Heartburn, constipation, gas, and bloating are all common pregnancy-related digestion symptoms. Fortunately, there are some actions you can take to support your digestive health and help alleviate, and possibly even prevent, these digestive symptoms.
Pregnancy-related heartburn — causes and tips for relief
Heartburn during pregnancy might be caused by changing hormones or, later in pregnancy, by your baby’s increasing size, which can put pressure on internal organs and cause stomach acid to irritate your esophagus. This most often feels like a dull burning sensation in the upper abdomen, the chest, or the throat. Large meals as well as fatty or spicy foods are common food-related causes of heartburn.
If you are experiencing heartburn symptoms while pregnant, there are some simple, sensible things you can do to help find relief:
- Wear loose-fitting clothes (if any of your pants or belts leave a ring around your stomach, they are too tight).
- Sit up while eating.
- Avoid eating late at night. Wait at least an hour after eating before going to bed.
- After eating, take a short walk.
- Avoid lying down for several hours after eating, and if you feel up to it, take a short walk.
- Chew gum or suck on a sour lemon drop (this will increase saliva flow, which neutralizes the acid in the stomach).
- Relax. Sit down, close your eyes, and take 10 long, deep breaths.
- Try sleeping with your head raised several inches above the rest of your body.
Lastly, always consult your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications, even antacids.