Many women experience acid reflux during pregnancy – the characteristic burning sensation in the chest and the throat, the sour taste of stomach contents rising up towards the mouth and so on may be experiences that many women suffer for the first time when they are pregnant – and there are several reasons for this.
One of the reasons for this is hormonal changes. As the hormonal changes take place inside the pregnant woman’s body they loosen the valve that ordinarily prevents the contents of the stomach from rising up into the food pipe. This is one reason that causes pregnancy acid reflux.
Another reason being that as the baby gains weight and becomes bigger, it pushes the stomach up and cramps it a bit, putting pressure on the stomach.
This is another reason for the acid reflux and the heartburn.
The bad news is that it is difficult to eliminate acid reflux during pregnancy.
However, the good news is that the problem will resolve as soon as the baby arrives and until that time, the following tips may help keep the condition in control.
1. Since acidity is triggered and exacerbated by certain foods, avoid them. Fried, fatty, spicy foods can trigger acidity, as can tomato based foods.
Items containing mustard, vinegar, high amounts of caffeine and so on should be avoided as far as possible.
2. Eat slowly chewing well to give food time to mix properly with saliva which can neutralize stomach acid. Another way to have more saliva reach the stomach is to chew some gum, which is something many experts recommend.
3.As many women find that the baby tends to crowd the stomach, their appetite tends to become smaller so that a big meal will cause acid reflux, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy. So the best thing to avoid acid reflux during pregnancy is to eat smaller, more frequent meals.
4. Avoid putting pressure on the stomach – for this; make sure to wear clothes that fit loosely over the stomach. Also if you have to bend to pick up something, squat to do so rather than bend at the waist (this is also better for your back).
5. It goes without saying that smoking and alcohol are a no-no during pregnancy, for a million other reasons, but also because they contribute to the acid reflux.
6.Drink lots of water. However this water should ideally be taken between meals rather than with meals which can distend the stomach and cause discomfort.
7. Don’t lie down directly after eating since this will certainly add to the pregnancy acid reflux. Wait for a couple of hours for the stomach to digest the food before lying down and then try to use a bed that reclines upward toward the head tilting the body down towards the feet, so that the acid finds it that much more difficult to travel against gravity.
Another sleep tip – experts recommend that women should lie on their left side – this is best for baby and for mommy’s acid reflux.
8.If all of this doesn’t help the acid reflux during pregnancy, speak to the doctor about what antacids are safe to take at this time.