Most expecting mothers are affected by heartburn and indigestion, majorly because of all the unstable hormonal activities occurring in the body. These hormones effectively slow down several body functions, including the digestive system. Apart from heartburn, some other signs of indigestion during pregnancy are belching, nausea and bloating. These symptoms of heartburn due to indigestion can be increasingly felt after the 27th week of pregnancy.
What causes heartburn and indigestion in pregnant women?
Heartburn and indigestion are common health scenarios with expecting mothers; they occur due to the three major reasons as listed below:
- The heightened hormonal activity that is preparing your body for childbirth.
- As the baby grows, he/she significantly occupies a lot of space in the body. This leaves a constricted space for organs like the stomach and the intestines. You will observe that the intensity of indigestion will increase as the due date approaches.
- The esophageal sphincter, which is an entrance between your esophagus and stomach relaxes frequently during this transitional period. This can cause the acids in the stomach to venture toward the chest and throat, leading to heartburn.
Remedies for alleviating heartburn and ingestion during pregnancy
Besides being a reason for your discomfort, indigestion doesn’t really harm your baby. Although you cannot avoid indigestion entirely during your pregnancy, there are certain steps that you can take to alleviate heartburn.
But first, visit your obstetrician to get a comprehensive perspective on your and your baby’s health so that he/she could accurately diagnose you. This is also because every mother’s case is different, i.e., in certain cases, a mother may be able to control heartburn and indigestion by following a proper food diet and exercise regime. On the other hand, some mothers may need prescribed medications to alleviate the uneasiness. While diagnosing you, doctors will typically ask you questions about your symptoms, eating regime, lifestyle habits, attempted treatments, etc. On the basis of your response, they can guide with the following mentioned changes and treatments.
An increased appetite is natural during pregnancy; however, at times, your body is unable accept high amounts of food. You may be tempted to eat your favorite foods, though you must cleverly find ways to eat them. The first step you take is to eat small meals multiple times a day. This is because heavy meals can be hard to digest, which can lead to vomiting. Therefore, instead of having three regular meals, have 6-7 small meals. Exercising such caution will also help you deal with situations like morning sickness. Furthermore, remember while eating you must slowly chew your food so that your baby is easily able to extract all the required nutrients for its growth.
Take a stroll
Few minutes after having your meal, take a brief stroll that will encourage healthy movement in the digestive system. If you prefer, you can also do some simple household chores so that the body engages is some kind of mobility. It is not ideal to simply lie down after having a meal as it would trigger heartburn and nausea. Therefore, keep a considerable gap between your dinner and sleeping time.
Elevated sleeping position
While sleeping, ensure that you are positioned in an elevated position. You can do this by adding a wedge-shaped cushion, which is conveniently available at various furnishing stores. This method will help your body prevent the upward movement of the stomach acids.
Avoid certain kind of foods
This particular aspect of indigestion and heartburn varies from woman to woman. For instance, in your case, dairy products might be the reason for heartburn, for another mum it could be citrus fruits. The key is to quickly identify your body’s reactions with certain kinds of food. Once this disproportion is recognized, you can implement moderation or cut down on the consumption of such food items.
Close-fitting clothing will only increase your body discomfort. Therefore, pick maternity clothes that won’t aggravate your heartburn condition by pressurizing your abdomen. Moreover, ensure that the clothing you buy is made of cotton fabric.
Cease bad lifestyle habits
Drinking and smoking do not just worsen conditions like heartburn and indigestion, they cause major health risks for baby’s development. If you are coping with problems while quitting such habits, please inform your doctor as they can help you through the process.
If none of the natural remedies are working for you, then the doctor might be able to prescribe you with certain anti-inflammatory drugs or anti-depressants. Although make sure that you don’t self-medicate under any circumstances. Furthermore, if you happen to feel any forms of side-effects, please get in touch with the doctor.
Over the counter products
You can find products like antacids and alginates to gain some relief from heartburn and indigestion. Although, before simply purchasing, call up your gynecologist/obstetrician for approval, just to ensure your baby’s and your safety. However, remember these can just offer you with a temporary form of relief from heartburn.