Doctor’s 7 top tips on relieving pregnancy heartburn
Doctor Prakash B. Shankar Specialist Gastroenterologist at Aster Specialty Clinic in Dubai offers his top tips for helping relive pregnancy induced heartburn
Many women experience heartburn for the first time ever during pregnancy. Despite the inevitability of experiencing it during pregnancy, there are many ways to manage and reduce it.
Eat small meals, slowly
Eat smaller meals with adequate intervals between them as opposed to a few large meals. This change can greatly help in reducing the effects of heartburn and acidity. Eating your food slowly also allows your stomach to better digest the food and prevents you from overeating. These steps go a long way in calming the acidity which might flare up during and after meals.
Drink water before meals
Not only does sipping water before meals help increase your fluid intake, but it also gives you a sense of fullness which may prevent you from overindulging during your meals. Fluid intake should be before or after rather than during meals.
Elevate your head and chest while sleeping
Placing blocks under the legs of your bed can help elevate your upper body while you sleep. This prevents the backwash or reflux of stomach acid up into your esophagus.
Understand your triggers and avoid them
Different foods exacerbate heartburn symptoms among pregnant women; it’s important to identify and avoid them.
Stand or walk after your meals
It’s strongly recommended to stand or walk around for a brief period of time, rather than simply sitting or lying down. Some light activity after meals can help speed up digestion.
Don’t go to bed right after eating
Despite the fatigue that accompanies pregnancy, doctors say that going to bed right after eating a meal, heavy or light, can exacerbate the symptoms of heartburn. It’s recommended to have your last meal at least three hours before bedtime. This gives the body enough time to begin digestion and prevents the reflux of stomach contents while you sleep.
Wear loose-fitting clothes
The growing foetus is already putting pressure on your stomach. Tightfitting clothes would only add extra pressure on your already crammed abdomen. Wearing loose-fitting or maternity clothes from an early stage in your pregnancy can help your stomach and abdomen area have some room to breathe.