For some, the second trimester marks the onset of heartburn during pregnancy; also known as acid indigestion or acid reflux, it is a burning sensation that is felt at the back of the throat. Sometimes it is accompanied by an acid taste is felt in the mouth. It is not harmful to the baby but quite uncomfortable for the mother. Hormonal and physical changes are responsible for this. It usually occurs after eating or at nights.
- High levels of progesterone relaxes the muscles, impedes digestion and this causes the stomach acids to flow up into the throat and sometimes into the mouth. The valve at the top of your stomach is not effectively closed.
- Your growing uterus compounds matters by squeezing your stomach upwards
There are things you can do about heartburn during pregnancy..
- Eat several small portions a day instead of three square meals in large sizes
- Avoid spice, fizz, fried or fatty foods, rich foods, mint foods, processed foods and anything that is laden with additives and preservatives.
- Cut down on caffeine
- Try ginger or mint tea; sip cold water or milk
- Chew your food slowly and properly; sit upright while eating or drinking to aid in digestion
- Try not to gain too much of weight
- Try foods that help neutralize your stomach acids such as milk or yoghurt or acidophilus drinks
- Give yourself 2-3 hours break before lying down.
- Try elevating your head with some pillows instead of lying flat on your bed or couch
- Bend from your knees and not the waist when you pick things up
- Wear clothes and sleepwear that is not restrictive around the waist
- If none of these work, ask your doctor for a suitable antacid that are safe during pregnancy
Tidbits to munch on..
A myth, but some women (not from your generation most probably), feel that heartburn during pregnancy means that the baby will have lots of hair. The fact however is heartburn has much more to do with your hormones than baby's hair!