Heartburn and indigestion are common in pregnancy. Heartburn, or reflux, often starts in early pregnancy and can continue throughout. This is often the result of an increase in the hormone progesterone. The increase in progesterone often loosens the normal sphincter between the stomach and the esophagus, causing the acid in your stomach to move up the esophagus. The result is a burning pain in your chest and upper stomach. Indigestion is also caused by the increase in progesterone, as the hormone slows the emptying of the stomach, leading to lingering acid.
What Can You Do About It?
- Avoid fatty or deep fried foods
- Avoid chocolate (we know you hate to hear that one)
- Limit your intake of foods such as cabbage, broccoli, or lettuce. These foods can produce excess gas that can worsen heartburn and indigestion.
- Pop those antacids. TUMS is a popular choice AND it also has calcium, which your body needs anyway. As you suck on them, your esophagus will contract and acid will diminish quickly.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol (you know this is a given anyway)
- Sleep in a more upright position.
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