Pregnancy is the first time many women may experience heartburn. Heartburn is one of the most very common complaints during pregnancy. It is relatively harmless but very uncomfortable.
Heartburn has nothing to do with your heart, but rather involves a burning sensation in the center of your chest and/or throat. For many pregnant women, heartburn is felt from the bottom of the breastbone to the lower throat. Heartburn can come and go throughout the pregnancy and generally goes way after the baby is born.
This burning sensation is caused when the contents of the stomach move back up into the esophagus. Pressure on the stomach due to pregnancy may cause frequent heartburn, especially in the second half of your pregnancy.
Also, the pregnancy hormones slow down the muscles of the digestive tract and make digestion very slow. This process causes many pregnant women to feel bloated during pregnancy.
Heartburn is more frequent in pregnant women because the extra hormones in your body "cause the valve at the entrance to the stomach to relax so that it doesn't close properly, allowing acidic stomach contents to move upward into the esophagus, a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), or acid reflux," stated Kidshealth.org.
Here are a couple of home or natural remedies to try for pregnancy heartburn:
• Stir a tablespoon of honey in a glass of warm milk.
• Eat yogurt or drink a glass of milk.
Do not use an over-the-counter antacid until you speak with your health care professional. While the magnesium or calcium contained in an OTC antacid may ease discomfort, they can also contain high levels of sodium and even lead which can cause fluid buildup in body tissues.
In addition, here are several tips to minimize the temporary discomfort of heartburn:
• Eat slowly and chew slowly.
• Eat several small meals vs. three large meals per day.
• Drink fluids between meals, not with meals.
• Chew gum after eating which stimulates your salivary glands, and helps neutralize acid.
• Do not lie down right after meals.
• Eat 2-3 hours before bedtime to allow your food to digest before you lie down.