Heartburn often starts in the first trimester and can occur throughout pregnancy. In this post, we’ll discuss what the causes of heartburn during pregnancy are, how to avoid it and what natural remedies can be used for relief.
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What are the Causes Of Heartburn During Pregnancy?
Hormones cause a variety of stomach symptoms which includes heartburn. This is because the hormone progesterone causes the stomach valve to relax (which is responsible for preventing stomach acids passing back into the esophagus). The acids are allowed to pass more easily which irritates the lining. Fewer stomach acids are also produced as your digestion are slowed down. Less stomach acid creates acid reflux and heartburn, even though it seems counterintuitive.
The baby also takes up a lot of room. The baby will be compressing your diaphragm and digestive organs up into less space by the third trimester. This makes it easier for stomach contents to move back up into the esophagus.
How to Relieve Pregnancy Heartburn Naturally
- Apple Cider Vinegar – sip on one teaspoon vinegar mixed with one glass of water throughout the day, especially before meals. This will increase your stomach acid, which will offer relief. Click here to read about more health benefits of apple cider vinegar.
- Lemon Water – squeeze fresh lemons into a glass of water and add raw honey. This will increase the production of bile and digestive juices which will aid digestion and help to balance low stomach acids.
- Ginger Tea – grate one teaspoon of fresh ginger into a glass of hot water. Steep for about 8 minutes for a delicious tea. Please note that it should be used in moderation as ginger can lead to contractions when used in high doses.
- Coconut Water – is high in alkaline minerals and electrolytes, therefore, it regulates your pH balance which is an excellent acid neutralizer.
- Water – you should be drinking lots of water but not at once. Sip on water all day long as this will hydrate you, keep things flushing through and reduce heartburn.
- Fennel Seeds – a small number of crushed fennel seeds can be added to tea for relief. It soothes the digestive tract, decreases inflammation and reduces acid. Once again – use in moderation, as excessive amounts may lead to contractions.
- Peppermint – sucking on peppermint or drinking peppermint tea will ease heartburn.
- Milk or Yogurt – even though cow’s milk may offer relief to some, it can also worsen heartburn over time. Try goat’s milk, rice milk or nut milk as alternatives. Add some raw honey to a warm glass of milk to soothe your burning chest.
- High Enzyme Foods – foods that contain naturally occurring enzymes such as bananas, avocados, pineapple and papaya help with the breakdown of food.
- Fermented foods – foods like kefir, kimchi
andsauerkraut contain a lot of good bacteria and enzymes which will ease heartburn and support healthy digestion.
- Aloe Vera gel can be applied topically on the abdomen, throat
andchest as it reduces symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux and also treats inflammation.
- Grapefruit – stimulates bile production and is good for bloating, flatulence and digestion.
- Chewing Gum – eases the symptoms of heartburn and neutralizes stomach acids by stimulating saliva production. Chew gum for 10 minutes after each meal.
How To Avoid Pregnancy Heartburn
Lifestyle, Nutrition & Diet
How and what you eat can make a big difference in the symptoms you experience during pregnancy. Try the following:
- Eat small meals throughout the day
- Avoid food before you go to bed or take a nap
- Make lunch your main meal
- Eat alkalizing foods such as almonds, avocados, green vegetables, herbal teas and garlic. (Read more about the alkaline diet plan).
Avoid The Following
- Tight fitting clothes
- Alcohol, sugar, chocolate, caffeine, tomatoes, onions, mustard, fried foods and fizzy drinks.
- Iron supplements – check with your doctor to determine whether your iron supplement might be causing heartburn.