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5 Ways to Cope with Heartburn in Pregnancy


Updated August 02, 2011

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Photo © Grove Pashley/Getty Images

Heartburn may be a fact of pregnancy for many pregnant women. This is usually experienced as a burning sensation in the upper esophagus or near the back of the throat. It is caused by stomach acids heading the wrong direction.

The combination of hormones slowing the digestive system as well as the added pressure on the stomach from the growing uterus is a perfect breeding ground for this uncomfortable problem. There are some ways to deal with heartburn in pregnancy:

  1. Eat smaller meals.
    To keep down the amount of food meals that there will be less pressure in the esophagus, meaning less risk of the acid backtracking.

  2. Avoid offending foods.
    If you find that spicy foods, greasy foods or carbonated beverages cause you more pain avoid them for the time being. These are common causes of heartburn, but some women will have issues with heartburn eating a small piece of bland bread.

  3. Stay upright.
    If you are able to remain upright for about a half of an hour after eating, you might be able to stave off some of the pain of heartburn. This prevents the acid from coming up the esophagus with gravity.

  4. Eat more often.
    Since you are eating smaller meals, you may need to eat more frequently, also known as grazing. You'll still need the calories, just in a different way.

  5. Don't drink during meals.
    Drinking fluids during a meal will add to the volume in the stomach, which can add to the problems with heartburn.

If you are having lots of problems with heartburn that is not cleared up or helped significantly by these measures talk to your midwife or doctor about other suggestions. Sometimes eating fresh papaya or papaya tablets can be helpful. There are also other over the counter products as well as prescription medications that can sometimes be used.

  1. About.com
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  3. Pregnancy & Childbirth
  4. Your Pregnant Body
  5. Symptoms of Pregnancy
  6. Heartburn
  7. 5 Ways to Cope with Heartburn in Pregnancy

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