Acid reflux and heartburn in pregnancy - and what to do about it
Acid reflux and heartburn are really common in pregnancy. It is reported that 22% of pregnant people suffer from it in the first trimester, rising to between 60-72% in the third trimester.
Why do acid reflux and heartburn happen when you're pregnant?
When you're pregnant, your body produces more of the hormone progesterone, which causes the stomach valve to relax, and this leads to stomach acid entering the oesophagus and viola causing heartburn. Oh the joys of pregnancy!
It tends to worsen in the later stages of pregnancy - in the second and third trimester, as not only do you produce progesterone, but your growing baby also take up more room, pushing your internal organs around. This means that your baby often literally forces more acid up into your oesophagus.
Ways to naturally relieve acid reflux and heartburn
1. Stay upright after eating - don't be tempted to lie down on the sofa or go to bed immediately. Staying upright will prevent as much acid causing heartburn
2. Reduce your caffeine intake - caffeine also relaxes the oesophageal sphincter and can worsen heartburn.
3. Drink anti-inflammatory, soothing herbal teas to reduce inflammation and pain - our Morning Rescue tea is perfect for this. Don't have more than 2 cups a day.
4. Eat smaller meals more frequently - this can hopefully reduce stress on your stomach, and reduce the production of excessive amounts of stomach acid
5. Avoid fatty and acidic foods - these types of food take longer to digest, and delay your stomach emptying which is known to worsen acid reflux.
6. Wear loose clothes - tightness around your bump and tummy can worsen it.