor first to make sure it is ok.