Do you have a churning and burning in your chest after meals, or a feeling that your dinner just keeps hanging around? Heartburn and indigestion are very common complaints in pregnancy.
As your uterus and baby get larger, they put pressure on your intestines and stomach (which, in turn, pushes stomach contents back up into the esophagus). In addition, hormones of pregnancy cause the esophageal sphincter muscle to relax, allowing food to move back up from your stomach.
If you're having problems with heartburn, try eating small, frequent meals, rather than large ones. It's also a good idea to avoid highly spiced foods and allow your meal to settle before bedtime. Some women find adding a pillow or wedge to elevate the head of their bed is helpful. Antacids can help relieve the burn, but talk with your health care provider before taking these or any other medication.
|Are there any specific exercises I can do now to help me get ready for labor? What are Kegel exercises?|
Kegel exercises are pelvic floor exercises that help tone the muscles in the vagina and perineum, which is important for delivery. Conditioned muscles will make the birthing process easier. In addition, these exercises, when done after delivery, can help to speed up the recovery process.
Doing a Kegel exercise is simple:
1. Tighten the muscles around your vagina and anus. (The exercise is similar to stopping urination midstream.)
2. Hold the muscles tightened as long as you can, working up to 8 to 10 seconds each time.
3. Relax the muscles.
4. Tighten and relax the muscles several times a day.
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