It is indeed some exciting and thrilling news when you find out you are going to have a baby soon. Such report will usually have you all jumpy with excitement until you start experiencing the not so great aspect of being pregnant. Although, it’s all worth it in the end regardless. Amongst the downsides of pregnancy, you are most likely to experience is indigestion which is quite disturbing.
Don’t worry at all, you are not the only one as many other women experience it too. So to help you walk your way through this smoothly, we have here everything you need to know about indigestion and how you can reduce or prevent it.
What Happens During Pregnancy Indigestion?
Indigestion in its medical terms is called dyspepsia. Experiencing such even by a normal person (not pregnant I mean) can be very uncomfortable. Now imagine how uncomfortable a pregnant woman would be if she suffers from it. Indigestion during pregnancy happens to be one of the most common discomforts that a lot of women have amongst many others such as nausea, fatigue, backache and more.
The pain and unnerve you feel in your stomach or tummy either before or after eating is called indigestion. Most times, it occurs after you eat or drink while on some few occasions, it happens before you eat. Indigestion could occur at different stages of your pregnancy and for various reasons. It could either happen in your first, second or third trimester although, it is much more common in women in their second or third trimesters.
This is usually because of the increase in the size of your baby, which then causes some sort of push against your stomach. If it happens in your first trimester, then it’s probably because of the alteration in your body’s hormone levels.
Does your stomach feel uneasy? And you are not sure if its indigestion or something else? Here are some few symptoms that act as pointers to indigestion.
- Feeling all puffed up or bloated
- Burping excessively
- Regurgitation (that is, having food come back up your mouth after swallowing)
- Malaise (that sick feeling)
One of the most striking symptoms that occur with indigestion is heartburn. Heartburn doesn’t literally mean your heart gets burnt; instead, it’s that burning sensation or pain you feel in your throat or chest. It usually occurs when the acid (that aids digestion) from your stomach goes up your esophagus.
We do a lot of things without knowing the side effects that come with them, and most times we think they are harmless, but they aren’t. Some of the things you do that can cause indigestion as well as heartburn are:
High Fat Diet
A lot of women today practice the high fat, low-carb diet, to lose weight or lower their body sugar. But this diet even with its few benefits has more adverse effects. It contributes significantly to indigestion and can lead to some other complication like heart diseases. Some of the high-fat foods include cheese, avocado, and meat and so on.
If you are pregnant, try laying off such diet, after all, it is just for a month. There are way healthier options to choose from.
Taking Big Meals
Although it’s true that pregnant women develop a voracious appetite. It is still advisable to control the amount of food you eat to avoid indigestion. We know you are pregnant, but that doesn’t call for making the “eating for two” myth a reality.
Excessive Chocolate Intake
During pregnancy, you will develop a sweet tooth, however, taking chocolate, especially in excess would cause indigestion to a large extent because of its high fat and calorie content. Plus, it is basic knowledge that too much of everything is bad (and that’s truer when you are pregnant).
Involving Yourself In Physical Activities Just after Eating
This is not just applicable to pregnant women but to every other person. You should give yourself some time to rest immediately after eating, don’t go rushing immediately to do some work no matter how urgent. Give your body enough space to adjust to what you just ate.
Excessive Caffeinated and Fizzy Drinks
Caffeinated drinks are those containing caffeine, and an excellent example of such are tea, coffee, chocolate drinks and the likes. Caffeine should be taken in moderate amounts as it not only cause indigestion but can also affect your baby’s health! This also applies to frizzy drinks because they are carbonated and can make you feel bloated.
How to Deal With Pregnancy Indigestion – Relief and Remedies
1. Antacids are a Lot of Help
Antacids, a substance which counterbalance stomach acidity are entirely safe to take during pregnancies and would quickly soothe indigestion once you drink it.
2. Stay Away from Fried, Spiced and High Fatty Foods
This might be hard because these foods can be really tempting. However, you have to try your best to avoid this sort of food to prevent indigestion.
3. Try to Stop Eating Late at Night
Late night binges might feel necessary sometimes, they don’t just cause indigestion but also stomach upset. It is essential you eat long before your bedtime, to avoid lying down immediately after eating.
4. Reduce your Food Size, Increase the Frequency
Avoid eating many of food at once. Take them in bits; you can increase your meals to about 5- 6 times a day. This is better compared to eating large meals at once.
5. Stay away from Food that Trigger Indigestion
Stay away from tomatoes, caffeinated drinks, fizzy drinks, alcohol, spicy foods and fried foods. They have been found to cause indigestion.
6. Maintain Good Eating Posture
The best eating posture is sitting upright while eating; it would prevent regurgitation and reflux of food back to your mouth or even your nose. The growing baby is already pressing against your stomach, don’t add more pressure.
7. Loose Dresses can also help
Loose fitting dresses are super comfortable and wouldn’t push on your stomach and increase pressure, unlike the tight ones.
8. Take Your Time to Eat
Try not to rush while eating, take it one bite at a time. If you would have to hurry, then it’s better to wait till when you’re settled.
9. Natural Remedies are not a Bad Idea
Natural foods are capable of triggering indigestion but can also soothe them. A few of these natural remedies are almonds, papayas, honey and milk. Although not everyone can take milk.
10. Rest a Little after your Meal
Don’t just stand up immediately after you’ve eaten. Try to sit still for 5-10 minutes allow for digestion to begin. Don’t go doing any work after your meals too.
What Foods to Eat to Bring Down Pregnancy Indigestion
You might not be able to entirely prevent indigestion (and heartburn) during your pregnancy, but you can definitely reduce it. Many foods that you can eat to bring down or reduce indigestion especially if you don’t want to go with drugs are readily available.
Low Acid Foods
From what you have read so far, it is evident that heartburn is one of the primary symptoms of indigestion. Therefore, if you are able to reduce or prevent heartburns, it would go a long way in lowering indigestion. Some of the foods you can eat are:
- Oatmeal: A lot of people already consider this as their breakfast, but if you don’t, now is a great time to try it. It is not just helpful but also satisfying.
- Green vegetables: these types of vegetable aid digestion and are also low in acid content. Some of them are broccoli, green beans, cauliflower and a lot of others
- Papaya: they go a long way in soothing indigestion and heartburns. While taking them, it’s necessary to avoid unripe ones are not safe for you.
- Fish, Meat and Lean Poultry: These are also suitable but shouldn’t be fried; they can be eaten baked, grilled, boiled or steamed. For turkey or chicken, make sure to take off the skin.
Other foods that can reduce indigestion include:
6. Aloe Vera: this is one versatile plant that has been used as a natural remedy for a lot of medically related problems. It can be bought either as a plant, a capsule or even a juice. It helps to soothe indigestion and even other stomach issues.
7. Parsley: this vegetable should be on your food for beauty or decoration sake. It has many medicinal properties which can help soothe and prevent indigestion.
Indigestion can be prevented and reduced, in many ways. You are sure to soothe it if you work with the tips as mentioned above and eat healthily. Once indigestion and heartburns begin to persist and become worse, it is essential you see your doctor to avoid further complications such as pre-eclampsia. As these complications might not just affect you, but also your unborn child. So it is highly critical, that you take good care of your health and that of your child’s. You will find that your pregnancy and delivery is sure will be a smooth journey.