The Pregnancy Heartburn Myth: Why Acid Reflux Affects Expecting Mothers and How You Can Lessen Your Symptoms

Expecting mothers often complain about painful heartburn throughout their pregnancies–and it’s often attributed to silly things.

For example, some people believe the amount of heartburn you experience while pregnant will be an indicator as to how much hair your baby will have…or even what gender your baby will be.

The truth is, however, it’s not actually the heart that is “burning”…it’s acid reflux. And, sorry to tell you, but there’s a really logical medical reason it happens, which has nothing at all to do with whether your baby will have flowing locks or not.

If you or someone you know is pregnant and is dealing with painful acid reflux symptoms, keep reading, because today I’m going to share why this condition happens and how you can ease your symptoms naturally.

Check it out…

Why Acid Reflux Affects Pregnant Women

If you’ve never ever experienced acid reflux symptoms, but you’re suddenly dealing with heartburn, regurgitation, burning, sore throats, etc.; you may be wondering “why now?”

After all, you’ve got enough other unpleasant symptoms to worry about with being pregnant…it’s really unfair you have to deal with acid reflux as well.

Yet, the majority of women who bear children tend to experience acid reflux at some point during their pregnancy.

There are two main reasons this occurs–and no, they have nothing to do with the wives’ tales about heartburn that you may have heard floating around.

The first reason is hormone changes.

Acid reflux occurs when your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) doesn’t completely close after food consumption. This allows for food and stomach acid to travel back up your esophagus.

When you experience hormonal changes due to pregnancy, the hormones can cause your esophagus muscles to relax more than they should. This leads to uncomfortable acid reflux symptoms.

The second reason acid reflux occurs in pregnant women is due to the growth of a baby in the uterus.

As a baby grows, he/she takes up space which, in return, moves and shifts the body’s organs.

This increased pressure and absence of normal space can cause food to travel back up your esophagus, once again causing acid reflux issues.

How to Naturally Soothe Acid Reflux Symptoms During Pregnancy

I personally don’t believe medications are the safest solutions to managing acid reflux…especially if you’re pregnant.

Instead, here’s what I recommend…

Solution #1 – Eat Small Meals throughout Your Day

If internal pressure is what’s causing you to suffer from acid reflux symptoms, eating small meals throughout your day might greatly reduce your acid reflux symptoms.

Eating small meals limits the volume of food matter in your stomach. The less food that’s there, the more difficult it is for the food to be pushed back up your esophagus.

Instead of doing three big meals a day, eat 5-8 small meals and snacks.

Solution #2 – Maintain a Healthy Weight

Most women will gain weight during pregnancy–and that’s a good thing!

But too much weight also contributes to painful acid reflux issues.

If you’re overweight, talk to your doctor about safe ways you can reduce your weight while you’re pregnant.

No matter what your weight is, be sure to continue to include exercise and healthy eating habits into your daily routine so you don’t gain too much weight during your pregnancy.

Solution #3 – Stay Upright after Eating

Lying down after a meal makes it easy for food and stomach acid to travel up your esophagus. If your LES is weakened, without a doubt, you’ll experience painful acid reflux symptoms.

In order to avoid this, I recommend that you stay upright after eating.

To lessen your symptoms even further, I recommend that you…

  • Abstain from eating at least 2 hours before bed.
  • Go for a walk after you eat–movement aids in digestion.
  • Sleep propped up with a pillow.

Looking for more helpful information on managing acid reflux symptoms while pregnant? Here’s some important info on why you should avoid proton pump inhibitors if you’re expecting.