Heartburn happens when pregnancy hormones cause your smooth-muscle tissue to relax, slowing down digestion. Food sits in your stomach longer and you produce more stomach acid, and that acid can get backed up into your esophagus. And in the third trimester your baby starts to put pressure on your stomach and lower esophagus which can make the problem worse.
Here are some things that can help:
Eat less, more often. Instead of three big meals try six small meals, and snack on nuts, fruits and vegetables.
Drink between meals. To avoid your stomach getting overly full, drink liquids between meals and stop drinking about 20 minutes before you eat, just drink enough during dinner to help swallow your food.
Be alert to triggers. Tomato sauce and greasy or spicy foods are well-known triggers. Carbonated beverages, sugary foods, coffee and tea are common culprits, too. When you get heartburn try to think back to what you may have eaten in the past few hours.
Walk after meals. A quick 15-minute walk around the block can help stimulate digestion, which can help heartburn pass more quickly.
Try an antacid. Most antacids are safe to take during pregnancy, though follow dosing instructions and don’t use them long-term, they can inhibit the absorption of nutrients and there’s evidence that ongoing use can contribute to B12 deficiency and anemia.
Vinegar. It would seem like acidic vinegar should make heartburn worse, but hundreds of moms swear by it. Perhaps it helps speed digestion? To give it a try, down a couple of tablespoons of any kind of vinegar (rice, red wine, Balsamic) chased by a glass of water.
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