November 27, 2015
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Heartburn and Pregnancy (cont.)

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15 ways to soothe heartburn during pregnancy

The management of heartburn or GERD during pregnancy involves many of the same principles as management in of heartburn or GERD in women who are not pregnant, and the general population that suffers from GERD. Specifically, the so-called "lifestyle" changes should be meticulously followed. Listed are some home remedies that can reduce or eliminate heartburn symptoms.

Raise the head of your bed

The two feet of the head of the bed should be raised on 6 to 8 inch blocks. Alternatively, a 6 to 8 inch wedge-shaped foam rubber pad should be used to elevate the upper body. It is important that the foam be firm enough to truly elevate the upper body. The wedge should also extend all the way to the waist so that the entire chest is elevated. Using pillows alone will not work since this can put pressure on the stomach and aggravate symptoms.

Lay on your left side at night

Lying on the left side at night may decrease acid reflux just as it does in women who are not pregnant, and other individuals with GERD. In this position, it is physically more difficult for acid to reflux into the esophagus. Occasionally, it may be necessary to sleep in a recliner chair at a 45-degree or greater angle.

Don't bend over after eating

After meals avoid activities that require you to bend over. Instead take a short walk, do light housework, or surf the internet to avoid bending over.

Don't smoke

Pregnant women should not smoke. In addition to harming the fetus, smoking weakens the lower esophageal sphincter and aggravates acid reflux.

Bend right

Don't bend at the waist; bend at the knees instead.

Avoid tight clothing

Avoid tight clothing, which puts pressure on your abdomen and can aggravate reflux.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/20/2015


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