20 Common Pregnancy Discomforts And How To Manage Them

2. Heartburn

Heartburn often feels like acidic lava rising up through your chest.  You experience it when your stomach acid flows back up into your esophagus (the tube that connects your stomach to your throat). Heartburn can occur more often during pregnancy for various reasons, including hormonal changes and the fact that the growing baby puts pressure on your digestive organs.

Fortunately, there are a number of natural ways to prevent heartburn during pregnancy. Eat small meals more frequently, eat slowly and chew the food thoroughly. Try to eat your main meal at lunchtime and eat your evening meal early so your body can digest it before you go to bed.  Don’t drink liquid while you eat because it dilutes your digestive juices. Don’t overeat and wait for about half an hour before lying down after a meal.  You can raise the head of your bed a little to help prevent heartburn at night.

The type of food you eat affects the amount of acid your stomach produces. It’s often a question of trial and error to find out which foods affect you most. Foods to avoid include spicy, high fat, fried foods, tomatoes, citrus fruit, onions, mustard, chocolate, and sugar. You should also avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks. Carbonated drinks can be added to the list because they create pressure in the stomach and can force stomach acid up through the esophagus.

Eating alkalizing foods like avocados, almonds and green vegetables can help to prevent heartburn. Oatmeal for breakfast is filling and doesn’t cause reflux. Non-citrus fruits such as apples, melons, bananas, and pears are less likely to trigger heartburn. The oil in almonds is great for neutralizing stomach acid and soothes symptoms.