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7 Ways to Deal with Heartburn during Pregnancy

BY Ariba KhaliqNov 18, 2014

Heartburn during Pregnancy

During pregnancy, heartburn is common and you can taste your food for good three hours after you eat it. There is a burning sensation in your chest and throat, and a sour, acidic taste in your mouth. These are all symptoms of heartburn. The last trimester of pregnancy is the time when you are most susceptible to heartburn because the enlarging uterus displaces the stomach and moves up. This causes acids to move back up into the oesophagus. Here are 7 things you can do to prevent heartburn during pregnancy.

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Watch Your Food

Stay away from fatty, spicy, and deep-fried foods. They not only weaken the lower oesophageal sphincter, allowing the contents of your stomach to flow up into the oesophagus, but also increase the production of stomach acid. You can’t win a combo of reflux and acid, so you don’t want it. It just doesn’t end here- caffeinated and carbonated drinks also cause heartburn. And sure you will hate us for mentioning it, but we would tell regardless, chocolate is another food trigger for heartburn. Other than these, you can eat anything and grow.

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Dodge Gravity

While pregnant, you should sleep keeping your head and shoulders propped up so that your upper body is higher than your feet. This will help stop the reflux of acid to the oesophagus. It may also help you breathe better, and that’s something you must really need that given you have a baby slopping your lungs.

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Eat Small, Frequent Meals

Three big meals a day can give heartburn to anyone, whether you’re pregnant or not. Take it slow and eat whatever you want to in parts. Consuming lighter meals throughout the day not only helps keep acid at bay, it also steer clears morning sickness. The last thing to remember is to eat your last meal of the day no later than 3 hours before going to bed.

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Don’t Lie Down Immediately after Dining

During pregnancy, even eating a meal could make you tired and you might want to lie down immediately after it but don’t do it; at least not for 60 minutes after you have eaten. If you absolutely need to, lie down on your left side. Our bodies are designed such that when we sleep on our left side, stomach acid passes more quickly down our intestines and alleviates acid reflux. It also increases the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby.

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Wear Loose Clothes

If you’re in a rush to wear skin-tight clothing during your pregnancy, hold on that thought until the delivery. Tight clothing may actually increase the pressure on your belly and abdomen, making you more susceptible to acid reflux. Also, always sit up straight because it keeps stomach acid down.

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Drink Plenty of Water

Many-a-times, dehydration can cause heartburn. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water every day to stay hydrated and you should be fine. Just one caution: Don't drink all that water during mealtime. Drinking too much water all at once can dilate the stomach, putting pressure on the lower oesophageal sphincter and causing reflux.

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Chew Gum

For a bad heartburn, chew gum after every meal. Research shows that chewing gum encourages saliva flow, which can reduce acid levels in the oesophagus and may aid in preventing gastroesophageal reflux disease. Gum also contains bicarbonate, which helps neutralize the acid that has refluxed into the oesophagus.

Image: Getty

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