Everyone has been affected by heartburn once or many times in their lives, but when we are pregnant, the chances are even more. I remember I was affected with heartburn during my last trimester; I would sleep while almost sitting!! What is it? It’s a feeling of indigested food with burning sensation in the chest due to acid coming up to the food pipe.

You know what causes this unpleasant feeling?

Stress activates heartburn signs but in the power of the mind. As you will perceive the acid causing more pain but not more production of acid. So my dear ladies, take a deep breath and relax!

Being overweight and heartburn are good friends, this is due to excess belly fat and chemicals released by the fats which are the culprits. When we are pregnant we eat for two, huh? Right? Let’s eat healthy from now on.

Smoking is number one trigger as it makes the valve between stomach and food pipe weak, hence the acid can easily pass up the food pipe. It also cuts down saliva which helps wash away acid. Say no to smoking Mothers-to-be.

Is there a link between your headaches and heartburn? Think twice before taking Ibuprofen as it triggers heartburn. Antibiotics, blood pressure drugs, asthma medicine- bronchodilators, osteoporosis drugs and some sedatives trigger heartburn too. DON’T stop using them ladies, discuss it with your doctor first!

Look around your dinner table…not only fatty foods but your family. As 30% is caused by your genes which is linked with acid hypersensitivity and stomach function shortcomings. We can’t control this one 🙁

Not forgetting what we eat, the food that we like can harm us, such as chocolate, fatty foods, spicy foods, tomatoes, caffeine drinks, citrus fruits (oranges, lime etc.), alcohol, garlic, raw onion, black pepper, and peppermint and fish oil.

Nothing ruins a great meal as much as a painful period of heartburn. You should try these home remedies:

  • Chewing gum helps produce extra saliva to wash away the extra acid produced and relieve heartburn. Ladies, we should only chew after meals for at least 30 minutes.
  • Don’t lie down just after food. You should sit upright for 3 to 4 hours so that the stomach food content and acid doesn’t easily come up to the food pipe.
  • When you mix Bicarbonate of soda – ½ to 1 teaspoon in one glass of water, it provides instant relief of the burning sensation. It shouldn’t be used more than a week because it’s high in salts and that is not healthy for your body during pregnancy.
  • Aloe is good to soothe burns; hence drinking aloe juice will help with the burning feeling and reduce any inflammation. Be mindful as it causes many trips to the washroom.
  • Drink herbal tea such as light ginger tea, which can calm the stomach and act as acid buffer. Chamomile can also reduce stress which can trigger more acid.

If symptoms persist, please see your Doctor!

 

This article is contributed by Dr. Ahlaam Awadh