Do you have bad acid reflux at 38 weeks of pregnancy? Your Growing uterus is pushing up on your stomach. Here are some remedies that you can try to relieve pain until the baby is ready to come out.
At 38 weeks of pregnancy, the baby is almost ready to enter the world. You might have already checked off things to do in the third trimester and packed your hospital bag. Yet, the slightest change in your body might make you think that labor is about to begin.
But not just yet. You still have to go through the not-so-happy part of being pregnant: Heartburn or Acid reflux.
Heartburn or acid reflux occurs in one-quarter to one-half of pregnant women. It is a very common pregnancy symptom and can occur throughout the pregnancy, starting in the first trimester and getting worst in the third trimester.
If you are experiencing sudden bad acid reflux at 38 weeks, you are not alone. Many pregnant women experience severe acid reflux or heartburn around 36 to 38 weeks of pregnancy.
At 38 weeks of pregnancy, bad acid reflux is mainly due to your growing uterus pushing up on your stomach, causing stomach acid to enter the esophagus. Certain lifestyle changes and home remedies can temporarily relieve acid reflux symptoms at 38 weeks of pregnancy.
This article talks about what causes Bad acid reflux at 38 weeks of pregnancy and what you can do to relieve the pain until you go into labor.
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What causes Bad Acid Reflux at 38 weeks of Pregnancy?
Acid reflux is absolutely atrocious when you are at 38 weeks of pregnancy. I have experienced it twice. It is one of the worst feelings you have when tired, exhausted, carrying the 7-pound baby around your belly 24/7.
Acid reflux or heartburn can occur any time during pregnancy, and you can blame it on pregnancy hormones like anything else during pregnancy.
Pregnancy hormones (progesterone) cause the sphincter muscle to relax, allowing stomach acid to enter the esophagus, causing heartburn. Also, a baby’s growth can squish the stomach, causing stomach acids to enter the esophagus rather than stay in, which is why some pregnant women vomit stomach acid in the middle of the night.
So, heartburn or acid reflux is unavoidable when the baby is full-term and you have loose sphincter muscles.
But what can you do to relieve acid reflux in the third trimester?
Relieving acid reflux or heartburn at 38 weeks is trial and error. There is no universal remedy that works for everyone. So, you may need to try several until you find the one that gives you some relief.
Can lifestyle change help relieve acid reflux at 38 weeks of pregnancy?
Before you try any natural remedies to relieve acid reflux as you get closure to your due date, you want to try changing some of your everyday habits. It is the safest option to relieve acid reflux in the third trimester. Here are some of the things that are easy to achieve.
Eat small meals Frequently
Your big belly can not handle a large meal at a time. So rather than eating three large meals a day, eat small portions frequently. It will make things easy for your gut.
If you are gulping smaller meals frequently without chewing, you are not doing any good to stop the acid reflux. Eating quickly increases acid reflux, so slow down and chew every bite.
Do not drink water while eating
Drinking water while eating exacerbates heartburn or acid reflux. So rather than drinking water while eating, drink small sips in between meals throughout the day.
Eat way before bedtime
You do not want to go to bed right after having a meal. Give yourself at least two hours before you head to bed after a meal.
Go for a walk
Not only is walking good exercise to induce labor naturally, but it will also help settle and digest food better before you go to bed.
Related Read: Midwives Brew to Induce Labor Naturally in 24 Hours
Prop yourself up at bedtime
Try raising your head 6-8 inches using a pregnancy pillow so stop acid backing up from the stomach.
Sleep on your left side
Sleeping on the left side during pregnancy is recommended for several reasons. First, lying left side keeps the uterus off of other large organs like the liver and improves blood flow to the heart.
Chew sugar-free gum
Chewing sugar-free gum for 30 minutes after a meal will cause the salivary gland to produce more saliva. The increased saliva may neutralize acid coming back up into the esophagus
Here is what you need to avoid to reduce Acid reflux at 36 or 38 weeks
Do not wear tight fitted clothes
Tight-fitted clothes are not only uncomfortable but also restrictive when you are pregnant. So, wear loose clothing.
Avoid Spicy, fried, fatty food
Avoid spicy, sugary, fatty, fried, caffeine, or junk food when acid reflux. It will help reduce your acid reflux episodes and make sure that your baby gets healthy nutrition-rich food in utero.
Food that will help Reduce Acid Reflux in the third trimester
Incorporating various pregnancy foods into your daily diet can help soothe the digestive tract, reducing inflammation and acid reflux.
- Fermented food like flattened rice (Poha), sauerkraut is filled with good bacteria and enzymes. That helps our body naturally digest food by normalizing acid levels
- The alkaline nature of vegetable juices from cucumbers, carrots, or beets can help tame acid in the stomach
- Herbal tea such as peppermint
Dietary and lifestyle modification and adding suggested pregnancy food to your daily diet can help ease acid reflux during pregnancy.
Natural Remedies to reduce Acid Reflux in the Third trimester
The ultimate remedy for acid reflux at 38 weeks of pregnancy would be giving birth, as there isn’t much for pregnancy-related heartburn or acid reflux.
Before seeking doctors’ help, most women with healthy pregnancy finds a natural way to treat heartburn. Unfortunately, not all pregnancies are the same, so one remedy that works for one may not work for another.
Here are natural remedies to treat heartburn during pregnancy
Coconut water is natural acid neutralizer as it is high in electrolytes and potassium. In addition, coconut water can bring an immediate soothing effect.
Coconut water is also great for hydration when you are breastfeeding your baby.
Choose fresh coconut water or unsweetened coconut water
Buttermilk contains lactic acid that neutralizes the acid in the stomach. Lactic acid helps by coating the stomach lining, reducing irritation and acid reflux.
¾ cup of yogurt and thin it out with ¼ cup of milk (or even plain water). Drink one glass of cold buttermilk.
Ginger tea or ginger candies or even eating raw ginger can help reduce heartburn, nausea, and vomiting symptoms.
Grate 1 tsp fresh ginger in 1 glass of water. Bring mixer to boil. Strain and take small sips.
Lemon juice increases the production of digestive juices, which helps balance stomach acid
Squeeze one fresh lemon in one glass of water. Add honey if you desire.
Fennel seed naturally soothes the digestive tract, reduces acid and inflammation. They are also beneficial for breastfeeding mothers as it is known to increase breast milk in nursing women.
Add 1 tsp of crushed fennel seeds into a cup of boiling water. Allow steeping for 10 minutes. Strain, sweeten (if desired), and drink. Crushed fennel seed also tastes excellent with the above buttermilk recipe.
Slippery elm bark
The gummy consistency of slippery elm bark helps coat the stomach lining and soothe digestion.
Add one teaspoon of the powder to a cup of hot water and drink a few cups throughout the day.
Marshmallow root produces a starchy substance called mucilage, which coats and protects the esophagus mucous membranes.
Stir 1 teaspoon powdered marshmallow root into 1 cup water.
Pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme that helps controls levels of hydrochloric acid in your stomach and works to prevent acid reflux.
Besides pineapple juice, edible aloe vera juice is also known to be a coolant and a natural remedy to relieve heartburn.
Apple cider vinegar
The acid content in apple cider vinegar helps the stomach stop producing more acid and stop heartburn.
Mix 1 tsp of vinegar in 1 glass of water and sip throughout the day.
In Ayurveda, gooseberries are known for their overall calming effect on the body. In addition, it contains a high amount of vitamin C, which helps heal the inflamed stomach lining and esophagus.
Mix 1 tsp of gooseberries powder in one glass of water.
Does Heartburn/Acid reflux mean a Hairy Baby?
Do you have heartburn/acid reflux during pregnancy?
Don’t be discouraged because the good news is your baby won’t be bald when born. Science has backed up the belief that the more heartburn you have during pregnancy, the more likely your baby will be born with a full head of hair on average.
It seems that hormones responsible for heartburn are the same ones that cause hair to sprout on fetal. Although, surprisingly, that stood true for both of my pregnancies, both of my babies were born with a head full of hair.
Stay Positive and Enjoy the Experience
Staying positive and stress-free helps a lot while dealing with bad acid reflux at 38 weeks of pregnancy. The solution to heartburn is probably in your kitchen. Making certain dietary and lifestyle modifications and home remedies work for most healthy pregnant women. If any of these remedies do not work for you, try another.
The most important part is, you are growing a little miracle in your body, and trust me, they are worth the discomfort. However, if heartburn symptoms persist, seek medical attention.
Did you have bad acid reflux at 38 weeks of pregnancy? What worked for you to reduce the episode of acid reflux? Leave your comments below.
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