When you have never experienced heartburn before, becoming pregnant can be a RUDE awakening .
Heartburn occurs when the valve between the stomach and the esophagus (upper esophageal sphincter) are unable to prevent stomach acid from passing upwards. Normally, this can happen due to too much, or too little stomach acid, as stomach acid is a trigger keeping the valve closed. During pregnancy, the hormone progesterone causes the valve to relax, which can increase the frequency of acid splashing backwards, and causing burning symptoms in the chest. In the third trimester, heartburn is more common due to the size of the uterus and its ability to put pressure on the stomach.
Due to these reasons, many women will experience heartburn for their ENTIRE pregnancy.
Thankfully, there are some things that can provide relief for your heartburn including :
- Eating Smaller more frequent meals to help reduce gastric secretions
- Elevate the head of the bed and allow gravity to do its job in keeping things down
- Chew gum- this stimulates the salivary glands and can help neutralize acid
- Acupuncture- for frequent sufferers this can be a great option
- Warm water with honey
- Ginger tea (you can also chew fresh ginger)
- Drinking lots of soups, stews and smoothies can be easier to digest
- Avoiding greasy and deep-fried foods
There are also some over the counter medications & supplements that can help frequent sufferers, but please speak with your healthcare provider before taking any supplement or medication .