Your stomach creates acid, which is necessary to digest the food. However, when the stomach creates more acid than needed, it triggers stomach pain and a slight burning sensation near the chest bone. This condition is commonly called acidity.
Acidity also leads to acid reflux. It occurs when the acid from your stomach jumps back into your esophagus-the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. These acids irritate the sensitive esophageal lining and cause pain and discomfort.
Pregnant women are often prone to acidity. It usually occurs due to the following reasons:
• As the uterus grows, it pushes against the stomach thereby imposing pressure on the stomach, this can cause the stomach acid to backflow.
• Hormonal changes in pregnancy can also cause the valve between your esophagus and stomach to relax. This, in turn, allows the acid to escape up to your throat.
• Lastly, since the body undergoes a lot of changes during pregnancy, there is a slow movement of food. As the stomach remains fuller longer, the chances of acid backflow increases.
Symptoms of Acidity and Indigestion Include:
• Feeling full, heavy, or bloated
• Burping or belching
• Bringing up food
• Sour taste in the mouth
• Pain in the chest or stomach
How to Prevent Acidity
The best way to prevent acidity is to follow an appropriate diet during pregnancy. If you have too much acidity you can incorporate these specific foods into your pregnancy diet plan to manage symptoms of acid reflux.
• Vegetables –Naturally low in fat and sugar, they help reduce stomach acid.
• Ginger – Filled with anti-inflammatory properties, this food item is a natural treatment for gastrointestinal problems. (Note: You can add grated or sliced ginger to recipes or smoothies or drink ginger tea to ease symptoms)
• Oatmeal – An excellent source of fiber – oats lower the risk of acid reflux.
• Non-citrus fruits – Fruits, like banana, apple, melons, pears, avocado, dragon fruit, etc do not trigger acid
• You can consume yogurt or a glass of lemon water.
Food Items to Avoid:
• Eliminate greasy and spicy food from your diet during pregnancy
• Avoid processed food/ junk food like pizza, burger, samosa, vada pav, chaat, etc
• Avoid cola drinks, soda drinks, coffee, etc
Things to Do:
• Wear loose comfortable clothes
• Eat smaller meals at regular intervals. Do not overeat.
• Eat slowly and chew every bite
• Drink lots of water
• Eat 2-3 hours before bedtime
• While sleeping, raise the head high will extra pillows. It won’t allow the acids to reach the lower esophagus
The above diet tips are simple and easy to follow. However, if you need a customized diet plan, and some personal attention – contact nutritionist Kanupriya Khanna. One of the best pregnancy nutritionists in Delhi – Kanupriya can give you reliable advice that’s soundly backed by science, and sprinkled with old traditions.