Posture Can Affect Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

Posture can affect acid reflux during pregnancy. Although there are several kinds of antacids and other medications, available both over-the-counter and by prescription that can help alleviate the
symptoms of acid reflux, a change in the way you move can have a dramatic effect on your symptoms.

The way in which you move and your posture can affect how your body functions including digestion. Because of that, good posture and deliberate movements can help alleviate your acid reflux symptoms.

Your posture can either aid in food digestion or hinder it. For example, if you sit in a hunched forward position while you eat you may impede the natural course of digestion, allowing gastric acid to reflux into your esophagus, causing the pain and burning associated with acid reflux.

Further, if you lie down immediately after a meal (yes, I understand that it's tempting to lie down a lot when you're pregnant!) you are placing additional stress on your stomach, which can also promote acid reflux. This is particularly true in pregnancy, when the extra weight of the growing baby can further exacerbate the problem.

The more pressure is placed on your stomach, the longer digestion can take. The longer it takes for your body to digest food, the greater the likelihood that you're going to experience acid reflux.

Because posture can affect acid reflux during pregnancy, it is important, therefore, to improve your posture during and after meals to help prevent reflux.

To help improve your posture, you can:

  • Perform regular back and abdominal exercises (on the advice of your physician of course) to keep strong the muscles that will promote good posture and reduce the risk of acid reflux during and after your pregnancy.

  • Choose a mattress that is firm enough to provide your back with sufficient support.

  • While sleeping, avoid laying flat on your back, which is not recommended during mid and later pregnancy anyway. Instead, try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees to protect your posture.

  • Sleep with your head and upper body slightly elevated (usually a comfortable position in pregnancy anyway), which will help gravity do its job of keeping stomach acids where they should be – in the stomach.

As you go about your daily routine during pregnancy, always be mindful of how you are moving, because posture can affect acid reflux during pregnancy. If you need to bend, do not bend at the waist; this will compress your stomach and contribute to reflux.

Instead, bend at the knees. Also, avoid any bouncing motions, as this may help acid to reflux back into your esophagus. If you bear these tips for posture and movement in mind during your pregnancy, you should be able to help keep acid reflux to a minimum.

Although you still may experience the condition, paying attention to how you sit, stand, sleep and move will certainly help to minimize the discomfort.

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