Pregnancy guide

PREGNANCY AND HEARTBURN

Heartburn is a common complaint during pregnancy.
Although it has nothing to do with the heart, heartburn involves a burning sensation in the centre of the chest.

What causes heartburn during pregnancy?

Heartburn occurs when the valve between the stomach and the oesophagus are unable to prevent the stomach acids from passing back to the oesophagus.
Pregnancy can increase the frequency of heartburn because the hormone progesterone causes the valve to relax. This allows stomach acid to pass into the oesophagus and irritate the lining.
Heartburn and indigestion are more common during the third trimester, when the growing uterus puts pressure on the intestines and the stomach.

What can I do to treat heartburn during pregnancy?
  • Eat five to six smaller meals throughout the day rather than three meals.
  • Wait an hour after eating to lie down.
  • Avoid spicy, greasy, fatty foods, coffee.
  • Eat yogurt or drink a glass of milk.
  • Try a tablespoon of honey in a glass of warm milk.

Over-the-counter antacids may prove helpful in relieving you of heartburn problems. Do not take them without speaking to your doctor. Some antacids contain high levels of sodium, which can cause fluid build-up in body tissues.

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