Heartburn is a symptom of grastroesophageal reflux. It is caused by the relaxation effect of progesterone on the gastric system which increases in pregnancy and an increase in the lower oesophageal sphincter pressure. There is a delayed emptying in the stomach and with the growing uterus the stomach is pushed upward causing food to stay in the stomach for a longer time. This also causes the stomach acids to travel in the wrong direction into the esophagus causing discomfort.
Up to 50% of pregnant women can experience this during their pregnancy. As the pregnancy moves along women can experience these symptoms more frequently.
- Eat small frequent meals.
- Avoid fatty or spicy foods.
- Sit upright after eating.
- Avoid eating late at night
- Eating dry papaya.
- Chewing gum may help produce saliva which may help neutralize acids.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Avoid over-the-counter remedies such as Alka-Seltzer, because of the high sodium content is not good for the baby.
Some women may experience sever symptoms and the above live style changes may not work. Seek the advice of your healthcare provider.