Avoiding heartburn during pregnancy does not require medications or drastic measures. It only requires having healthier eating habits and changes in lifestyle. There is also no additional cost involved.
Heartburn in Pregnancy – Effects of Progesterone
A lot of women feel heartburn in pregnancy. This may be due to a change in the hormones in the body and may be harmless but uncomfortable. The woman feels a burning sensation in her chest because of acid indigestion or acid reflux. During pregnancy, progesterone is produced by the placenta to relax the uterine muscles as well as the valve between the stomach and esophagus. This action lets the gastric acid go back up the esophagus and creates heartburn in pregnancy. Digestion also slows down the contractions of the esophagus and intestines due to the presence of progesterone. As the fetus grows, this problem also increases since the baby crams the abdominal cavity and pushes back the acid.
Heartburn Treatment – Changing Eating Habits
Simple remedies can be followed in heartburn treatment. Staying away from foods that cause heartburn may be all that is needed not to suffer from it. These foods include alcohol, chocolate, caffeinated beverages such as sodas and coffee, peppermint, spearmint, tomatoes or tomato sauce, citrus fruits and juices, spicy and fatty foods including dairy products. Since the digestive system is involved, a heartburn treatment requires eating small meals which allows lesser pressure on the esophagus and prevents acids to rise back up. Pregnant women are also advised not to lie down or exercise within three hours after eating. Like any changes required when pregnant, women are also advised to quit smoking to lessen the effect of cigarettes on the esophagus.
Heartburn Home Remedies – Alternatives
Aside from changing one’s eating habits and lifestyle to deal with heartburn, an alternative is to consume herbs and vegetables. Drinking milk or any antacid is also not suggested since the former can only relieve the symptoms for a short while and adds to acid production while the latter limits nutrient absorption. Alternatively, pregnant women can chew papaya tablets or drink aloe vera juice. Other heartburn home remedies include drinking chamomile tea after meals or drinking the juice made from raw but clean potatoes. Mild discomfort can also be alleviated by drinking lots of water. Taking in organic food or juices when suffering from heartburn is recommended for pregnant women because it has no adverse effects on the fetus.