Common Discomforts During Pregnancy: Heartburn

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Unfortunately, the same hormone that causes constipation also gives you heartburn. Read on to find out more.



Like constipation, experiencing heartburn during pregnancy is caused by the hormone progesterone. “[It] relaxes the sphincter between the oesophagus (food pipe) and the stomach. As a result, the stomach acid can pass into the oesophagus and cause heartburn. As the womb expands, it can put pressure on the stomach and intestines, pushing stomach contents and acid back up into the oesophagus,” explains Dr Hong Sze Ching, SOG – SC Hong Clinic for Women at Mount Alvernia Hospital.



Heartburn may also be caused by eating very heavy meals,

as well as eating certain foods such as spicy, greasy and fatty ones.



What you can do

Dr Hong recommends doing the following to help ease your heartburn:


  • Eat five to six smaller meals throughout the day, rather than three heavy ones.
  • Avoid lying down too soon after eating. Try to wait for at least one hour or two to allow the food to be digested.
  • Avoid eating spicy, greasy and fatty foods, as well as acidic ones like citrus fruits and caffeine.
  • Consume yoghurt or warm milk.
  • Avoid drinking large amounts of water during mealtimes because it can over-distend your stomach.
  • Prop yourself up with a couple of pillows while you sleep.
  • Take antacid medications containing magnesium and calcium, but be sure to consult your doctor beforehand.
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