Best Way to Prevent Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

For many reasons, women who are pregnant often experience acid reflux and heartburn symptoms. One of these reasons is that when women are pregnant, their hormones increase which causes softening of the ligaments surrounding the esophagus. The main purpose of these ligaments is to prevent the lower esophageal sphincter, also known as the LES, from opening by keeping it tightly closed. Sometimes, the LES will relax at the wrong time, causing food and gastric acid to flow back up into the throat and esophagus.

Another reason for acid reflux in pregnant women is due to the fact that since the baby is steadily growing, it is pushing against the mother’s stomach. This in turn will cause pressure, which results in the stomach contents being pushed back into the throat and LES.

Treat Acid Reflux1 Best Way to Prevent Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

There are many steps that pregnant women can take to prevent experiencing acid reflux and heartburn problems. Though they are likely to provide relief, do not expect them to fully rid of the symptoms.

First, do not eat foods that are acidic. These include, but are not limited to, spicy foods, citrus juice and fruits, foods high in fat, tomatoes and products made from tomatoes like ketchup, fried foods, and dishes that contain a lot of seasoning. Consult with your doctor or nutritionist and they will provide you with an entire list of foods to stay away from, as well as foods that are considered safe.

Avoid foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as caffeinated sodas, coffee, and tea. An abundance of caffeine will certainly cause relaxation of the LEX.

Do not consume any alcoholic beverages. Not only can these cause irreversible damage to your unborn child, it also increases acid reflux and heartburn issues.

Try not to eat large meals in one sitting. It is recommended that you eat small meals during the day.

When you do eat, take your time by not rushing your food down. When your food is thoroughly chewed, it decreases your chances of getting heartburn.

Wait at least 3 hours after a meal before you lie down and/or go to sleep.

Though it is suggested that pregnant women increase their daily water intake, usually by about 8-10 glasses, it is not advised that she drinks the water during meals. If too much water is consumed during meals, this will result in the stomach expanding, thus putting more pressure on the LES. To get the proper amount of water and liquids, drink between meals.

Another good idea is to keep your head and shoulders elevated when sleeping during the night. Elevate the head of your bed about 6 to 8 inches and sleep with a wedge shaped pillow. By doing this, the gravity will keep your stomach contents where they belong and will prevent anything from being pushed into your esophagus. Your doctor can also provide you with more ideas as to how to prevent nighttime heartburn.

Stay away from clothes with tight fits. Too much tightness in the waist and stomach area can cause acid reflux; not to mention it can give an overall feeling of uneasiness.

Treat Acid Reflux 11 Best Way to Prevent Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

If you need to do any bending, make sure you bend at the knees as opposed to the waist.

When sitting, do not slouch; sit in a proper upright position.

Try to keep a good weight. If you are too heavy, this will apply more unneeded pressure on your stomach area, causing heartburn. Check with your doctor for the appropriate weight guideline.

Lastly, do no smoke. Like alcohol, there are many negative effects that can come from smoking, with heartburn being one of them.

Leave a Reply