Heartburn during pregnancy can be a very distressing problem. Some women have never suffered with heartburn until they get pregnant and all of a sudden any food seems to trigger the problem.
The main reason why heartburn and pregnancy often go hand in hand is the increase in the hormone progesterone especially during the first trimester.
Progesterone is essential for successful implantation of the fetus in the uterus and maintenance of the pregnancy but it also has the effect of relaxing the smooth muscle tissue in the body, including the lower esophageal valve or sphincter (LES).
This valve normally keeps the food from coming back up the throat once it reaches the stomach. But if the valve is weak, it can relax and allow the acid reflux to come up very easily.
Progesterone also affects the smooth muscle of the intestine and the whole digestive tract, by slowing down the movements that push food along. So your stomach takes longer to empty and digestion is slowed.
There is a purpose to this slowing down. It gives the nutrients you ingest with food more time to be absorbed into the bloodstream and reach your baby.
Unfortunately, a side effect can be heartburn and constipation.
And as the baby grows, it'll put more pressure on the stomach, which will promote re-entry of stomach fluids into the esophagus, causing heartburn.
For a complete discussion of the causes of heartburn click on the link.
There's a lot you can do to relieve the symptoms of heartburn.
"Modifying the diet remains one of the first lines of treatment for people with heartburn" says Suzanne Rose, MD, professor or medical education and medicine and gastroenterology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
Try this ginger tea:
If you don't like the spiciness of fresh ginger, make a ginger tea by adding 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger (or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger), or 3 or 4 thin slices of fresh ginger to a cup of hot water. Let it steep for 10 minutes, strain and enjoy.
For a complete list of healing foods that you can eat to relieve heartburn during pregnancy see the following pages:
RELATED ARTICLES:Constipation during Pregnancy - Which Foods to Eat
Want to find out the specific nutrition and exercises to have a super healthy baby, while maintaining your own health...and bouncing back from pregnancy better than you started?
Get this extraordinary What to Eat While Pregnant Program by Isobel De Los Rios, author of the Diet Solution program.
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A website on pregnancy that I find extremely useful is Pregnancy Friend by Jo Walker. It's packed full of advice and information, do have a look at it!
What to Eat When Problems Arise: