Acidity and heartburn during pregnancy is the bane of
most pregnant women. For 10 tips to soothe the burning sensation of acidity and
heartburn, and to understand why most pregnant women complain about acidity and
heartburn, read on.
Many women suffer from severe heartburn and acidity only during
pregnancy. While these complaints are quite common, they arenâ€™t dangerous,
but can cause immense discomfort in pregnant women. For most women, these
ailments disappear after the first
trimester, but for some
women these could persist up to 6 months or more.
Difference between Acidity and Heartburn
Any burning or painful sensation experienced in the stomach or rising up
the throat is termed as acidity by laypersons. Medically, however, acidity and
heartburn are two different conditions. Acidity is when the stomach produces an
excess amount of acid than is required for digestion. The excess acid causes a
burning, irritating sensation in the stomach and chest.
Heartburn, on the other hand, is when the acid actually passes upward
through the food pipe, causing an intense burning in the oesophagus, which may
even cause feelings of
intensity of the discomfort is much more in heartburn than that which is felt
Acidity and Heartburn during Pregnancy
During pregnancy, there is excess production of the hormone Progesterone
in the body. While surplus production of progesterone is necessary to relax the
muscles of the uterus during pregnancy, one unfortunate side-effect of
progesterone is that it relaxes the valve separating the stomach from the
oesophagus. In late
pregnancy, the child
crowds the abdominal space and forces the gastric acids to rise upwards, which
cause painful burning sensations in the throat and chest. In most cases the
problem goes away soon after childbirth.
10 Tips to deal with Acidity and Heartburn during
For those pregnant women experiencing heartburn uncomfortably often
during pregnancy, while it is not possible to completely eliminate it, some
basic lifestyle changes and home remedies can help provide some relief from the
discomfort for sure. 10 safe and effective ways to soothe the burning
sensations of acidity and heartburn during pregnancy are as follows:
- Eat small meals
every few hours â€“ Eating five to six small meals instead of three large
ones will reduce the secretion of excess gastric acids and thereby reduce
the burning sensation greatly.
- Eat slowly â€“ When
you eat, chew properly and eat slowly. Relax and enjoy each meal. This
will save you from overeating and hence the possibility of heartburn will
get automatically reduced.
- Sip chilled milk
â€“ Sipping chilled milk, when there is high level of discomfort, will help
you get some relief from heartburn.
- Avoid fluids
during meals â€“ It is advisable to avoid drinking a lot of fluids while
eating. Although pregnant women are advised to drink at least 6 â€“ 8
glasses of water daily, you can compensate by drinking in between meals
instead of during meals.
- Avoid lying down
immediately after eating â€“ Take a walk, do some light household work or
simply sit for a while after finishing your meal. Allow your stomach to
settle and digest your food for some time before lying down to prevent
acidity and heartburn during pregnancy.
- Keep your head
and upper body elevated when sleeping â€“ This is an important step and can
help you prevent acidity and heartburn largely. Either put blocks under
the bed on the side you lay your head, or buy a special pregnancy pillow;
but sleep with your head elevated 6 inches to prevent acid from creeping
up the oesophagus.
- Avoid selected
foods and drinks â€“ Avoid carbonated drinks, alcohol, vinegar and coffee
during pregnancy. Usually spicy, fried and fatty foods, meat, chocolates,
spearmint and peppermint are termed as acidity triggers. Avoid them as
much as possible.
- Pay heed to what
foods trigger your acidity or heartburn â€“ In many cases, the foods that
cause acidity or heartburn are different woman to woman. Pay special
attention to what foods you ate before you got acidity or heartburn and
then try to avoid them.
- Wear loose and
comfortable clothes â€“ Clothing also has a great impact on acidity. In
fact, tight clothes can worsen the burning sensation rising up your
throat. It is better for pregnant women to wear loose-fitting and
comfortable outfits even when stepping out of their home.
- Avoid bending
from the waist â€“ Only do light housework whilst pregnant. If you need to
bend, ensure that you do not bend from your stomach. Bend with your knees
and not from your waist.
Medications to treat Acidity and Heartburn during
It is important to understand that not all antacids or anti-heartburn
medications are safe for pregnant women. In fact, most are not. It
is best to check with your doctor before popping these medicines
indiscriminately in your mouth. If none of the above-mentioned remedies help,
you may ask your doctor to prescribe some low sodium antacids to be taken
Remember, that you are not the only pregnant woman to
suffer from acidity and heartburn. So relax. If you take the above mentioned
precautions and follow your doctorâ€™s orders properly, there is no reason why
you should not have an acidity and heartburn free pregnancy!
What foods cause acidity and heartburn during pregnancy? What precautions can
pregnant women take to prevent acidity and heartburn? How to soothe acidity and
heartburn during pregnancy? Discuss