How To Treat Pregnancy Heartburn Naturally
While you can’t completely prevent heartburn during pregnancy, there are ways you can minimize how often it happens and reduce the severity when it strikes.
Below are seven tips from Wellenstein, Sridhar, and experts from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
How To Ease Heartburn During Pregnancy
Before you despair, there are a number of simple and gentle lifestyle and dietary changes you can make, to help ease your heartburn symptoms.
Portion sizes and pregnancy heartburn
Eating large portions at mealtimes can play havoc with your digestive system at the best of times, let alone when youre pregnant and have a baby squishing your insides, too. Cockburn suggests that eating little and often is the key.
Ditching the breakfast, lunch and dinner routine and instead eating more regular small, healthy meals throughout the day can often ease symptoms, she says. Its also important to remember to sit up straight while eating, to reduce pressure on the stomach.
Pregnancy heartburn culprit foods
When it comes to heartburn, there are a few classic culprit foods that you may want to consider cutting out of your diet, to help alleviate symptoms.
Classic culprits include citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolate, fatty and spicy foods, as well as onions and garlic, explains Dr Geetha Venkat, from The Harley Street Clinic. What you drink also needs to be examined. We would suggest you steer clear of tea and coffee -including decaf, as well as fizzy drinks and alcohol.
Keep a pregnancy heartburn food diary
If youve tried cutting out the more obvious culprits above, but are still suffering with heartburn, it may be worth noting down what you are eating and drinking at each meal, to see if you can see any correlation between certain meal ingredients and your symptoms.
Heartburn Medication To Avoid During Pregnancy
Talk to your doctor before taking any antacids. Some contain ingredients that may harm you or your baby. Be sure to not to take these medications:
Ranitidine. In 2020, the FDA stopped sales of an H2 blocker called ranitidine because it was contaminated with a cancer-causing agent. If you take OTC ranitidine, stop your use. If you have a prescription for ranitidine, talk to your doctor about other options before you stop your medication.
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Foods That Cause Heartburn During Pregnancy
Certain foods can also trigger heartburn.
In the book, The Whole 9 Months, author Jennifer Lang, M.D. states that although pregnancy heartburn, gassiness, indigestion, constipation, and other bothersome symptoms start from weight gain and as the belly grows:
I strongly believe that all of these symptoms are worsened by eating a lot of animal products. Meats will sit in your digestive system longer, causing increased heartburn, constipation, and hemorrhoids.
Additionally, spicy foods, greasy foods, processed meats, foods high in fat, foods that have caffeine , and citrus foods can trigger heartburn.
Indigestion And Heartburn In Pregnancy
Many women experience indigestion and heartburn while they are pregnant, which can be painful or uncomfortable. There are ways to help avoid or treat indigestion and heartburn, especially if it is mild. Sometimes the feeling of heartburn can be confused with a more serious condition called pre-eclampsia.
Indigestion, also called ‘dyspepsia’, is a feeling of pain or discomfort in the stomach . This mostly occurs after eating or drinking but can happen some time after.
If you have indigestion in the early stage of your pregnancy, this may be caused by changes in your hormone levels. In the second or third trimester, indigestion becomes more common and may be caused by your baby pushing up against your stomach. As many as 8 in 10 women may have indigestion during their pregnancy.
Symptoms of indigestion may include:
- reflux or regurgitation
- feeling heavy, bloated or full
- feeling sick
Heartburn is a burning pain in the throat or chest, behind the breastbone, caused by stomach acid coming up the oesophagus and irritating the lining.
In pregnant women, indigestion and heartburn can be caused by:
- eating a big meal
- drinking fruit juice or caffeinated beverages
- doing physical activity soon after eating
- bending over
- feeling anxious
It’s a good idea to take note of the particular foods, drinks or activities that give you indigestion while you are pregnant.
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Cut Off The Amount Of Food You Intake
Heavier meal is less likely to digest properly. Moreover, at the time of pregnancy, your abdomen is pressurized by the growing fetus and heavier meals worsen the situation causing acid reflux. Instead, eat light but more often if you cannot keep up with less food. For example if you have a habit of eating four meals a day, divide the four heavy meals into eight light meals with proper time difference.
Dont Eat A Heavy Meal Before Working Out
The esophageal sphincter is a ring-like muscle present where your esophagus meets the stomach.
This muscle prevents the stomach acid from pouring into the esophagus. If the muscle gets weak, it cannot perform its functions properly and lead to acid reflux.
Another reason for acid reflux is pressure on the esophageal sphincter. If you eat a heavy meal, it will fill your stomach to its capacity. That causes the stomach acids to move upward and apply pressure on this muscle.
As a result, youâll experience heartburn. Donât eat a heavy meal before working out if you want to prevent acid reflux while exercising.
Try to keep a difference of at least two hours between eating and exercising. Eat larger meals three to four hours before exercising and snacks one to three hours before hitting the gym.
Consume plenty of proteins as they help in muscle growth and recovery, allowing you to get the best of your workout.
A protein-rich meal also improves your muscle performance and increases lean body mass.
If youâre going to work out in the next two or three hours, eat brown rice with roasted vegetables or a sandwich with whole-grain bread and a salad.
If youâre eating fats, make sure you consume them a few hours before you work out.
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Is Heartburn A Sign Of Pregnancy
If you have heartburn or heartburn, could it mean that youre pregnant? Its possible. Heartburn is a common incident for most people at one time or another, but doesnt necessarily indicate youre pregnant. However, if you experience other symptoms, such as a missed out on period or nausea, these could be signs that you have to take a pregnancy test.
Tips On How To Avoid Heartburn During Pregnancy
Why treat something when you can avoid it altogether? Heres some of the best tips on how to prevent heartburn during pregnancy. Note that, during the latest stages of pregnancy, and depending on your degree of heartburn, this might only help partially. You will still need to try some of the remedies for full relief.
I also found that the list below can be very restrictive. We all love some junk food every now and then, particularly when pregnant. Giving up all of these things, every single day, can be impossible sometimes!
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How To Get Rid Of Heartburn Naturally While Pregnant
How to get rid of heartburn with diet?
We already know acid reflux recurs most at night.
The relaxation after a hard day needs anything but the best. But, unfortunately, heartburns occur most when you try to rest at night.
So, the best way to get rid of heartburn when pregnant naturally might include some of these:
The highly rich whole-meal food is laced with zinc, manganese, and magnesium.
Oatmeal is not only easy to prepare but also easy to digest.
Moreover, oatmeal can be made as a part of a meal or dessert.
Regardless, it will boost metabolism whenever you decide to have a bowl. It also supports better intestinal health.
Pregnant women can eat it in smaller portions.
Its one of the most filling foods to get rid of heartburn while pregnant.
So, these were some of the foods that wont cause heartburn during pregnancy and can help avoid terrible acid refluxes.
Clearly, there are easy-to-get solutions with natural as well as medicinal options.
Now, let us look at the causes of heartburn during pregnancy.
Coconut Water For Fast Relief From Heartburn
Coconut water, the clear water found in tender coconuts, is a natural acid neutralizer. When you drink this coconut water, it provides almost immediate and easy relief from heartburn and it is safe during pregnancy too. You just have to take out the water from the tender coconut and sip the delicious nutrition rich water in small amounts, say 1/2 cup each time. Have it 3-4 times a day, in between meals.
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Eat Smaller More Frequent Meals
Most pregnant women get accustomed to doing this anyway, especially as the pregnancy continues and the baby crowds your abdominal organs.
Eating smaller meals will allow your body to digest your food easier and should result in less heartburn. Make sure to chew each mouthful slowly and dont gulp down your food.
What Should You Know About Heartburn
A Woman with Heartburn Symptoms
Heartburn is a symptom that feels like a burning in your chest, and is a symptom of acid reflux .
Do most people get heartburn?
Heartburn is more common during pregnancy. Most people get heartburn after meals, but can also awaken people while they are sleeping. People also may experience heartburn after eating specific foods or drinking certain beverages.
What can heartburn be a sign or symptom of?
Symptoms of acid reflux that may accompany heartburn include
- difficulty swallowing,
- stomach pain or burning in the upper abdomen,
- persistent sore throat,
- regurgitation of foods or liquids with a taste of acid in the throat, and
- persistent hoarseness or laryngitis.
How can you tell if you are having a heart attack or heartburn?
- If you think that you are having a heart attack, call 911 immediately to save your life.
- A heart attack and heartburn can have the same symptoms, for example, be the same, for example, heartburn is a symptom of another disease or condition, for example, chest pain, shortness of breath, and nausea and vomiting.
- Heart attack signs and symptoms that are not the same as in heartburn include, for example, dizziness, toothache, and headache while heartburn symptoms include problems swallowing, persistant sore throat, hoarseness, laryngitis or reflux laryngitis.
How can you get rid of heartburn?
Heartburn can be relieved and cured for many people with lifestyle changes, for example,
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Apple Cider Vinegar For Heartburn In Pregnancy
There are two opinions regarding why apple cider vinegar is one of the best home remedies for heartburn. One of these theories says that the acetic acid in vinegar helps lower stomach acidity by increasing its pH. This happens because acetic acid is a weaker acid than hydrochloric acid present in the stomach. It is said that vinegar helps buffer and maintain stomach acid at an optimum pH level so that your stomach can effectively digest food but may cause fewer problems with the esophagus thus preventing heartburn. The second theory says that the lower esophageal sphincter is also a pH sensitive valve. When there is insufficient acid present in the stomach, your LES valve frequently keeps opening up leading to acid reflux. You may have too little acid in your stomach due to various reasons. For example, in pregnancy, you put more effort to keep heartburn in check which might lower down the required amount of acid production in your stomach. In such a case when you drink apple cider vinegar, it provides sufficient acidity needed by the LES to function properly.
- Add ACV to the glass of water.
- Ideally, this needs to be taken before meals or whenever heartburn is experienced.
- However, because in pregnancy, it is recommended to take lesser amounts of fluid before or after meals, you may sip only a cup of this apple cider vinegar tonic along with your meal.
- You may also have it in batches in between meals.
Apples To Reduce Heartburn
Banana is not the only fruit that helps you with heartburn. The nutritious and tasty apples to come to your help when its about getting rid of heartburn. Apples can in fact, even reduce the symptoms of GERD, the chronic heartburn. This is because apple helps in producing an alkaline environment in your stomach so that the excessive acids get neutralized. This also helps in better digestion which is again a key to no heartburn. Not only does apple cure but also prevent heartburn. However, you need to eat sweet apples, preferably those that are organic. Tart apples wont do any wonders.
Ways to have Apples to Avoid Heartburn
Some apples may give you instant and better relief from heartburn than others. Therefore, keep on changing the varieties of apples to find out the one that is most soothing for your condition.
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Why Is Gerd Common During Pregnancy
GERD is practically a hallmark of pregnancy because changing hormone levels can affect the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. The hormone progesterone, producedin large amounts by the placenta, is a smooth muscle relaxant, according toHeather Johnson, MD, an OB-GYN at Reiter, Hill and Johnson of Advantia Health in the Washington, D.C. area. The relaxation of muscles in the digestive system also causes the lower esophageal sphincter muscles to relax. This allows stomach acid to more easily make its way into the esophagus. This, combined with the increasing size of the uterus in the second and third trimesters, pushes the stomach upward and intensifies uncomfortable symptoms. Hence, symptoms tend to worsen as the pregnancy progresses, Dr. Johnson notes.
Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
A lot of disturbing things happen during pregnancy and heartburn is one of them, especially if you are close to your due date. Heartburn makes pregnancy uncomfortable to deal with. Therefore, to get rid of these disturbing heartburns you have to adapt a good feeding habit with balanced diet and you also have to engage in more non-strenuous daily exercise.
Here are some foods that can help you get rid of heartburn quickly.
Taking of ginger: when you take ginger, it calms your nerves down and also gets rid of your nausea. Ginger is a common kitchen remedy that helps to subdue the growth of cancerous cells and also reduces arthritis symptoms and digestion issues. As a pregnant woman, when you consume ginger daily it reduces the risk of chronic heart conditions by reducing hypertension and cholesterol levels in your body therefore preventing heart attacks that is associated with pregnancy. With ginger you dont have to worry or be afraid of upset stomach because ginger deals with it so well and it also helps to reduce inflammation while preventing acid reflux from taking place. To boost your immune system, you just have to take ginger take and with your strong immunity it is of course an added bonus during pregnancy.
Chewing sugar- free gum: After you have had a nice meal or a heavy one you should consider chewing a sugar-free gum for 30 minutes or more. The gum helps to reduce acid reflux which prevents heartburn from taking place.
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What Are Some Ways To Sleep Better With Heartburn
Creating a sleep hygiene routine that is easy and comfortable to follow may also help improve your sleep. Taking steps such as setting a sleep schedule, creating a quiet, dark bedroom environment, and avoiding eating in the hours before you go to sleep might help. Choose pajamas that are loose around the waist to prevent any restriction around the stomach that could impact your heartburn symptoms.
What Makes It Better
For most women, things that help reduce acid production or prevent reux are helpful in avoiding the discomfort of heartburn. Here are tips that may help:
Avoid classic spicy foods, as well as those with lots of fat or grease. Many people recommend avoiding citrus and chocolate, as well.
Eat multiple, small meals spread throughout the day, much like grazing, instead of three big meals.
Try elevating the head of your bed by several inches, and wait a while after eating before going to bed or lying down.
Some women find that its better to drink fluids between meals, rather than with a meal. This can increase the amount of contents in the stomach.
If your symptoms do not improve after the above recommended diet and lifestyle changes are in place, talk with your healthcare provider about over-the-counter medicines. Antacids are available as chewable tablets and liquids. They work by coating the lining of the esophagus and stomach and neutralizing stomach acid. Heartburn medicines called H2-blockers work by reducing the amount of acid made by your stomach. Although most of these are considered safe in pregnancy, as with all medicines, these should be avoided in the first trimester.
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