Pregnancy may bring certain changes to your body including production of high levels of the hormones - oestrogen and progesterone. The main function of these hormones is to relax the smooth muscle tissue throughout your body, including your digestive system.

The relaxation may further slow down your digestive processes. The result will be indigestion, after intake of meals. Further symptomns of bloating,heartburn,nausea or vomiting may occur.

Indigestion may occur anytime during pregnancy but aggravates during the third trimester when the baby takes more space in the abdomen. This results in the misfunctioning of your digestive system.

Indigestion and your baby

One good news is even though indigestion may annoy you but it will not harm your baby. Infact, the slowing of your digestive system may benefit your baby, as it gives your body more time to pass nutrients through the placenta.

Suggestions to reduce indigestion during pregnancy:

One cannot avoid indigestion altogether during pregnancy. However, the following suggestions will help control the frequency and severity of your symptoms:

What is good?

Increase the intake of a balanced diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and wholewheat biscuits

Take small meals instead of big meals through the day. Don't forget to chew thoroughly.

Keep yourself hydrated. Coconut water and buttermilk are other fluids which you may try apart from water

Regular Exercise and walking does a lot of good to the digestive tract and prevent indigestion from happening. Yoga may be helpful but always consult a trianed yoga instructor.

What is bad?

Tea and coffee may cause heartburn and also prevent iron absorption from the food to the body. So a piece of advice is to avoid or atleast reduce the intake.Diet drinks,fizzy drinks, alcohol also should be avoided.

Processed meats and spicy, highly seasoned, fried and fatty foods can all make indigestion worse. In addition to this, avoid gas-producing vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli and asparagus.

Don't wear tight clothes around your waist and tummy instead wear loose and comfortable clothing.

Stress and tension may make indigestion worse so try some relaxation techniques, maybe watch movies or meet a friend to keep yourself in a good mood all the time.

Keep away from smoking.

Tips to relieve indigestion in pregnancy

Always sit upright as the gravity can help your body regulate the digestion process.

Try out this natural remedy for indigestion : dry roast and grind together fennel (saunf), fenugreek seeds (methi dana) and some carom seeds (ajwain). A teaspoon of this ground powder, mixed with a little water can be very effective in reducing indigestion.

There are other good age-old home remedies like carom seeds (ajwain) water. The water is made by boiling a teaspoon of ajwain in water. Fennel water too is known to help in digestion. But please take everything in moderation.

Don't go to bed after meals and wait at least three hours after meals before lying down.

Always support your upper body propped up with several pillows while sleeping.

Always consult your doctor if the symptomns exist after trying the above suggestions.