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Acid Stomach & Pregnancy

by
author image Virginia Franco
Based in Charlotte, N.C., Virginia Franco has more than 15 years experience freelance writing. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the education magazine "My School Rocks" and Work.com. Franco has a master's degree in social work with an emphasis in health care from the University of Maryland and a journalism degree from the University of Richmond.
Acid Stomach & Pregnancy
Ginger, along with lifestyle changes, can minimize acid problems during pregnancy. Photo Credit crystallized ginger image by Carpenter from <a href="http://www.fotolia.com">Fotolia.com</a>

Many pregnant women get heartburn, sometimes referred to as acid indigestion or acid reflux. This condition is generally harmless, but it can be very uncomfortable. Fortunately, most cases can be safely treated with over-the-counter remedies, along with simple diet and lifestyle changes. Many women experience heartburn for the first time during pregnancy---and though it's common and generally harmless, it can be quite uncomfortable.

Causes

There are several changes that occur in the body during pregnancy that cause acid stomach, according to the website GynOb. For starters, increased levels of progesterone work to slow down stomach efficiency and keep food there longer. Meanwhile, the growing uterus causes the stomach to have to shift along with other organs while the diaphragm that houses the esophagus grows wider. All of these contribute to acid reflux. In addition, some women find that the high iron content of prenatal vitamins can further irritate the stomach and cause acid stomach symptoms.

Symptoms

Heartburn causes pregnant women to feel a burning sensation, according to the information website BabyCenter. This feeling can stretch from the bottom of the breastbone all the way to the lower part of the throat.

Over-the-Counter Remedies

Liquid and tablet antacid medications work to neutralize acid sitting in the stomach. Chewable antacids made from calcium carbonate, and liquid antacids containing magnesium hydroxide or oxide are also effective, according to BabyCenter. Avoid antacids with aluminum on the label as this ingredient can cause constipation and possibly be toxic in large doses.

A small amount of ginger can help to stimulate saliva production, according to the Disabled World, and saliva is a natural antacid. Chewing gum can also stimulate the salivary glands.

Foods to Avoid

BabyCenter advises pregnant women suffering from acid stomach to avoid food and drinks that appear to make matters worse. Caffeinated, carbonated and alcoholic beverages along with citrus fruits, veggies and juices, tend to exacerbate acid reflux symptoms. Processed meats, chocolate, mint products and foods that are spicy, heavily seasoned, fried or fatty can also increase acid stomach.

Eating Habits

Slight changes in eating and drinking habits can also help manage acid stomach discomfort. Eat several small meals and drinks throughout the day versus three large meals with high volumes of fluids. BabyCenter also recommends waiting two to three hours after eating before lying down or sleeping,

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