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Managing Pregnancy Related Heartburn

Posted Jan 14 2009 4:41pm

Pregnancy and heartburn all too often seem to go hand in hand. One of the causes of this is the raised hormonal levels that are due to pregnancy. This leads to softening of the ligaments which normally keep the lower esophageal sphincter tightly closed. Therefore, stomach acids are largely unhindered in traveling up to the throat and esophagus.

Another contributor to heartburn during pregnancy is the added pressure that the developing baby places on the stomach area. Often that can cause the stomach acids to climb up to the esophagus.

There are various methods by which a pregnant woman can reduce the discomfort caused by heartburn. Here are some tips that should provide some heartburn relief.

* Avoid foods that trigger heartburn. This includes chocolate, spicy foods, citrus products, tomato based products, as well as fatty and fried foods.

* Don’t drink beverages that are high in caffeine like tea, coffee and cola.

* Avoid alcohol, which you should anyway for the health of your baby.

* Consume smaller portions of food. Eating mini meals spaced throughout the day will ease the pressure on the stomach.

* Don’t eat too fast.

* Don’t go to sleep for at least three hours following a meal. You’re less likely to experience nighttime heartburn.

* Drink lots of water, at least 8 to 10 glasses each day. But be careful that you don’t drink while eating if you can possibly avoid it. This leads to excess stomach expansion which helps to push out the gastric acids in your stomach.

* While sleeping keep your head elevated approximately six to eight inches. A wedge pillow might be useful for this. This gives gravity some help in keeping your stomach acids from climbing the esophagus.

* Don’t wear tight fitting clothes. Tightness around the waist and stomach will trigger heartburn.

* Bend at the knees, not at the waist. This keeps pressure off the stomach.

* Watch your posture. Sit upright in a comfy chair.

* Keep weight gain to healthy levels. Too much extra weight puts more stress on your stomach.

* Stop smoking. Not only is it unhealthy for your baby, it contributes to heartburn symptoms.

Just about everyone experiences heartburn at one time or another. Learn more about the symptoms, prevention and treatment of this uncomfortable condition at Heartburn Relief.

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