Pregnancy and reflux – How to manage it
Many of my girlfriends reported this annoying symptom, reflux whilst pregnant. I must admit I was one of the lucky ones that didn’t get this symptom in any of my pregnancies. If you do have it, it is another symptom you have to manage until the end of the pregnancy. It is estimated that about 66% of women will experience reflux or heartburn when they are pregnant.
You should always get your symptoms checked out by a Dr. or midwife, but some of the reasons that you may have reflux are due to the rising levels of hormones whilst your pregnant, particularly progesterone which relaxes the sphincter muscles, causing the content of the stomach to rise back up.
Here are some tips to help you with managing your reflux:
1. Sit up after each meal and you may even need to sleep sitting up at times.
It’s been shown that people who keep their head up have less episodes of reflux symptoms.
2. Certain food groups all lead to a decrease in lower esophageal sphincter pressure. Try to avoid caffeine and chocolate.
3. It is important to eat small meals and eat frequently. By eating smaller meals, it helps empty the stomach quickly.
4. Lying on one’s left side at night. Sleeping on the left side as opposed to the right side may reduce the frequency and duration of reflux episodes in patients prone to symptoms during the night. It is felt that there are more less frequent episodes of reflux in patient’s that lie on the left side as opposed to the right side. Use a side sleeping pillow or full body pillow to help you sleep on one side. It is also recommended whilst pregnant to sleep on your side.
Read more on reflux at
Most importantly, don’t despair, it won’t be long before your tiny little bundle will arrive and you’ll forget that you had you were pregnant and had reflux whilst you focus on the joys of your baby.