Feeling the Burn
If your favourite sambal kangkong is causing pain in your chest and making you to burp, don’t be alarmed. At least half of pregnant women experience heartburn.
What Causes It?
Heartburn occurs when your stomach acids rise into your oesophagus, giving you a burning sensation. The high level of progesterone during pregnancy also relaxes the muscle between the oesophagus and stomach, slowing down indigestion. Also, during this trimester, as the uterus grows, it presses upwards on the stomach, pushing stomach acids into the oesophagus.
1. Quit Smoking.
2. Gain weight gradually. Extra kilos can worsen heartburn. Try to stay within the recommended pregnancy weight range.
3. Avoid hearburn-trigger foods. Stay away from spicy food, caffeine, alcohol, greasy food and citrus.
4. Drink before and after meals. Avoid drinking while eating.
5. Eat smaller meals. Large meals may make you feel bloated and uncomfortable.
6. Prop up your head. Sleep with your head elevated about six inches.
7. Avoid tight clothes. Instead go for loose, flowy ones that allow you to breathe.
8. Have an early dinner. Give yourself at least two to three hours to digest your meal before bedtime.
9. Chew properly. Eat slowly and chew well. When you eat too quickly, you often swallow air, which can form gas pockets in your belly.
Natural remedies for heartburn include:
- Ripe papaya. Make sure it’s very ripe as unripe papaya may cause uterine contractions.
- A tablespoon of honey in warm milk.
If acid reflux occurs more than twice a week or you haven’t found relief with over-the-counter medications for more than two weeks, you may be suffering from GERD. See your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.