Ayurveda

Heartburn during Pregnancy – Causes and Preventive Measures

Most of the women during their pregnancy suffer from heartburn. This medical condition can even occur in women who had never experienced heartburn before their pregnancy. The affected women experience burning sensations in throat and chest, and also acidic, sour taste in the mouth. The reasons behind all these sensations are discussed below.

Causes of Heartburn during Pregnancy

There are many reasons for occurrence of heartburn during pregnancy. The reasons include:

  • During pregnancy, the hormone levels increase in the body that makes the ligaments softer. These soft ligaments keep the oesophageal sphincter closed as usual. At some times, the sphincter may relax at inappropriate time, thus making the stomach acids to revert back into the oesophagus and throat. This leads to severe heartburn.
  • As the baby grows inside, some changes occur in body and thus pressure is applied on the stomach. The pressurized stomach now pushes the acids into the oesophagus through the oesophageal sphincter.

Preventive Measures – Heartburn during Pregnancy

It is very difficult to eliminate heartburn during pregnancy. But following certain measures help to relieve the condition.

  • Avoid taking caffeine items such as cola, coffee and tea. Caffeine can relax the oesophageal sphincter thus makes it open and the stomach acids revert into oesophagus.
  • Avoid foods such as citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, chocolate, highly seasoned, fried, fatty and spicy foods, mint products, vinegar and mustard. They increase the risk of heartburn.
  • Inculcate the habit of eating small meals throughout the day instead of eating large meals.
  • Avoid alcohol intake as it relaxes the sphincter.
  • Eat the last meal at-least three hours before you go to bed.
  • Chew the food properly and don’t just rush taking in your meals.
  • Sleep with your head elevated at-least 6 to 8 inches from the bed level. This will make the stomach acids stay at their place and cannot revert back into oesophagus.
  • Consume lots of water and other fluids during pregnancy. Do not drink water during the meal times. But drink as much water as you can in between the meals.
  • Do not bend at the waist rather you can bend at the knees. As bending at the waist can apply more pressure on the stomach.
  • Do not wear tight clothing especially tight around the stomach and waist. Always wear comfortable and loose clothing.
  • Try to control weight and do not put on the weight. Obesity can put more pressure on the stomach and thus force the acids to revert back.
  • Do not slouch on the chair and always sit in an upright posture.
  • Do not smoke as smoking can increase the risk of heartburn during pregnancy.

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