Pregnancy Heartburn Relief
Looking for Safe Heartburn Relief During Pregnancy?
Finding an effective yet safe heartburn relief during pregnancy can be quite a challenge! Pregnancy, to most women, often feels like an entirely different way of life. Gone are the days when one could knock back a few drinks with the gals, sleep on one’s tummy, and go for a walk without making notes of bathrooms along the way. Another change that a pregnant woman is bound to notice is the fact that medicine labels now hold an entirely new power over her. Suddenly she is unsure whether her usual heartburn medication is really safe to take during pregnancy. Although all-natural alternative may seem more appealing, some herbal remedies can be just as dangerous as medication during pregnancy. Take a look at a few of the following options that provide safe heartburn relief during pregnancy.
Antacid tablets made up of calcium carbonate are safe to use during pregnancy and can double as a calcium supplement. The main cause behind heartburn is that the stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, which lacks a protective lining like the stomach has. Calcium is an element which naturally neutralizes the effects of the acid, thus reducing its burning effects in one’s throat and chest. The down side to taking antacid tablets is that it is imperative to consume an adequate amount of fiber. Pregnant women are naturally prone to developing hemorrhoids, which can be worsened by bowels that lack stool-softening fiber. The dryness of calcium carbonate can contribute to dry, hard bowels and constipation, thus antacids must be countered with adequate amounts of fiber. Adding a light bran cereal or a fiber supplement to one’s diet should be sufficient.
Avoid Big Meals
Granted that the early weeks of pregnancy are often riddled with nausea and vomiting spells, the second trimester is often the fun time when pregnant women can finally enjoy food again! The trick is to not enjoy it in large amounts, as this is a large contributor to heartburn. As discussed earlier, heartburn is caused by acid backing up into the esophagus. This can be cause by overfilling the stomach which prevents the sphincter at the top of the stomach from remaining closed. An overly full tummy will force acid through the sphincter and leave a gal in agony for sometimes hours in one go! To avoid this, it is recommended to eat six to eight smaller meals throughout the day rather than three square meals and a snack, as one might be used to.
Don’t Eat Before Bed
Eating just before bed is a strict no-no, and not just for pregnant women. While it may not be a good idea to go to bed on a totally empty stomach, eating a full meal just before bed is practically asking for acid reflux. When we lay down, the sphincter at the stomach’s opening can at times be forced to relax. In its relaxed state the sphincter cannot effectively contain the food and acid within the stomach, thus one can find themselves bolting upright as they struggle to control the bits of acid and food particles that shoot up the throat. It is recommended to eat at least two or three hours before going to bed. If a meal before bed cannot be prevented, then try propping the upper body with a few pillows so as not to lay flat.
Avoid Whole Milk
It can be very tempting to guzzle an ice cold glass of milk when the first signs of heartburn begin to stir. This, however, is a grave mistake. Although the calcium found in milk can help to neutralize the acid within the stomach, the fat content of whole (and even one or two percent) milk can stimulate the stomach to produce more acid. One may feel a half hour of relief only to suffer twice as badly later on. If milk is the only option, choose skim (aka: fat free) milk, which is less likely to stimulate further acid production.
Heartburn relief during pregnancy is probably one of the most nagging symptoms of pregnancy, however a bit of smart planning for meal times (and avoiding greasy or fatty foods) can go a long way to prevent this nasty condition!