One of the most frustrating catch-22s is the problem of heartburn during pregnancy. The pregnancy itself creates the perfect environment for heartburn, creating pressure that makes it more difficult to keep acids where they should be. Additionally, the rapid changes in hormones releases hormones that relax the door between the stomach and the esophagus. More than 50% of all pregnant women suffer from heartburn during their pregnancy, but because they don't want to take any drugs that will harm their baby, they have to continue to suffer with it.
However, there are a few things that can really help to ease the pain of heartburn and make it occur less frequently.
- Avoid overeating. Eat small, frequent meals instead of larger ones three times a day. This can prevent your stomach from becoming too full and will prevent heartburn from occurring.
- Avoid trigger foods. These include anything caffeinated, carbonated, or acidic, including chocolate and orange juice.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes to avoid putting additional pressure on your stomach that will force acid into your esophagus.
- Elevate your bed a few inches with phone books or bricks. This will help you to avoid heartburn while lying down.
- Avoid eating 2-3 hours before bedtime.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol. These are a bad idea during pregnancy anyway, but they are also triggers for heartburn.
- Milk can help to neutralize acids. It will also be good for you during the pregnancy, as calcium promotes healthy bones.
- Try chewing gum after meals, but avoid mint or spearmint. This can help to neutralize acids with the saliva, but mint and spearmint can actually trigger heartburn.
- Avoid fatty foods as much as possible, which can also trigger heartburn.