Acid Reflux And Pregnancy: Causes, Symptoms, Cure and Treatment

Pregnant women can be prone to acid reflux due to an increase in hormone production while the fetus is developing. Hormonal increases can cause the muscles below the throat to weaken and fail to keep the LES (lower oesophagal sphincter) properly shut. This may allow partially digested food and stomach acids to rise back up into the throat.

As the fetus continues to grow it allows less and less room for the vital organs surrounding it. Stomach contents are then pushing up on the LES muscle and managing to get into the lower throat area.

– Don’t eat acid inducing foods like citrus or spicy foods or juices, tomatoes, tomato paste or sauce, mustard, fatty meals or fried meals or chocolate. It is best to skip adding lots of spices or seasoning to your food during this time.

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– Avoid consuming any caffeinated beverages which can temporarily weaken the LES and cause acid to get into the throat. Please avoid coffee, tea and soft drinks of all types.

– Alcohol is a bad idea as well; since it too will weaken the LES for a period of time sufficient for the acid to back up. Alcohol (as well as caffeine mentioned above) will cause you to need even more water as these liquids will dehydrate you.

– Big meals are another bad idea during pregnancy. Eat several in smaller sessions during the day so you will feel better. The stomach needs to produce less acid when digesting small meals so there is less chance of a backup into the throat and possible heartburn.

– Don’t hurry when you eat. You must take care in chewing each bite to help avoid acid reflux. Have a leisurely meal and relax while eating. It’s better for your general health and state of mind as well.

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– Be sure to schedule your dinner so that you have at least 3 hours of uptime after eating. Don’t go to bed right after eating, or even take a nap. Keeping your body upright while food is being digested allows gravity to actually be on your side, and help the food move through your stomach and not back up into the throat.

– Make sure clothes are somewhat loose at the midsection so that the tummy is not restricted and squeezed unnecessarily. Pressure from restrictive clothing in this area can cause acid reflux.

– Do not bend over at the waist as this causes a large amount of stress on the tummy area. Bend at your knees rather than the waist and avoid straining.

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– Mind your posture when seated. Don’t slouch since this can cause acid reflux or heartburn as well as perhaps causing or increasing back pain.

– Watch the scale so that you don’t gain an excessive amount of weight. This will help to control the amount of pressure on the tummy. Your physician will have the best advice about how much weight is ideal to gain during the stages of pregnancy.

– Smoking of course is a bad idea. The health damage that a smoking habit can cause goes beyond acid reflux. It is best avoided for many reasons, and the potential for acid reflux is just one.

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