Heartburn is common during pregnancy. Around 25 percent of pregnant women suffer acid reflux or heartburn. It can start in early in the first or second trimesters and continues until childbirth, because of the increasing pressure on the abdominal area by the uterus.
This increased pressure can cause acid backflow in the oesophagus, leading to heartburn. Hormonal changes i.e. increased oestrogen and progesterone during pregnancy can also cause this condition. Ideally heartburn is mild in pregnant women, however, in some rare cases it can be severe.
Heartburn can be treated with some antacids, but it is recommended not to take any medication without a doctor's advice. If it is not a very severe heartburn case needing immediate medical attention, prevention is better than cure.
You can reduce the effect of heartburn by including lifestyle changes such as:
- Avoid consuming food and beverage mainly, coffee, tea, citrus fruits, tomato, vinegar, mint, oily and spicy food, fried and fatty content, including chocolates.
- Avoid taking large meals after long gaps.
- Drink more water
- Eat dinner early, 2-3 hours before bedtime, to allow proper food digestion
- Keep upper body elevated at an angle during sleep, preventing acid backflow
- Chewing gums help in producing more saliva and acid neutralization
If symptoms are not eliminated or reduced by changed food habits, consult a doctor.