Most pregnant women have to suffer from nausea and vomiting in the first trimester of their pregnancy. At some point, this so-called “morning” sickness can extend all throughout the pregnancy due to heartburn. Due to the absence of the hormone progesterone which relaxes the muscles, particularly in the stomach valve, food swallowed down to the stomach may be slowed down.
Add to that the growing uterus and you have the danger of back-firing acid to the esophagus. If you wish to minimise heartburn during pregnancy, there are actually a number of safe and effective ways to do so. To help ease your potential 9-month ordeal, here are some safe heartburn home remedies for use during pregnancy.
Pregnant or not, eating 3 or more huge meals a day can result in heartburn. This is even more so when your uterus is overcrowding the stomach area. To prevent food and acid from traveling back to your throat, be sure to avoid eating a lot—which means a lot! If you’ve tried dieting before, the concept is basically the same. Do not wait for your stomach to growl but rather eat 6-7 small portions in a day. Do remember not to consume food 3 hours before bedtime. If you can’t help it, have an unsalted cracker and some water.
2. Food Watch
Aside from portioning your food, it is also important to choose the right ones to consume. Ditch the spicy, fatty and oily food. Refrain from drinking caffeinated and carbonated drinks. Chocolates, spicy and peppery foods, and citrus-y items must also be eliminated from your diet. These food weaken the lower esophageal sphincter which usually allow stomach acid to backflow to your esophagus.
It is best to know that there are also certain kinds of food that prevents heartburn. So when preparing heartburn home remedies during pregnancy, do remember to prioritize these foods on your list: oatmeal, green salad, fennel, chicken, turkey, celery, parsley, couscous and rice. Fish and seafood are also great options but do check for allergies with crabs, shrimps, and so on. Fruits such as banana, melon and papaya are not only great in preventing heartburn, they also help in digestion.
4. Drink Water – Slowly!
Pregnant women are advised to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day to prevent constipation and dehydration. Be reminded that painful hemorrhoids is an offshoot of constipation. Dehydration also worsens heartburn. But when it comes to consuming water, try to drink it slow and within adequate interval. Ditch the 2 glasses after meal drinking spree that distends the stomach. Instead, drink small sips before, during and after meal. Use a straw to prevent gulping.
Many pregnant women and old-school Moms keep plain organic yogurt in their fridge to reduce that burning feeling. Some moms even call this the antidote of heartburn and morning sickness. By eating a few spoonfuls after a meal, probiotics in yogurt neutralize stomach acids preventing backflow to the esophagus. Probiotics, it must also be noted, are quite efficient in eliminating “bad bacteria” in one’s gut. If plain yogurt doesn’t suit your taste, go for yogurt-based ice cream which is more palatable.
6. Papaya Hunting
What’s good for babies are most definitely good for Moms-to-be, too. Papaya is known to contain potent enzymes that help to soothe stomach woes. Not only is it great for preventing constipation, papaya also help neutralize acidity of stomach. If possible, go for fresh papaya. Sliced, diced or made into a smoothie—just make sure it’s fresh and eaten after meals. Don’t overeat though. Too much of a good thing can still be bad. Review rule #1
7. Go Ginger
Ginger is a known remedy for upset stomach, nausea and vomiting (the usual culprits during a heartburn attack). It also helps boost the immune system and prevent inflammation. Make your own ginger ale by boiling a liter of water and one medium ginger (sliced thinly). Place in a thermos and drink hot or cold after every meal.
8. Chew Some Gum
Some pregnant working women also live by the use of chewing gums. Not only chewing gums relaxes the stomach, it also provides some form of relaxation technique and breathalyzer for them. Its Sorbitol content is also a form of laxative. To steer clear of diabetes, choose sugar-free ones.
9. Sleep Positioning
Do you also know that the way you sleep or take a rest can contribute to some woes of pregnancy? One of the most classic heartburn home remedies during pregnancy revolves around proper positioning when sleeping or napping. Do make sure to rest or sleep by propping up your head and shoulders ensuring that your upper body is elevated from your lower torso. Leaning on your left side also gives more working room for digestion in your stomach. This method also helps you breathe better.
Now, if all other heartburn home remedies during pregnancy don’t work, it is high time to visit your doctor. There are OTC antacids like TUMS which can quell those nasty symptoms. These antacids contain magnesium or calcium which is deemed safe for pregnancy.
Being pregnant can be both rewarding and challenging. The joy of having a baby can truly create havoc in your bodily system. To quell your stomach from those nasty vomiting sessions, take these heartburn home remedies during pregnancy to heart. Proven safe and effective, these can help you sashay through the whole 9 yards with ease.