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Heartburn is absolutely normal in pregnancy, it is unpleasant, and for me, I could have had gaviscon by the truckload.
Heartburn, or indigestion, also known as dyspepsia affects as many as 8 out of 10 women in pregnancy. Contrary to the myth that heartburn means you are carrying a baby with lots of hair, it is caused in the early stages by the increase of the hormone progesterone, this relaxes the womb, and also causes the stomach to slow down its wave like contractions and our digestion becomes slow and sluggish.
The valve that separates the oesophagus from the stomach also becomes relaxed and this let's acid travel up from the stomach, causing the burning sensation and nastiness that is heartburn.
As we progress in our pregnancy and become bigger, the organs become pushed up into the diaphragm and with the slowness of the digestion the acid gets pushed up, too much pressure baby.
There are many triggers for heartburn, these include..
- A full stomach
- Tight clothes
- Spicy foods
- Foods including chocolate, onions, mint, citrus fruits, juices, tomatoes and high fat foods
Yes, there are several ways to help you reduce the heartburn sensations, which include nausea, burning sensations in the throat and mouth.
1. Eating smaller meals, instead of the usual 3 meals, try having 5 or 6 small meals
2. Snack regularly - don't let yourself become too hungry, this causes an influx of acid
3. Always eat a good breakfast, this helps to rid the stomach of the acid built up over night
4. Avoid meat, on average, it takes more acid and longer to breakdown and digest meat in the stomach then it does any food.
5. Eat your food slower, slow and mindful eating results in chewing your food properly and can reduce the heartburn.
6. After a meal, try doing an activity that requires standing up like gentle walking, laying down and sitting will only push the acid back up.
7. Try not to eat or drink directly before bed, this will cause heartburn the moment you lay down.
8. Keep your upper body and heart alleviated more when in bed.
Jeani is an award winning therapist, healer, author and speaker. Jeani has on her own journey of healing overcome PTSD, clinical depression and agonising anxiety. A mother of 4 who suffered with birth trauma and pre and post natal depression, now prides herself on having worked with 1000's of adults, adolescents and women through pregnancy, labour and their transition into motherhood.
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