Pregnancy brings on a host of changes to the body. During the second trimester and before, frequent heartburn is one of these unfortunate changes. Your stomach and other organs will feel the pressure of your growing young one. This pressure coupled with hormonal changes that slow digestion lead to heartburn symptoms in pregnant women.
Changing your eating habits is one of the most effective things you can do to avoid heartburn. You don't want your stomach to get too full, as this will more easily lead to acid overflow. Instead of eating a large meal at one sitting, eat a smaller meal instead. You will still need to get your calories in, especially since you're eating for two. You will need to eat more meals over the course of the day.
It is also important that you not be in a rush when eating. Chew your food thoroughly since doing so reduces the workload for your digestive system. Chewing on a piece of gum after you have finished eating is also a good idea. No, not only to cure bad breath. The increased saliva production will help negate the effects of any acid that makes it way into your esophagus.
Certain foods are responsible for causing heartburn. Those that are spicy or greasy are the most common offenders. Drinking soft drinks may lead to symptoms as well thanks to the carbonation. Other potentially problematic foods include citrus fruits and tomatoes.
Everyone is different though. Some women will experience heartburn symptoms during pregnancy after eating plain rice. Keep track of what causes issues you and make note to avoid them in the near future.
You may be tempted to take a nap after eating something. Nothing could be worse. By lying down, you'll negate the beneficial effects of gravity with keeping acid in the stomach. It is best to stay upright for at least two hours to give your food time to get through the stomach.
Like other frequent heartburn sufferers, pregnant women can easily experience heartburn pain at night. To help keep this from happening, you can simply elevate your head while sleep. The steeper angle will make it more difficult for acid to reach the esophagus.
You can elevate your head and remain comfortable at the same time by making use of a wedge pillow. Using two or three standard pillows will get the job done too. If you're looking for a more permanent solution though, then use a cinder block or a few bricks to raise the legs of the bed.
Fortunately, heartburn symptoms during pregnancy won't last forever. It will all be worth it in the end.