Heartburn is the feeling of a burning sensation which rises in the chest and may radiate up to the neck and throat. Heartburn is usually a symptom of gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD). Around 60 percent of the adult population may experience some type of GERD within a 12 month period and 20 to 30 percent may even have weekly symptoms. Out of these symptoms heartburn is the most common one. Along with being a symptom of GERD, among pregnant women some of the hormonal and physical changes in the body can also cause heartburn.
In many cases, some women experience heartburn for the first time during their pregnancy and although it is common and generally harmless in these cases, it can cause much discomfort. This uncomfortable feeling might continue in regular intervals until the delivery has been done, but in most cases heartburn is no longer a problem after delivery. But cases in which women gain too much weight during pregnancy, they might continue to have heartburn for up to a year after having a baby.
What Foods Can Cause Heartburn During Pregnancy?
Eating habits majorly affects how frequently women may have heartburn during pregnancy. Many foods and drinks could trigger acid reflux and upset the stomach during pregnancy and eventually cause heartburn. These include juices, mustard, vinegar, carbonated drinks, mint products, chocolate, citrus fruits, tomatoes, processed meats, and any food that is spicy, fatty, fried or highly seasoned. Drinking alcohol also causes heartburn during pregnancy along with many of its other side effects, so it must be avoided completely during pregnancy. The amount of food consumed at a particular time also affects the chances of having heartburn. To avoid this, the meals must be small ones which are taken throughout the day instead of three or four big meals. Also food must be chewed properly and slowly.
In many cases, the foods that trigger heartburn are actually healthy foods and are a must to consume during pregnancy, for example, orange juice causes heartburn during pregnancy but it provides the various benefits of folic acid and some other nutrients. So instead of completely avoiding these food materials, pregnant women could follow ways to help their stomach deal with them. To consume fatty foods, pregnant women must eat leaner cuts of meat and low-fat dairy products and bake these foods instead of frying.
Pregnant women should consume low-acid orange juice and must take it only after having their morning cereal or some other breakfast. Other food materials like chocolate, coffee and soda could also be consumed but the intake must be very limited and they should not be eaten on an empty stomach. Some other solutions can also be followed to reduce the chances of heartburn during pregnancy, for example, women should chew gum after eating since it stimulates salivary glands and saliva helps neutralize acid. Drinking of water must be done in between meals, because even though drinking plenty of water is important during pregnancy, too much water can distend the stomach.
What women eat and drink during pregnancy is of great importance, to their health as well as the baby's health. Along with health, comfort is also important during pregnancy, because a stressful pregnancy could lead to poor pregnancy health and development problems in babies down the road. Heartburn could be a major reason for inconvenience and stress during pregnancy; therefore it is very essential that one should try their best to prevent acid reflux in all the way possible. This can be done by making some simple alterations in the diet. One can ask their doctor about the precautions they should follow to avoid the unpleasant acid reflux or heartburn condition.