Heartburn during Pregnancy


gerd aka reflux


Although the burning feeling in your chest does not have anything to do with your heart, it’s still called heartburn. Heartburn is incredibly frustrating and uncomfortable and takes place in many women, especially when they are pregnant. Keep reading to find out what the safest methods are to treat heartburn during pregnancy.

Causes of heartburn during pregnancy

After you’ve eaten something, food travels down a tube between your mouth and stomach, called the esophagus, passing through a muscular valve known as the lower esophageal sphincter or LES.

The LES opens so food can pass through the esophagus and enter the stomach, while preventing acid from rising up from the stomach at the same time.


However, during acid reflux, the LES relaxes, allowing the stomach acid to rise up and enter the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in your chest area.

Hormone changes that normally occur during pregnancy may cause muscles, including the LES, to relax more often. This causes more acid to rise up, especially after you’ve consumed a large meal or when you’re lying down.

Furthermore, the growing fetus during the second and third trimesters causes the uterus to expand more, resulting in added pressure on the stomach. This may push food and acid back up into the esophagus as well, causing heartburn.

Is heartburn a sign of pregnancy?

While this is possible as heartburn commonly occurs in most people at certain times of their lives, it may not necessarily indicate pregnancy. Other signs such as missed period, nausea and vomiting are good signs that you are pregnant and that you should take a pregnancy test.

Can pregnancy cause heartburn?

This varies among individuals as all women are different and being pregnant may not always mean that you’ll have heartburn. This depends on many factors, such as your diet, your everyday habits, your physiology and pregnancy.

The reason pregnancy is often linked with heartburn is that pregnancy increases a woman’s risk of acid reflux or heartburn. Your esophageal muscles may push food much more slowly into the stomach during your first trimester and the stomach may take a longer time to empty as well. This happens so that your body has enough time to absorb more nutrients for the fetus but it may result in acid reflux too. Furthermore, the growth of the baby during the third trimester may push your stomach out of its original position, causing acid reflux and discomfort.

Treatment for acid reflux during pregnancy

You may have to try a few options before you determine what the best treatment method is. The safest options for mom and child are lifestyle habits as they’re often linked to no side effects:

  • Have small, frequent meals, say about 4-6 meals a day instead of 3 large ones. Avoid drinking water while eating and have plenty of water between your meals.
  • Chew your food thoroughly and eat slowly.
  • Have your dinner as early as possible to avoid meals too close to bedtime. 4 to 5 hours before bedtime is a good choice.
  • Avoid heartburn triggers such as fatty foods, spicy food, carbonated drinks, citrus and tomato based foods such as ketchup, caffeine, milk chocolate and acidic foods.
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothing and stick to comfortable outfits.
  • Avoid lying down right after a meal and stay upright for at least an hour. Walking after a meal may facilitate digestion.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Sleep on your left side and use pillows to elevate your upper body while lying down.
  • Have some yogurt or a glass of milk right when symptoms begin to kick in as this will ease discomfort. Adding honey to your milk or yogurt can definitely help too. Another option is chamomile tea and honey as both help in relaxing the body and easing heartburn.

What about medications?

Always consult your doctor before taking any medication during your pregnancy. Your doctor may allow the use of OTC antacids such as Tums and Maalox to ease symptoms.

It’s best to avoid magnesium during the final trimester as these could interfere with your contractions during labor time. In addition, your doctor may ask you to avoid antacids containing high sodium content. Make sure you stay away from antacids and medications with any aluminum on the label as they can cause constipation. Medications containing aspirin are a no as well.

See a doctor if you’re taking too many antacids to relieve heartburn as you may be suffering from GERD. In addition, if heartburn affects your daily life or appears to be too severe, see your doctor as soon as possible.

About Shomaila Issam

DID YOU KNOW? 40-80% of pregnant women will suffer from heartburn.


Post Pregnancy Weight Loss


Woman Pointing Her StomachPost pregnancy weight loss tips

We hear many post pregnancy weight loss tips, that aren’t safe, effective or simply don’t work. We understand that you’re eager to get your old body back but it’s critical that you remain patient and lose weight safely. While many celebrities may be able to get back to their beach-body selves straight from the delivery room, most of them don’t do it in the best possible manner that is good for them or their babies.

Moreover, celebrities have chefs and nannies to help them; this is something an average woman doesn’t t have. You have to feed the baby, change her diapers, figure out what to do when she cries and to top it all off, you have to work on losing those extra pounds too. This is quite stressful but you need to remain calm and create an action plan that works for you and your baby.

How long does post pregnancy weight loss take?

If you started at a normal BMI and gained around 25 to 35 pounds as recommended by your doctor during your pregnancy, it will most probably take you a little more than two months to return to your old weight — if you make mindful health choices and exercise.

If you were overweight and gained more during pregnancy as per your doctor’s recommendation, it may take longer and even up to a year to shed those pounds. It all depends on how committed you are and how sustainable and effective your weight loss plan is.

Is it safe to exercise after pregnancy?

Once your doctor has given you the green light, you can start working out but just make sure you don’t start out with an intense routine and not workout to the point of exhaustion. Start with easy exercises such as gentle stretching, pelvic floor exercises and walking until you’re up for a more intense routine. Build up the intensity and length of the workouts with time.

No time to exercise? Here are some ideas you should try:

1) Start dancing
You don’t have to be a great dancer to enjoy the weight loss benefits of dancing. Play your favorite songs and freestyle to them, this will help you have fun and make your baby laugh too! Not only will this give you a great workout, it will lift your mood as well as your baby’s too.

2) Let your baby help you
Hold your baby securely and try doing some squats, arm lifts and sit ups. You can even place your baby on your yoga mat and give him/her a kiss each time you descend during a push up. Just make sure you’re smiling and your baby will enjoy it too.

3) Move more around the house
After you’ve healed from your labor, move your baby’s diaper changing station to another floor or the furthest room from your usual mom-baby chill spot. This will force you to go up and down or walk a lot every time you have to change your baby’s diaper.

4) Take your baby for a walk
Put your baby in a stroll and try to walk at least 15 minutes every day, depending on how long your baby wants to stay in it. You can take her to the park, walk her down the street, at the mall or at a grocery store.

What about diet?

Crash dieting after having a baby, especially if you’re breastfeeding is a strict no because it affects the quality of the breast milk. In any case, speaking to your doctor about it is important.
Make sure you lose your weight at a healthy pace. Include more fruits and vegetables and other healthier choices and cut down on processed and junk food as much as possible. Not all calories are created the same, therefore, the calories and nutrients in an apple will help you stay healthy and lose weight much more effectively than the calories in a bag of chips.

Some quick tips that you can try include:

1) Drink plenty of water. Drinking more water is easy, effortless and cheap. Develop a habit of having a glass of wToned model in big jeansater before, during and after feeding your baby as this will keep you hydrated and help you feel full.

2) Consume more fiber. Fruits, vegetables, quinoa, nuts and seeds and whole grains are packed with fiber. Fiber helps you feel satiated. Satiation is especially beneficial for weight loss because this curbs your cravings for high-calorie snacks.

3) Keep junk food out of the house. Stock up on single serving cups of yogurt (you can even store them in repurposed baby food jars) in the freezer so you can have them with fruit, nuts or honey each time you’re up for a snack. If you’re craving for something unhealthy really badly, purchase a single portion size only, enjoy the snack without guilt and never stock up on extras!

Enjoy safe and effective post pregnancy weight loss by following the above tips!

About Shomaila Issam

Diet right! Skipping meals is not a good idea. To lose weight and keep it off, you have to reduce the amount of calories you consume or increase the calories you burn through exercise. But skipping meals altogether can result in tiredness and poor nutrition. You will also be more likely to snack on high-fat and high-sugar foods, which could result in weight gain.

Best yoga poses for menstrual cramps

Best yoga poses for menstrual cramps

Can yoga posses really help with menstrual cramps? Yes. We are guessing it’s that time of the month when you suffer from cramps, headaches, bloating and feel nauseated. Most of the ladies just take a pain killer to alleviate pain while others consume sweets, salts, caffeine and alcohol to distract themselves from the discomfort or satisfy their cravings.

The result in most cases is the same; the pain doesn’t go away and even if it does, weWoman Pointing Her Stomach are welcoming some side effects which could otherwise be avoided.

We have a better solution for your monthly menstrual cramps and that’s yoga.

Here are some of the best yoga poses that would help you get rid of those awful menstrual cramps:

Bow Pose:

This pose not only helps with cramps, but also comes handy in relieving constipation and respiratory ailments. In this pose, all your weight is on your navel, which helps in stimulating the organs of the abdomen. This helps in easing the cramps and also in regulating the flow of the blood to and from the uterus, thus relieving one from the pain and the bloating.

1. Lie down on your stomach
2. Keep your feet hip width apart and your arms by your side

3. Stretch out your hands and bend your knees so that your hands are holding your ankles
4. Breathe in and start raising your body from the front in a way that your chest is off the ground
5. Lift your thighs off the ground too at the same time
6. Make sure your body and breathing is stable, if it’s not, try to keep it stable
7. Hold the position for twenty seconds
8. While returning to the original position and releasing your ankles, remember to exhale

Note: Do not attempt this pose if you’re pregnant, have had recent abdominal surgery, have high blood pressure or have a neck or back injury.

Noose Pose:

This pose is best for soothing mild back, neck and shoulder pain and of course, menstrual cramps. In this pose, you stretch the muscles of your ankles, groin and back, which helps in stimulating the uterus (thus, easing the cramps), improving digestion and beating constipation.

1. Stand with your hands in the “Namaste” position, your back straight and your feet together
2. Now bend your knees and sit in a way such that your buttocks touch your calves
3. Exhale. Now, stretch your left hand over your right hand in a way that your forearm literally passes over your shin
4. The above movement would cause your back to twist
5. Now, take your right hand behind your back and hold your left hand with it. You can either hold the wrist of the left hand or you can interlock fingers, whatever makes you comfortable
6. Stay in this position for about fifteen minutes. Breathe gently in this entire time
7. Release yourself from this pose by releasing one hand and twisting yourself slowly out of this position

Tip: Don’t attempt to try this pose if you’re suffering from back, neck or knee injury.

Fish Pose:

Not only does this pose reduce menstrual cramps, it gives your skin a healthy glow too! He fish pose stretches out the muscles of your legs, chest, neck and back, thus giving you an instant relief from muscle aches. This pose also helps in getting rid of indigestion, gas and bloating.

1. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor
2. Straighten your legs and place your arms on your either side
3. Now raise your hips and place each hand under your hips. Make sure you raise one side at a time
4. Bend your elbows and try to raise your torso or upper body off the floor
5. Exhale while doing the above step
6. Tilt your head backwards with your chest out
7. Hold this position for 5 seconds
8. Inhale while resting your back on the floor

Note: Don’t attempt to try this pose if you’re suffering from a medical condition especially if you suffer form high blood pressure or have back or neck injury. If you are unsure always consult a medical professional before carrying out any of the exercises contained in this article.belly pain

About Shomaila Issam

What does the word 'yoga' mean? The word is derived from the Sanskrit word 'yuj', which means 'to unify' or 'to yoke'.

Getting your sleeping position right

The best and worst sleep positions

Have you ever wondered what are the best and worst sleep positions? Most of us spend one third of our lives sleeping. For some, sleeping is a necessity, while for others it is a luxury. With our fast-paced busy lives it can be easy to take sleep for granted. As we all know, sleep is vital for our health, mental and physical function, our mood and a myriad of other reasons.

Troubled sleep can result from poor sleep hygiene, too much noise or light, exercising, eating and drinking at the wrong times, a bad mattress or even your sleep position.

While your sleep position may not have a direct impact on your sleep, it can affect your daily performance, your appearance and exacerbate certain conditions too. Read on to find out which sleep positions are commonly good and bad and which one may be best for you.

bad sleeping positionOn your back

Perhaps the best sleep position for most people is on the back and for all the good reasons. Sleeping on the back allows proper circulation to the brain and thus, boosts cognitive function.

It also maintains a neutral position of your spine, neck and back. This prevents backaches and allows you to comfortably wake up the next day. Sleeping on your back also fights acid reflux for those of you who are prone to it.

Sleeping on the back is also a cosmetically sound option because it prevents breast sagging by providing them with proper support and also keeps wrinkles at bay. As there is nothing pushing against your face all night, there is a lower chance of you getting wrinkles as compared to those who sleep in other positions which involve face and bed contact.

However, the downside is that back sleeping is not the best position for those who snore because it allows the tongue to collapse at the back of the throat, hence, creating a vibrating sound.

On your side

Sleeping on your left side can reduce snoring, ease heartburn and acid reflux and allow you to sleep without any interruption. Sleeping on your right side, however, can worsen heartburn.

Worry sleep

Sleeping on the left side is advisable for pregnant women as well as back sleeping can put excessive pressure on the spine and sleeping on the left side can improve circulation to the heart.

The downside: Side sleeping can cause wrinkles and breast sagging.

Fetal position

Perhaps one of the most comfortable positions is the fetal position. However, the contortion can compress vital organs and restrict your breathing. Curling your back can also lead to poor back health. In addition, sleeping in the fetal position can result in breast sagging and wrinkles.

On your stomach

This is perhaps the worst position to sleep in even though it can be extremely comfy for most people. Spending six to eight hours face down can flatten your spinal curve. Moreover, stomach sleeping can apply excessive stress on your muscles and joints, thus causing nerve irritation and tingling, numbness and pain, especially of the arms. Just like with side and fetal positions, sleeping on the stomach can also cause wrinkles and breast sagging.



About Shomaila Issam

Are you struggling to get a good nights sleep? Have you tried a bolster pillow?

Simple steps to speed up post-op recovery

Simple steps to speed up post-op recovery

There’s no magic way to recover immediately after surgery however you can use the simple steps to speed up post-op recovery. In order to recover optimally, you need to obtain good nutrition which provides sufficient nutrients and calories and thus, speed up post-op recovery. Your body needs more nutrients to support its needs after surgery; therefore, it only makes sense to work on your diet first.

Your best bet would be to have foods rich in minerals and vitamins that will speed up healing, reduce your risk of infection, and provide you with maximum energy and strength while maintaining your weight. But before anything else you need to…

Follow instructions given by your doctor Surgeon Showing X-ray Sheet To Her Patient

This includes even the most minor instructions that may seem unnecessary for you. For example, your doctor may advise you not lift objects over a certain weight for a specific amount of time after surgery or your doctor may tell you to refrain from consuming certain foods, or avoid driving for safety. There is a reason behind every instruction given by your doctor so make sure you listen carefully.

Furthermore, even if you feel good physically, you need to ensure that internal healing has taken place as well. Avoiding doctor’s instructions will result in further complications such as excessive bleeding, tissue tearing, infection etc.

Eat right

You may feel nauseas or constipated post-surgery and this may have a negative impact on your appetite as well, causing you to eat less. However, it is important that you eat the right foods that promote healing.

Some foods and nutrients that may speed up recovery after surgery include:

  1. Fiber

Some healthy choices include whole grains and whole grain bread, fruits and vegetables. Make sure you purchase goods that are fresh, organic, whole and unrefined. Avoid white flour and othefibre breakfastr refined goods such as sugar, bottled juices etc., because they may actually slow down the healing process. Cereals are also a great source of fiber but go for high-fiber, low-sugar choices. You can even just stick to a simple oatmeal.

  1. Protein

Healthy sources of lean protein include lean meats such as chicken breasts, turkey and pork, seafood and several vegetarian sources such as lentils, kidney beans, soy protein products such as tofu and tempeh, nuts and seeds and green leafy vegetables. Most doctors ask patients to refrain from consuming red meat because of its high saturated fat levels that may trigger constipation.

Dairy, however, while being a rich source of protein should be used in moderation because it can cause constipation as well in patients. If you are having difficulty eating, consider supplementing your diet with protein powders after getting your doctor’s approval.  Consider having low fat dairy such as low-fat cheese or low-fat yogurt in moderation if dairy doesn’t get you constipated. Protein powders can be added to smoothies for a quick boost.

  1. Fruits and vegetables

Fresh fruit and vegetables consist of fiber and vital nutrients required for healing after surgery. Make an attempt to have whole fruits and vegetables as canned or frozen products may have a lower nutrient content. However, if fresh is not available, the latter options are good too.

Focus on produce that is not processed. For example, have fresh whole fruits instead of bottled fruit juices or have fresh vegetable soup instead of canned vegetable soup.

However, having more fruits and vegetables may cause gas. If the bloating and gas causes severe abdominal cramping and pressure, consider decreasing your intake or taking a gas reliever (e.g. Beano).


  • http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=newtip&dbid=12
  • Dis Colon Rectum.2009 May;52(5):978-85. doi: 10.1007/DCR.0b013e31819f1416. An enhanced-recovery protocol improves outcome after colorectal resection already during the first year: a single-center experience in 168 consecutive patients.
  • Indian J Plast Surg. 2013 Jan-Apr Diet, wound healing and plastic surgery
  • Proc Nutr Soc.2003 Nov;62(4):807-11.The nutritional management of surgical patients: enhanced recovery after surgery.
  • Nutr Clin Pract.2014 Dec 29. pii: 0884533614562840 Nutrition Adequacy in Enhanced Recovery After Surgery: A Single Academic Center Experience.





About Shomaila Issam

Do you understand the six stages of recovery? Shock, Denial, Anger, Acceptance, Coping. For more information on every step.

Source information taken from www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/recovery-and-staying-well

Causes of belly bloat

causes of belly bloatCauses of belly bloat

Have you swollen up and your abdomen feels really full and tight and all this happened overnight? If that is the case, then you’re probably suffering from a bad case of belly bloat.

No, a swollen or puffy belly does not indicate that you’ve gained weight; it’s highly temporary and can be prevented with a few changes in your daily habits. Bloating doesn’t only appear unsightly, it also causes discomfort and sometimes pain.

However, the good news as we mentioned before is that belly bloat can be prevented. But in order to find the treatment and prevention method, it is essential that you know the cause:


quick eating1. Eating too much, too fast

You know the feeling when you go to your favourite restaurant and you can’t hold yourself back from eating all they have to offer?

Never ever stuff your belly with more than what it can handle. We always suggest that you should eat until you are satisfied, not until you are full or stuffed.

When you eat too much or too quickly, you get bloated. Your stomach swells up in the morning and you could suffer from some possible nausea too.

Moreover, if you eat too fast, then you tend to swallow air along with your food. This results in excess gas and thus, you face physical discomfort. Experts say that you should take at least 30 minutes to finish your meal. Just remember, the process of digestion starts from the mouth, so chew properly in order to reduce stress on your stomach and prevent it from doing too much work.


belly pain 2.  Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Another cause for bloating can be “Irritable Bowel Syndrome” or IBM. IBM is a condition that affects your large intestine and thus, causes many uncomfortable symptoms in which bloating is on top of the list. There is no home remedy for this and the wisest advice would be to go see a doctor as soon as possible. Avoid heavy meals during this condition so that your stomach has less work to do in terms of digestion.

plump tummy3. Wheat Allergies and Lactose Intolerance

There is a chance that you might have either both or one of the mentioned allergies. However, you should be really certain that you are allergic to wheat or dairy before you decide to cut these two off from your diet. Self-medication or self-diagnosis has never been recommended by the doctors, therefore, you should see a doctor in your earliest free time so that he can confirm if you have the above said allergies or not. Find substitutes for substances you are allergic to and do some trial and error to check if you feel the same after elimination of a suspect item.


fibre breakfast4. Constipation

Constipation is also one of the most common reasons of belly bloating. When there is too little consumption of fiber, liquids or physical activity, constipation happens. To avoid this, chalk out a daily routine in which you cater for all these three things. Maintain a diet that is high in fiber by consuming nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables and grains. On average, women should consume 25 grams of fiber per day and men should consume 38 grams. Make sure you exercise regularly and keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. If it’s difficult for you to remember to drink water regularly, a water app might help.

About Shomaila Issam

'Fat takes longer to digest than protein or carbohydrates, so it keeps the stomach full longer. Avoid bloating by limiting fats in your everyday diet.' www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/diarrhea-10/bloated-bloating