Affecting more than half of all pregnant women, acid reflux [heartburn] is an extremely common problem. Commonly called heartburn, it is caused when digestive acids flow up from the stomach and into the esophagus. Progesterone, the hormone that relaxes muscles in pregnancy, also relaxes the stomach valve that keeps acid out of the esophagus. In addition, the growing uterus crowds the stomach, forcing acid into the esophagus. Acid reflux is thought to be caused by an excess of acid in your stomach, but is usually a result of having too little acid in your stomach.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
- Avoid eating a couple hours before bed
- Stay hydrated by sipping water throughout the day, instead of in large quantities
- Avoid tight fitting clothes that put more pressure on organs
- Avoid common culprits and acidic foods: Caffeine, alcohol, sugar, chocolate, spicy, fatty, rich and fried foods
- Avoid laying down directly after eating or drinking
Related reading: Natural Remedies for Morning Sickness
7 Natural Remedies
Raw, Unfiltered Apple cider vinegar
Start with 1 teaspoon building up to 1 Tablespoon in 8 oz of water, sip during the day, or one hour before meals to eliminate heartburn and help improve the acid content of your stomach.
Topically, apply gel form on chest, throat and abdomen. While usually used to soothe burns by reducing inflammation, it could do the same thing for the esophagus as well as stomachs.
Ginger Root or Chamomile tea
2-3 slices of fresh ginger roots to two cups of water, let steep for half hour, drink 30 minutes before your meal. Ginger has been found to have a gastro protective effect by blocking acid. It has traditionally been used against gastric disturbances since ancient times. Use in moderation. Ginger can possibly lead to contractions, if used frequently or in high doses. Before bed try a cup of chamomile tea which can help soothe stomach inflammation and help you sleep.
Peppermint tea or sucking on peppermints eases heartburn. Some Moms like to use Peppermint essential oil as well but keep in mind it can reduce breast milk supply in some women so don’t ingest and don’t use after 2nd trimester.
Crush a small amount of fennel seed. Add to lemon water, hot tea or cold drink. Steep crushed fennel seed in hot water and ENJOY! Fennel seeds and fennel seed oil ward off heartburn. They naturally soothe the digestive tract, reduce acid, and decrease inflammation. Like ginger though, excessive or frequent amounts of fennel is presumed to lead to contractions. Again, use in moderation.
Some recent studies show that seeing a chiropractor can help with heartburn. Certain chiropractic adjustments shift the esophageal valve into a better working position. This relaxes the muscle, helping prevent acids from making their way back up.
See also: Natural Remedies for Morning Sickness