Are you concerned about heartburn during pregnancy?
If you are, you’re not alone.
45% of women experience heartburn and gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) during pregnancy.
In fact, as the pregnancy progresses, heartburn prevalence has been shown to increase from 22% in the first trimester to 72% in the third trimester.
Causes of Heartburn During Pregnancy
There are three main reasons that can cause heartburn during pregnancy: hormones, a growing fetus, and a slower digestive system.
Progesterone is a hormone secreted by your ovaries that plays a critical role in your pregnancy. It’s the one that makes sure the fertilized egg is properly implanted in your uterus and that the womb is properly prepared to nurture the growing baby.
However, progesterone also causes muscles to relax in other parts of your body such as the entry/exit esophageal valve that links your stomach to your esophagus. This loosening up of the valve means acid can make its way back up your esophagus causing the notorious heartburn.
Progesterone also leads to a slower digestive system meaning food remains in your stomach longer increasing the likelihood of acids making their way back up your esophagus.
In addition, the baby growing in your womb also displaces organs inside your body cavity. This exerts pressure on your stomach, which in turn can cause acids to be pushed into your esophagus.
With heartburn during pregnancy being so common, what are some remedies surrogate mothers can turn to when dealing with this condition? Let’s explore 5 best practices.
1. Changing Your Diet
Your pregnancy diet is important. Avoid common trigger foods especially those which are spicy and acidic in nature. Acidic foods include citrus, tomatoes, sodas, onions, and caffeine. You would do well to also exclude fried and fatty foods as these further slow down your digestion.
2. Wait To Drink Anything Until After Eating
Eat first and then drink liquids after your meals. Drinking after your meals allows your stomach to calm itself first and reduces having an overfull stomach.
3. Elevate Your Head While Sleeping
Sleeping with an elevated head can reduce the effects of heartburn during pregnancy. You’ll need pillows to raise your head 6 to 9 inches. A wedge pillow can be useful in propping you up comfortably.
4. Eat Smaller Meals
Aim to eat smaller meals spread out across the day than three large meals. In this way, your stomach isn’t filled to capacity at each meal.
5. Opt for Loose Fitting Clothing
There’s a reason comfortable sweatpants are so popular with pregnant women! Loose-fitting clothes allow good circulation and reduce pressure around your belly.
If you would like to learn more about surrogacy in California, don’t hesitate to reach out to our consultants here at Joy of Life® Surrogacy.