I'm in my second trimester. No matter what I eat, I get heartburn. Is this
normal? If so, what can I do to feel better? – Cari
Heartburn — which, despite its name, has nothing to do with the heart —
is a common pregnancy complaint.
Many pregnant women experience a burning sensation in the throat and chest when
the stomach contents move back up into the esophagus (the tube that moves food from
the throat to the stomach). This may be because hormones cause the valve
at the entrance to the stomach to relax so that it doesn't close properly, allowing
acidic stomach contents to move upward into the esophagus, a condition known as gastroesophageal
reflux (GER), or acid reflux. It can get worse later in the pregnancy when the growing
uterus presses upward on the stomach.
To help minimize the discomfort of heartburn:
Steer clear of certain foods and drinks that can make it worse — citrus;
spicy, fatty (especially fried or greasy) foods; caffeine; and carbonated drinks.
Eat several small meals throughout the day.
Take your time when eating.
Drink fluids between — not during — meals.
Avoid eating or drinking for 3 hours before bedtime.
Resist the urge to lie down after meals.
Elevate your head when sleeping.
Talk to your doctor about medications that can safely be taken for heartburn during