Most pregnant women have to suffer from heartburn, indigestion or acid reflux at some stage. Try these safe home remedies for heartburn during pregnancy – foods to eat & avoid, probiotics, sleep position, chewing gum & more. Our home remedies are easy and effective!
Causes of heartburn during pregnancy
One of the reasons women experience heartburn in pregnancy is due to the absence of the hormone progesterone. Progesterone 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. And this creates that burning in your throat. If you wish to minimize 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.
Home remedies for heartburn during pregnancy
1. Eat small portions when pregnant
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 your 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. Remember not to consume food 3 hours before bedtime. If you really need to eat just before bedtime, have an unsalted cracker and a small drink of water.
2. Foods that give you heartburn during pregnancy
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. Find out more about foods that give you heartburn in pregnancy.
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 pineapple are not only great in preventing heartburn, they also help in digestion and contain lots of fiber, which is good for preventing constipation.
Almonds are a great snack for heartburn as they have a lower acidity level than other nuts.
Milk can have an instant soothing effect on heartburn, but may make heartburn and acid reflux worse in the long run. Find the right milk for your pregnancy heartburn.
4. Water causing heartburn in pregnancy
We all need to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day to prevent constipation and dehydration, and this is even more important if you’re pregnant. Be reminded that painful hemorrhoids is an offshoot of constipation. Dehydration makes heartburn worse. 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 your meal. Use a straw to prevent gulping if you need to.
5. Probiotics are easy home remedies for heartburn during pregnancy
Many pregnant women and old-school Moms keep low fat 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, but keep it low fat and low sugar…and only eat small amounts. Find out why you should eat probiotics every day to help prevent heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux.
6. Papaya for heartburn relief during pregnancy
What’s good for babies are most definitely good for Moms-to-be, too. Eat ripe papaya only. 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. Ginger is a good home remedy for heartburn during pregnancy
Ginger is a well known remedy for upset stomach, nausea and vomiting (the usual culprits during of heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux). It also helps boost the immune system and prevent inflammation. Make your own ginger root tea (or other heartburn soothing tea). Place in a thermos and drink hot or cold after every meal.
8. Chew some gum
Some pregnant working women also swear by the use of sugar free 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. One study showed that chewing sugar free gum for 30 minutes after a meal reduced heartburn symptoms.
9. Sleep position with heartburn in pregnancy
Do you know that your sleep position can contribute to heartburn in 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. There are special pillows you can try to alleviate reflux symptoms.
10. Diaphragmatic Breathing to Treat Heartburn
This video shows a demonstration of diaphragmatic breathing, which is a breathing exercise proven to reduce the symptoms associated with heartburn, reflux, belching and regurgitation. Using these breathing techniques may reduce your need for medications.
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.
The final word on home remedies for heartburn during pregnancy
Being pregnant can be both rewarding and challenging. The joy of having a baby can truly create havoc in your body. To quell your stomach from those nasty vomiting sessions, take these home remedies for heartburn during pregnancy to heart, and hopefully they can help you get through the whole 9 months with ease. And if these heartburn remedies aren’t working for you, please visit your doctor.