Pregnancy & Indigestion

Heather J. Mills pregnantpepper

There’s a good chance that you will experience some symptoms of indigestion during the second and third trimesters of your pregnancy. Indigestion is a burning sensation that starts in your stomach and rises up your throat. Symptoms can also include a sour taste in the mouth and sleeplessness as a result of discomfort.

The hormone progesterone is produced in elevated amounts during pregnancy.

Progesterone relaxes the muscle that connects the esophagus and the stomach. This allows stomach acids to move up, causing heartburn (also called acid reflux).

As your baby grows, the uterus takes up considerable space and restricts the capacity of the stomach. This greatly slows digestion, causing gas and bloating.

Although indigestion can be uncomfortable, there are ways to ease the symptoms.

* Ask your doctor to recommend an over-the-counter antacid (don’t take activated charcoal tablets; they are not safe during pregnancy).

* Avoid eating certain foods like chocolate, caffeine, citrus fruits and products, processed meats, fatty and spicy foods, and carbonated beverages.

* Elevate your upper body while sleeping – this makes it difficult for the acid to come up.

* Eat smaller meals throughout the day, instead of several large meals.

* Try to avoid drinking at meals; instead, drink in between

* Be careful about your weight gain. Extra pounds put pressure on the abdomen.

* Take a walk after eating. This will aid your digestion.

* Avoid lying down after a meal, and try not to eat directly before going to bed.

More relief for women with gastrointestinal discomfort: although indigestion can feel like it is burning through you, the acids cannot harm your baby.

And remember – stress can agitate indigestion, so try to relax and enjoy your pregnancy!

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