Is your pregnancy giving you heartburn? Learn what causes heartburn during pregnancy and get some natural relief and remedies.
Heartburn occurs in one-quarter to one-half of pregnant women. It is a very common symptom of pregnancy and can occur throughout the pregnancy, starting at first trimester and getting worst as you progress for some women.
Heartburn was absolutely atrocious during my both pregnancies. Fortunately, only during first trimester of both pregnancies. Heartburn or acid reflux was so bad that I wasn’t able to keep anything down in my stomach. I threw-up everywhere, home, office even in train while commuting to work. One night, ended up in emergency to get help. After getting one dose of IV (intravenous) glucose, I felt better. I had lost couple of pounds during first trimester because of not able to keep food down in my stomach. So, absolutely the worst part of being pregnant has to be “Heartburn”. During my 2nd pregnancy I was proactive, made dietary and lifestyle changes along with help of home remedies, I was able to cope with heartburn.
In this article I will talk about:
- What are the causes of heartburn during pregnancy
- Natural relief of heartburn during pregnancy
- Natural remedies to treat heartburn during pregnancy
What Causes of Heartburn during Pregnancy?
Hormonal changes during pregnancy are responsible for most of the pregnancy related symptoms including heartburn. The high level of progesterone relaxes muscles during pregnancy to make a room for baby. It also relaxes the sphincter valve situated at the beginning of the stomach. This causes the contents of the stomach to escape into the esophagus resulting in heartburn.
High level of stress during pregnancy can also cause heartburn or acid reflux.
Natural Relief of Heartburn during Pregnancy
Dietary and lifestyle changes during pregnancy can help prevent heartburn during pregnancy.
- Eat smaller meal frequently throughout the day rather than 3 large meal
- Eat slowly and chew every bite
- Stay hydrated with small sips of water or liquid throughout the day rather than large quantity
- Sit straight or walk after meal to prevent reflux
- Try raising head 6-8 inches when sleeping
- Sleep on your left side – this position makes it hard for acid to rise into the esophagus
- Chewing sugar free gum for 30 min after meal – This causes salivary glad to produce more saliva. The increased saliva may neutralize acid coming back up into the esophagus
- Tight fitting cloths
- Food that triggers heartburn:
- Spicy and fatty food
- Alcohol and smoking
- Fried food
- Sugary treats
- Citrus fruits
- Fizzy drinks
Incorporating variety of pregnancy foods to your daily diet can help soothe digestive track, reducing inflammation and acid reflux
- Fermented food like flattened rice (Poha), sauerkraut are filled with good bacteria and enzymes. That helps our body naturally digest food by normalizing acid levels
- 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 along with adding suggested pregnancy food to your daily diet can help ease heartburn during pregnancy.
Natural Remedies to treat Heartburn during Pregnancy
The ultimate remedy for heartburn would be giving birth, as there isn’t much can be done for pregnancy related heartburn. Before seeking doctors help, most women with healthy pregnancy finds natural way to treat heartburn. Not all pregnancies are same, so one remedy that work for one may not work for other.
Here are natural remedies to treat heartburn during pregnancy
Coconut water is natural acid neutralizer as it is high in electrolyte and potassium. Coconut water can bring quick soothing effect.
Choose fresh coconut water or unsweetened coconut water
Buttermilk contains lactic acid that neutralizes the acid in the stomach. The lactic acid helps by coating the stomach lining thereby reducing the 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 symptoms of heartburn as well as nausea and vomiting.
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 1 fresh lemon in one glass of water. Add honey if you desire.
Fennel seed naturally soothe the digestive tract, reduce 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 great with above buttermilk recipe.
Slippery elm bark
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 mucous membranes of esophagus.
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 to stop producing more acid, and stops heartburn.
Mix 1 tsp of vinegar in 1 glass of water and sip throughout the day.
In Ayurveda, gooseberries are known for overall calming effect on body. It contains high amount of vitamin C which helps in healing the inflamed stomach lining and esophagus.
Mix 1 tsp of gooseberries powder in one glass of water.
Does Heartburn mean a Hairy Baby ?
Are you having heartburn during pregnancy?…Don’t be discouraged, because good news is your baby won’t be bald when born. Science has backed up belief that, the more heartburn you have during pregnancy, it is more likely that 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 causes hair to sprout on fetal. Surprisingly, that stood true for both of my pregnancy, both of my babies were born with head full of hair…only on head though ..
Stay Positive and Enjoy the Experience
Staying positive and stress free helps a lot while dealing with heartburn during pregnancy. The solution of heartburn is probably in your own kitchen. Making certain dietary and lifestyle modification along with home remedies work for most of the healthy pregnant women. If any of these remedies does not work for you, try another.
Most important part is, you are growing little miracle in your body and trust me, he or she is worth the discomfort. If heartburn symptoms persist, seek medical attention.
What is your Story?
How was your pregnancy? Did you suffer from heartburn during pregnancy? Which natural remedies worked for you? If you suffered from heartburn, I would love to hear about your baby? Was he/she born with hair on head? Share with us in the comments below.