Ways to Treat Heartburn During Pregnancy

Have you been undergoing severe acidity or heartburn in your pregnancy? Don’t panic. This is quite normal and many women suffer from it. Having suffered and undergone the trauma of myself, I exactly know how annoying heartburn and acid reflux can be. With all the changes happening in your body, the last thing you would want to suffer from is acidity.

Heartburn can start in the first trimester and continue throughout the pregnancy. The duration differs in women. Here is all you need to know about- the causes and remedies from heartburn in pregnancy-naturally.

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Causes of Heartburn in Pregnancy

Instead of panicking, we must know the underlying causes behind heartburn in pregnancy. Some of them are:

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1} Making space for baby

As the pregnancy progresses, the growing baby occupies more space in the abdomen. the growing baby compresses all the digestive organs upward and the diaphragm is pushed into a lesser space. This causes the reverse flow of stomach contents into the esophagus. The constant backflow of stomach acid content into the esophagus causes heartburn.
2} Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes are responsible for all the changes that occur during pregnancy-including heartburn. Increase in progesterone levels makes the valve that prevents stomach acids to pass back into the esophagus to relax. This allows backward direction of acid flow and irritates the esophagal lining.
3} Improper working of the cardiac sphincter

If the cardiac sphincter becomes weak in pregnancy, it can cause the stomach acid content to backflow into the oesophagus, and lead to heartburn.
4} Infection due to H.pylori

A bacteria named Helicobacter pylori infects the intestine causing problems in digestion. When this bacteria infects the mucous membrane in your stomach, it can cause bloating, acidity and heartburn.
Natural Remedies to Treat Heartburn in Pregnancy

Baby growth and hormonal changes are inevitable during pregnancy. So what can you do? Listed below are some natural remedies to treat heartburn during pregnancy.

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1} Coconut water

Coconut is known to contain cooling properties and its water is a great acid neutralizer. Drinking coconut water on a regular basis helps treat heartburn during pregnancy.
2} Milk

It may be surprising to know that milk does relieve heartburn instantly. Cow’s milk and goat’s milk are considered to be a good remedy to provide relief from heartburn. You can also add a teaspoon of honey into milk which helps soothe the burning sensation in the chest.
3} Apple cider vinegar

Are you wondering how an acid can neutralise acid? It may seem strange to drink vinegar when your chest is burning. Yes, apple cider vinegar is considered to be one of the best remedies for heartburn. Let me tell you how it works. Low acid content in the stomach and it backflow to the esophagus causes heartburn. Apple cider vinegar increases stomach acid contents and neutralises the acid in the esophagal lining. This provides instant relief to heartburn.
4} Fermented foods

Fermented foods like Kefir and Sauerkraut are loaded with good bacteria and enzymes that promote healthy digestion. Eating fermented foods on a regular basis helps avoid heartburn during pregnancy.
5} Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is yet another miraculous remedy for heartburn. Lemon helps increase the production of bile and digestive juices that help balance low stomach acids and promote digestion.
6} Raw almonds

Raw almonds are a great remedy to treat heartburn in pregnancy. The high oil content in almonds controls gastric acid production and decrease heartburn.
Precautionary Measures to Avoid Heartburn in Pregnancy

Apart from the natural remedies mentioned above, the following precautionary measures will help avoid heartburn in pregnancy.

  • Choose easy to digest foods
  • Eat smaller and frequent meals rather than large portions
  • Maintain a proper upright posture throughout the day
  • Sleep propped up using a pillow
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid eating just before bedtime
  • Chew gum after every meal
  • Wear comfortable clothing
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption

If heartburn is mild or moderate, the above-mentioned remedies and tips will help you. However, if you experience severe instances of heartburn, you must contact your doctor immediately.

Have you also experienced heartburn during your pregnancy? What did you do to get rid of it? Please Share your suggestions and advice here with other expecting mothers in the comment section below.

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Itchy Skin in Pregnancy-Causes and Remedies

Are you constantly itching your skin in pregnancy?? Do you face extreme itching on your hips, belly, breasts, and thighs?? Well, not to worry, itching in pregnancy is a common symptom every pregnant woman experiences. While pregnancy is undoubtedly a blessing, there are some annoying issues that can plague you throughout pregnancy. Itchy skin is one of them. Some women experience mild itching whereas some experience it in an extreme form.

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Causes of Itchy Skin in Pregnancy

Itchy skin is mainly due to the muscles stretching and increase in the female hormone estrogen. The further the pregnancy progresses, the itchier the skin becomes. As the body expands to accommodate the growing baby, pregnant women tend to experience itching on the thighs, breasts, belly, and hips. The other causes of itchy skin in pregnancy are:

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  • Hormonal changes
  • Stretched skin
  • Stretch marks
  • Sudden increase in blood supply to the skin
  • Dry and sensitive skin
  • Skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema
  • Iron deficiency anaemia
  • Liver disorders
  • Kidney Infections
  • Thyroid disorders

Remedies to Treat Itchy Skin in Pregnancy

Itchy skin can be very annoying for the mother. Hence, it is better to adopt remedies to get relief from it. Since over the counter medications are not safe during pregnancy, listed below are some simple home remedies that will help you get relief from itchy skin.

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1} Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is considered to be one of the best remedies for itchy and sensitive skin. Coconut oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that soothe itchy skin. It also moisturises the skin and prevents it from drying. Gently massage some organic or virgin coconut oil on the affected areas of the skin. Leave it on overnight and wash it off during your bath next morning.

2} Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera gel is a tried and tested remedy against any skin infection. Personally, it has worked for me as well. Aloe Vera has cooling properties that help soothe dry and itchy skin. Generously apply Aloe Vera gel on the affected areas and allow to dry.

3} Baking Soda Bath

Yes, it did wonders to my skin and I felt instant relief after following this remedy. Baking soda has alkaline properties that help to restore the pH of the skin. It reduces itchiness associated with pregnancy. Add one cup of baking soda to your bathtub. Soak in baking soda water for about 20 minutes before stepping out.

4} Lemon Juice

Lemon is rich is ascorbic and citric acid that helps restore the pH of the skin. Its acidic nature also helps reduce inflammation and itchy skin related to pregnancy. Squeeze a lemon and dilute it with little water. Now dip a cotton ball in lemon juice and apply on affected areas. Leave it on for half an hour and wash with water.

5} Gram Flour

Gram flour is a wonderful kitchen remedy to treat skin itchiness, inflammation, and irritation. Mix little gram flour with yoghurt to form a paste. Keep it of medium consistency and apply this paste on all affected areas of the skin. Leave it for half an hour and rinse with water.

 

Precautionary Measures for Itchy Skin in Pregnancy

Apart from the above-mentioned remedies, the below tips will help you avoid worsening of itchy skin.

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  • After a bath, gently pat yourself dry using a soft towel. Do not rub hard on your skin.
  • Apply moisturiser immediately after taking a bath.
  • Avoid wearing tight and uncomfortable clothes. Opt for loose cotton clothes.
  • Apply calamine lotion twice a day on affected areas of the skin.
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
  • Reduce salt intake.
  • Refrain from taking too many hot showers.
  • Avoid overexposure to the sun.

If the itching is severe and persistent, you must contact a doctor immediately. Persistent and severe itching can be due to other medical conditions like liver and kidney disorders.

Personally having suffered from itchy skin myself, I can relate to all the women suffering out there. Try these above-mentioned remedies and tips to get relief from itchy skin in pregnancy. They have really provided me relief from itchy skin. If you have more suggestions and ideas, please do share them in the comments section.

 

Remedies to Deal with Morning Sickness in Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a beautiful experience, but the morning sickness that comes along with it? Not so good. Some women are blessed not to experience any morning sickness throughout pregnancy. Some suffer only in the first trimester whereas some suffer throughout 9 months of pregnancy.

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Remedies For Morning Sickness in Pregnancy

Being a mother to my 19-month-old daughter, I still recollect my days of morning sickness. Gosh! I had it throughout my 9 months of pregnancy. Every time I ate, I would throw up. Coupled with gastritis, I used to feel sick every time I vomited. That is when I realised to read about some remedies to help ease morning sickness. Listed below are some tips that helped me.

1} Drink Herbal Teas

There are several herbal teas that are known to reduce morning sickness during pregnancy. A cup of ginger tea helps ease motion sickness. Every time you feel uneasy and get the feeling to throw up, sip in hot ginger tea. Other herbal teas made with peppermint, chamomile, and lemon balm are also helpful in reducing motion sickness. If you are suffering from heartburn, avoid consuming peppermint.

2} Chew fennel seeds

Fennel seeds are also considered to be an excellent remedy for morning sickness. Every time you feel nauseatic, chew on few fennel seeds.

3} Vitamin B6 supplements

Research suggests that pregnant women consuming 25mg of Vitamin B6 3 times a day reported lesser incidences of nausea and morning sickness. You can consult your gynac before deciding to take any pill.

4} Drink plenty of water

Water is an excellent remedy to ease morning sickness in pregnancy. Drink a glass of water every hour. This will keep your body hydrated and reduce the feeling of throwing up. Additionally, it will also keep your urine clean and flush out all the toxins from the body.

5} Lemon Juice

Lemon juice, being rich in Vitamin C, is a wonderful remedy to treat morning sickness. To reduce the feeling of nausea and vomiting, drink lemon juice. You can also sniff a lemon which helps reduce the uneasy sensation.

6} Eat as soon as you wake up

Surprising as this may sound, eating immediately after waking up does help reduce morning sickness. Having a small snack after waking up also keeps you and your baby healthy.

7} Avoid large meals

In pregnancy, break the routine of 3 large meals in the day. Instead, break them into smaller and frequent meals. Smaller meals are easier to digest and keep down in the stomach.

8} Avoid fried food

Although you may have cravings for junk food during pregnancy, make a cautious effort to avoid fatty and fried food. Fried and fatty foods are rich in trans fat and can aggravate nausea.

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While some pregnant women sail through pregnancy easily, some aren’t so lucky. Having undergone morning sickness myself, I would suggest pregnant women try these above-mentioned remedies. Also a request to other mothers, please do share your thoughts and tips in the comment section. It will definitely help all of us.

Postpartum Depression- Tips to Deal with it

Although the term postpartum depression sounds familiar to all of us, how many of us mothers find ways to deal with it ourselves? Postpartum depression is simply ignored without giving it too much importance. Well, did you know that it can be dangerous for the new mom? Ignoring postpartum depression can lead to chronic depression and have other impacts on health.

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Most of the negligence comes mainly due to ignorance of the medical condition. Not all are able to identify postpartum depression. Hence, there is no way to deal with it. Before finding ways to tackle postpartum depression, let us first understand postpartum depression.

What is postpartum depression?

When your baby is born, you experience a whole lot of emotions like joy, anxiety, and sadness. While most of it is normal, at some phase certain symptoms must not be ignored. If your feelings of sadness prolong for many weeks and start interfering with your day to day life, then you may be suffering from postpartum depression. Some women face depression in an extreme form whereas some overcome it within a few days.

Tips to deal with postpartum depression

You may have frequent mood swings, find it difficult to bond with baby, bouts of sad feelings, and find it hard to make decisions. You may also get into fits of anger from time to time. Yes, this is postpartum depression. If you are suffering from it, you are not alone. Thousands of women go through this phase after delivery. Listed below are some tips to deal with postpartum depression.

1} Give yourself time to rest

Although you may be excited to do everything yourself for your little one, it is advisable that you take rest during the day. You might have been told by your parents or family to “sleep when the baby sleeps”. This is true because¬†good sleep and rest cure most of the depressive disorders. Resting well and sleeping adequately also improves your mood and keeps you happy.

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2} Follow a healthy balanced diet

You may be surprised to know that healthy eating and nutritious food go a long way in curing postpartum depression. Nutritious foods give your body the nutrients you need and help it cope with both physical and mental stress.

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3} Avoid isolation

While you are suffering from depression, it is common to avoid people and stay in isolation. But isolation will only increase postpartum depression. Staying with family members and friends will keep you distracted from mood swings and bouts of depression. It is also a good idea to tell your loved ones that you are suffering from depression so that they can help you cope with it.

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4} Exercise regularly

It is a scientifically proven fact that exercise acts like an anti-depressant. You need not perform heavy exercises or hit the gym. You can begin with light exercises like walking and jogging. You can also take a walk with your baby in a stroller. This will give you both some fresh air and lighten up your mood.

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5} Ask for help 

You simply cannot act as a superwoman trying to attempt your hand at everything. You cannot do the household chores, clean the baby, breastfeed the baby, put the baby to sleep, or look after your elder child in the day. Instead of dealing with all the pressure all alone, ask for help. You can ask your spouse to do the household chores and request your parents to babysit the elder one. Schedule some “me” time for yourself and indulge in activities you love to do.

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These above-mentioned tips will surely help you cope with postpartum depression and come out of it. However, if you notice that the feeling of sadness, agitation, and anxiety is prolonging for weeks, it is recommended to consult a doctor. Your doctor can suggest you the right support you need.

Planning for Pregnancy? Preconception Care that you should take

Most of us don’t realise that adequate care before conception can have a positive impact on the health of both the mother and baby. Our health as adults majorly depends on the way we were nourished in our mother’s womb. Hence, it is very important to seek information on proper health care before trying to conceive a baby. Preconception care helps you prepare mentally and physically for pregnancy and parenthood.

Objective of Preconception Care

The sole objective of preconception care is to prepare the body for hormonal changes, pregnancy, and birth. Taking care before conceiving improves your chances of getting pregnant, maintains a healthy pregnancy, supports healthy baby development, and helps in recovery after birth.

Nutritional supplements before conception

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Your doctor will prescribe several nutritional supplements if you are planning to get pregnant. The universally recommended supplement is folic acid. Folic acid is required for healthy growth and development of the baby in the womb. Folic acid is known to reduce neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida. The recommended dosage of folic acid is about 500mg a day. It is advised to be taken before conception and until 3 months of pregnancy.

Other nutritional supplements can include zinc, iron, calcium, and a multi-vitamin. Apart from these nutritional supplements, your doctor will also advise you to eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water.

Tests recommended before conception

If you are planning to get pregnant, it may be a good idea to visit your doctor. Your doctor will take down your medical history, family history, background, and prescribe certain tests and procedures to get you started. Some of the tests recommended are

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1} Blood tests (full blood count and ferritin levels)

2} Tests to check immunity against rubella

3} Urine tests to check for protein, glucose, and infections

4} Blood pressure check

5} Dental check up

6} Pap smear if required

Simple tips to improve health before conception

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1} Drink plenty of water

2} Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet

3} Quit smoking and alcohol

4} Reduce caffeine intake

5} Take nutritional supplements regularly

6} Maintain a healthy weight and BMI

7} Exercise regularly

8} Avoid taking over the counter medications unless prescribed by the doctor

9} Avoid contacts with pesticides and chemicals

10} Avoid overheating activities like saunas and spas

11} Reduce stress and practice meditation techniques

12} Visit a healthcare practitioner before conception

Preconception care for men

Good health has the same fertility impact on both men and women. It is very important that men also take care of themselves before the couple try to conceive. Since men contribute half the genetic material to make a baby, preconception care is equally important for men. Since sperms take about 3 months to develop before being able to fertilise the egg, it is ideal that men start practising preconception care at least 3 to 6 months prior to conception.

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Starting preconception care early and at the right time is advisable. Good preconception care will help you have a healthy pregnancy and baby. Soon after you get pregnant, continue to maintain the same healthy habits and see your doctor regularly for prenatal care.

 

 

 

Your Due Date has Passed? What comes next

Pregnancy is an eager and beautiful phase for every woman. As the new life develops inside your womb, you are eagerly waiting for it to come out. The overwhelming joy of becoming a mother to a baby girl or baby boy knows no bounds. The wait to carry your little bundle of joy is never ending.

Women give birth in different stages of pregnancy. The usual time period is between 37 to 40 weeks of gestation. Has your due date come and gone? Phone calls from family and friends enquiring about your delivery can seem frustrating. Well, it is important to know that you are not the only mother whose due date has passed or given birth after the due date.

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What happens after the due date has passed?

It is important to note that due date is just a rough estimate that is calculated based on the last menstrual period and ovulation date. Several babies are born post the week 40 mark. Although every pregnancy that crosses the week 40 mark does not cause worry, it is important to be aware of what happens once your due date passes.

1} Vigilant monitoring of the baby

If you haven’t given birth until week 40, your doctor or mid-wife will become more vigilant and start monitoring the baby. Post term babies are at a higher risk of excessive birth weight, glucose metabolism disorders and eating meconium that can cause respiratory disorders.

2} Amniotic fluid level is monitored

Your doctor will constantly check the amniotic fluid level in the sac to determine baby’s heart rate and estimate weight.

3} Induce Labor

After crossing the week 40 mark, depending on the baby’s well-being and cervix of the woman, the doctor may decide to induce labor. Medicine and labor inducing gels are added to cause cramps and dilate the cervix for the baby to come out.

4} C-Section

Based on the mother and baby’s condition, the decision to perform a C-section is taken by the doctor or mid-wife. In some cases, the position of the baby’s head does not align with the cervix whereas in some cases induction of labor does not work. In certain cases, health risks and complications can also influence the decision to perform a C-section immediately.

5} Play the wait game

In many normal mothers, the pregnancy simply prolongs and doctors advise them to wait for 1 or 2 weeks. In such cases, there is no choice but to play the wait game. Relaxation techniques, pre-natal exercises, balanced diet, and adequate sleep will help cope with the situation.

No pregnant woman should feel anxious or nervous if the pregnancy crosses the week 40 mark. Stay calm and inform your doctor if you haven’t experienced labor pain after week 40. Your little one is safe inside and your doctor will give her best to bring your little one healthy into this world.