I suffer from occasional heartburn, especially after extremely spicy foods but pregnancy makes it way worse and more frequent. Heartburn is a common problem during pregnancy and can become more frequent in the third trimester. It is described as a burning sensation in the center of the chest. It’s not a pleasant feeling but there are ways to help ease the symptoms.
During pregnancy, progesterone causes the valve between the stomach and the esophagus to relax, which allow stomach acid to pass into the esophagus. This hormone is abundant during pregnancy, which is why some mamas-to-be experience heartburn more frequently. Also, heartburn is more common in the third trimester because the growing uterus puts pressure on the stomach. This pressure on the stomach can push contents back up into the esophagus.
Progesterone can also disrupt digestion by slowing down the contractions of your esophagus and intestines. With a growing baby crowding your abdominal cavity, this can lead to stomach acid being pushed back into the esophagus.
- Eat smaller meals throughout the day
- Avoid spicy, greasy, and fatty foods
- Add more fiber into your diet
- Over the counter antacids (talk with your doctor first
- Avoid laying down right after eating
- Eat yogurt
- Drink a glass of milk
- Add a tablespoon of honey to a glass of warm milk
- Drink a glass of herbal tea, such as ginger or chamomile
- Chew sugar free gum
Common foods that trigger heartburn
- Cereals high in salt, sugar, and other additives
- Citrus juices
- Foods with too much added sugar and other artificial sweeteners
- Fried foods
Examples of safe foods to prevent heartburn
- Fresh vegetables, such as leafy greens, squash, cucumbers, and carrots
- Brown rice
- Bone broth
- Fennel seeds
- Purple cabbage
Many women experience heartburn for the first time during pregnancy. It’s generally harmless, though uncomfortable, and in some cases, goes away after baby is born. There is an old wives tales that believes women who have heartburn during pregnancy will have a baby with a full head of hair! If your heartburn becomes unbearable, talk with your doctor about medicines that are safe to use while pregnant.