Many mamas experience a variety of lovely pregnancy symptoms, and one of the most common tends to be heartburn and acid reflux. So what causes this and how can one remedy it?
You may be tired of hearing it by now, but yes it is due to those pesky hormones. Throughout the course of pregnancy, your body produces a natural hormone called relaxin, which does exactly what the name implies. Relaxin aids in relaxing your muscles in the body to help prepare for the growing and stretching of the uterus as your body grows. It is amazing how your body knows exactly what it needs to do in order to create space, but does have its downsides.
Some of the muscle tissues that can be affected by relaxin include your gastrointestinal tract, also known as your digestive system. When these muscles relax, it can take longer for your food to move through your system. Since food may move more slowly through the tract, it can then cause a bit of a backup to happen, which can result in many feelings ranging from feeling gassy, bloated, heartburn, and even acid reflux.
How Often Does This Happen?
Everyone's body adjusts to pregnancy differently. Some women may not ever experience heartburn, while others may have it part of or the entire duration of theirs. There is no right or wrong way.
Dos and Don'ts
So what do I do?
First, talk with your care provider if it persists. They will help you find a safe medication to take.
-Eat small frequent meals: helps space out your food so it doesn't back up as often
-Watch what you eat: yes this means avoiding spicy and acidic foods.
-Note your triggers: for some it's tomatoes (for me this pregnancy it's hot chocolate!)
-Elevate your head while sleeping: the best way to do this is by using pillows!
-Drink after meals, not during this allows more space for your food to digest!
-Relax: try yoga, stretching, and even acupuncture
-Flip upside down: so no forward-leaning inversions for helping baby's position
-Eat right before bed: allow adequate time before lying down for your food to digest
-Stress: at the end of the day, you won't be able to completely get rid of all the symptoms, so don't stress too much! Do what you can!