Pregnancy heartburn


If you feel a burning sensation in your chest after you eat, it’s probably heartburn (also called acid indigestion or acid reflux). Heartburn is caused by the hormonal and physical changes that happen in your body during pregnancy, the growing baby pressing on your baby, and the muscles between your stomach and gullet relaxing , allowing stomach acid to pass back up


The association between heartburn being linked to a baby having lots of hair has developed due to the fact that the female hormone oestrogen produced in pregnancy causes the soft muscle of the gullet to relax leading to heartburn but that also this same hormone causes hair growth in the developing baby so the theory is that the more oestrogen the worse heartburn & the more hair !!


Management of heartburn in pregnancy


It’s often simply a case of trial and error to find out which foods affect you most – and then avoiding them.


Eating small meals often, rather than large meals that are hours apart, will prevent your stomach from becoming too full and pushing up under your diaphragm.


Try to eat your main meal of the day at lunchtime. Eat your evening meal early in the evening, so your body has time to digest it before you go to bed.


Avoid spicy rich, fatty and fried foods , and anything else that triggers your symptoms. Sugar, tea and coffee may also make your heartburn worse.


Some women find that foods containing garlic make their heartburn worse. However, for others, eating a clove or two of raw garlic every day, or using whole cloves in cooking, can actually help. Or you could take a garlic capsule to relieve the intensity of your symptoms. Garlic capsules should be rich in allicin to be effective. Ask your midwife before taking any supplements in pregnancy.


If you’re taking iron tablets that make your heartburn worse, talk to your midwife or doctor about changing to a liquid supplement instead.


Drink water between meals rather than with a meal. Drinking while you eat dilutes your digestive juices, meaning they don’t work as well to break down food.


Try to cut down on meat and fizzy drinks, if you have them often. Both can cause heartburn. A little lean meat is healthy during pregnancy, but fizzy drinks have no nutritional value.


Try to stay sitting upright after eating, as lying down may cause you to bring up a little food. Raising the head of your bed in late pregnancy may help.


Heartburn may also be worse if you smoke.

Contact me at midwife@frombumps2babies.co.uk   if you would like a copy of our free ebook “whats usual in pregnancy’

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