Heartburn in pregnancy is a very common problem, which happens due to the effect of the hormone progesterone, which causes relaxation of the body’s muscles to allow the growth of the uterus, but which also ends up relaxing the muscular valve that closes the stomach.
As the stomach can no longer be completely closed, its contents are able to return to the esophagus and heartburn appears. Check out some home remedies to get rid of heartburn faster .
So, to relieve heartburn in pregnancy there are 5 simple but essential tips that must be followed daily:
1. Eat small meals
Eating small meals is important to prevent the stomach from becoming too full, facilitating the return of food and gastric juice to the esophagus. This measure is even more important in late pregnancy, when the size of the uterus increases a lot and tightens all the other organs of the abdomen, leaving little space for the stomach to support large volumes in meals.
2. Do not drink liquids with meals
Drinking fluids during meals leaves the stomach fuller and more distended, making it difficult to close the esophageal sphincter, which is the muscle responsible for preventing the return of gastric acid to the throat.
Thus, one should prefer to drink fluids 30 minutes before or after meals, so that there is not a large accumulation in the stomach.
3. Avoid caffeine and spicy foods
Caffeine stimulates gastric movement, favoring the release of gastric juice and the movement of the stomach, which can trigger the burning sensation of heartburn, especially when the stomach is previously empty. Thus, caffeine-rich foods such as coffee, cola soft drinks, mate tea, green tea and black tea should be avoided.
Very spicy foods, such as pepper, mustard and diced spices, can cause irritation and inflammation in the stomach, worsening heartburn symptoms.
4. Avoid eating at 2 am before bed
Avoiding eating at least 2 hours before bedtime ensures that the digestion of the last meal is finished when bedtime comes. This measure is important because in the lying position it is easier for the food to return towards the esophagus, causing heartburn.
In addition, it is important to sit upright after meals, so that the large belly does not press on the stomach, forcing food towards the esophagus.
5. Eat plain yogurt, vegetables and whole grains
Consuming natural yogurt at least once a day, as well as vegetables, fruits and whole grains at main meals are measures that facilitate digestion and improve intestinal flora. With light and easily digestible foods, intestinal transit is faster and the chances of feeling heartburn are less.
Examples of menu for heartburn in pregnancy
In the table below is an example of a 3-day menu that includes some of the tips previously indicated:
|Meal||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Breakfast||1 cup of plain yogurt + 1 slice of whole grain bread with egg + 1 col of chia tea||200 ml unsweetened juice + 1 whole grain bread with 1 scrambled egg and cheese||1 glass of milk + 1 crepe cheese|
|Morning snack||1 pear + 10 cashew nuts||2 slices of papaya with chia||1 mashed banana with oats|
|Lunch dinner||rice + beans + 120g of lean meat +1 salad + 1 orange,||wholemeal pasta with tuna and tomato sauce + salad||1 piece of cooked fish with vegetables + 1 tangerine|
|Afternoon snack||1 glass of milk + 1 whole cheese and tomato sandwich||1 plain yogurt + 2 col granola soup||avocado vitamin|
If heartburn and burning sensation continue to appear even with adequate food and increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, it is recommended to go to the doctor to make an assessment and possibly use the appropriate medication.