Natural Heartburn Remedies When You’re Pregnant
07 September, 2021
Heartburn is common during pregnancy. This is a very uncomfortable problem, especially when it happens in the middle of the night. It can negatively affect your sleep, as well as hurt your digestive health. Today, well share 4 natural heartburn remedies for when youre pregnant.
This condition can have very diverse causes, so its important to attack the root of the problem. These natural remedies will help your symptoms, which is why you should know them.
What Are The Pharmeceutical Options For Heartburn During Pregnancy
Firstly, I want to note that there are over-the-counter antiacids that may relieve heartburn and acid reflux during pregnancy such as Tums® or Maalox®, but talk to your healthcare provider before taking antiacids or any of the following herbal natural remedies.
Furthermore, these over-the-counter antiacids may contain high levels of sodium, which can make you retain water . Some also contain aluminum hydroxide , which is not safe to consume during pregnancy.
Aluminum can act as a potent neurological toxin and evoke embryonic and fetal toxic effects in animals and humans after exposure during pregnancy .
Check out, Whats the Point in Trying Holistic Options Before Pharmaceuticals? to learn why some people find importance in trying natural remedies first.
Eat Yogurt Or Drink Warm Milk With Honey
Yogurt or warm milk high in fat may actually worsen acid reflux, however, if youre interested in trying a low-fat option, they may help relieve your heartburn! Warm milk or yogurt contains high protein which may help with feelings of nausea, as well as probiotics for gut health.
Adding honey to your yogurt or warm milk may be beneficial in relieving your heartburn. Research on honey and acid reflux is limited, but its still considered a safe and effective way to treat acid reflux. However, if you have gestational diabetes or high blood sugar, speak with your midwife or OB about how much sugar you should ingest daily.
If youre good to go, you may stir one tablespoon of honey into your warm milk or yogurt!
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Diet Nutrition And Lifestyle
What and how you eat can make all the difference with heartburn during pregnancy.
- Eating smaller meals throughout the day
- Making your main meal at lunchtime, which takes pressure off the digestive tract later in the day when the body is tired or ready for bed
- Avoiding food a couple hours before bed or a nap
- Sitting upright after eatinglying down can push stomach contents back up
- Propping your head up with a couple of pillows while sleeping
- Tight fitting clothes. They put even more pressure on your organs.
- Liquids while you eat. This dilutes your digestive juices, making them less effective.
- Eating the following aggravating acidic foods:
- Caffeinated and sugar beverages, like tea, coffee, soda, etc.
- Spicy, fatty, rich, and fried foods
- Fizzy drinks
- Large quantities of meat in one sittingthe body works harder if overloaded or too rich
Again, adding and subtracting certain foods and behaviors daily will help build a more balanced foundation for your wellness.
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Can Drinking Milk Help My Heartburn
You may have heard that drinking a glass of milk can relieve heartburn. While it’s true that milk can temporarily buffer stomach acid, nutrients in milk, particularly fat, may stimulate the stomach to produce more acid.
Even though milk might not be a great heartburn remedy, however, it’s a rich source of bone-building calcium. Try fat-free skim milk and don’t overdo it. Drink no more than 8 ounces of skim milk at a time — as a snack in between meals. Overfilling the stomach may increase heartburn.
Also Check: How To Prevent Heartburn Naturally
Natural Ways To Relieve Pregnancy Heartburn
There isnt much that can be done about preventing the organic causes of heartburn during pregnancyhormones and babys growth are natural and wanted aspects of pregnancy. So what can you do?
First, its important to avoid over-the-counter options, like Zantac. Although some practitioners will tell you these conventional medications are safe during pregnancy, new research suggests they arent safe during pregnancy or ever. In fact, many big name storesCVS, Walmart, and Walgreens, to name a fewrecently pulled these drugs from their shelves over concerns that they contain cancer-causing agents.
The good news is most women with healthy, normal pregnancies will find easy, convenient, and effective measures to relieve heartburn discomfort naturally, including:
How To Prevent And Relieve Heartburn During Pregnancy
One of the most common symptoms seen during pregnancy is heartburn. This uncomfortable burning sensation along the chest bone and into the throat can happen at all hours of the day and especially when you lay down to go to sleep. The good news is there is a lot of ways to help prevent and get rid of heartburn during pregnancy symptoms with diet changes, positions, and natural supplements.
Why Does Heartburn Happen During Pregnancy?
Heartburn is more likely to affect pregnant women for a few reasons.
The increase in the hormone, progesterone, causes relaxation of the closure or sphincter between the stomach and esophagus. This allows stomach contents, which are acidic, to travel up and irritate the esophagus. Hormones also slow down the production of stomach acid which is needed for proper digestion of food. Undigested food which sits in the stomach is more likely to come back up into the esophagus.
The second reason heartburn occurs during pregnancy is due to the increasing pressure of the growing uterus on the stomach. As baby takes up more room in the abdomen there is less room for the stomach, making it easier for stomach contents to travel upwards into the esophagus. Heartburn is often the worst and the end of the 2nd trimester and beginning of the 3rd and improves as baby makes his or her way down preparing for birth.
Natural Ways to Prevent Heartburn
Change Your Positions
Change Your Eating Habits
Drink Your H2O
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Natural Remedies For Heartburn During Pregnancy
Is heartburn making your pregnancy even more uncomfortable? Simple lifestyle and diet changes can help you reduce or eliminate your symptoms.
Dr. Justin Hoffman, ND, NMD
Pregnancy heartburn can be extremely painful. Unfortunately, many of the traditional solutions require pills and medications to which you probably dont want to expose your baby. Luckily, natural heartburn remedies can provide heartburn relief.
PLEASE NOTE: If you experience prolonged or severe pregnancy heartburn, see a medical professional immediately.
How Can I Prevent Heartburn During Pregnancy
They say prevention is the best medicine, so knowing common heartburn triggers can help you keep the acid at bay.
Of course, pregnancy itself is a major trigger for heartburn. As your growing uterus puts pressure on your stomach, this pushes stomach acid up your throat.
Those lovely hormones are no help either. They tend to relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus, which makes it easier for acid to make its way upward.
While theres nothing you can do to stop this entirely, there are a few things that can help prevent heartburn from flaring up during pregnancy:
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Whats The Difference Between Heartburn Acid Reflux And Gerd
Acid reflux is the term given to stomach contents coming up into your esophagus and it can range in severity from mild to severe. .
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a chronic and more severe form of acid reflux.
Lastly, heartburn is when you feel a burning sensation behind your chest and this can be a symptom of reflux or GERD. Although its called heartburn, it actually has nothing to do with your heart. Heartburn is solely the agitation felt by stomach acid moving from your stomach up to your esophagus.
Indigestion And Heartburn In Pregnancy
Indigestion, also called heartburn or acid reflux, is common in pregnancy. It can be caused by hormonal changes and the growing baby pressing against your stomach.
You can help ease indigestion and heartburn by making changes to your diet and lifestyle, and there are medicines that are safe to take in pregnancy.
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Does Water Help With Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
Water can be a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to affecting GERD symptoms in pregnancy. Dr. Johnson notes that some women find that drinking water after a meal helps. It is thought that it may reduce the level of acidity in the stomach. However, Dr. Ross suggests saving the water for non-meal times, as drinking large amounts while eating may fill up the stomach and increase the risk of acid reflux and heartburn.
Because stomach volume is reduced due to the growing uterus, consuming too much water can provoke GERD symptoms. Any extra water you drink can overwhelm the lower esophageal sphincter, causing uncomfortable symptoms. In other words, drink water in moderation, preferably after or between meals, to avoid provoking symptoms.
Otc Medications May Also Help
If changes to your lifestyle and diet don’t work, that’s when doctors may recommend medication.
- Antacids: “Most antacids are considered safe in pregnancy and are compatible with breastfeeding,” Sridhar says. Antacids are OTC medications like Rolaids, Tums, and Maalox. And while they may be OTC, if you’re pregnant, you should consult your doctor before taking them.
- H2 blockers: If antacids don’t work, a doctor may prescribe H2 blockers like Pepcid. H2 blockers can relieve heartburn because they help you produce less hydrochloric acid in your stomach, thereby preventing heartburn before it even starts.
- Proton Pump Inhibitors: If antacids and H2 blockers don’t work, your doctor may prescribe proton pump inhibitors like Nexium or Prevacid.
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How Do I Treat Heartburn During Pregnancy
When youre growing a human being, you dont have time for that yucky acid reflux. But your usual go-to methods for treating it may not be safe for your unborn baby.
Instead, here are some of the safest and best ways to get rid of heartburn when youre pregnant:
Drink Milk Or Eat Yogurt
A serving of yogurt or a glass of milk can both relieve stomach acid. Keep in mind that cows milk may offer immediate relief. However, some say that, over time, stomach acidity can get worse with dairy.
Therefore, try drinking goats milk or a plant-based milk option such as almond milk or rice milk. Heating milk and adding a bit of honey can calm burning in the chest as well.
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Are There Any Medications I Can Take For Heartburn During Pregnancy
First, remember that not all medications are forbidden during pregnancy. Many over-the-counter options are completely reasonable in moderation. Keeping a steady supply of Tums or Rolaids in your purse may help soothe the burn a bit, just try not to use them as a crutch. Maalox and Mylanta are also usually OK, but check with your doctor before using any medication, just in case. Your doctor will tell you which work best and will intervene if the normal methods for soothing heartburn dont seem to help.
Talk To Your Doctor About Heartburn Medications
This includes over-the-counter ones some are safe to take during pregnancy.
Antacids help neutralize the acid in your stomach and quell that burning sensation. The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health says OTC antacids containing calcium carbonate are safe to use.
If you havent been able to quiet your heartburn with lifestyle changes, your doctor may suggest heartburn drugs like Tagamet and Prilosec, which are generally considered safe during pregnancy. While these drugs are available OTC, you might receive a prescription for a stronger dose if your doctor thinks its warranted.
When youre pregnant, you have to think about the safety of everything you put into and on your body. Some heartburn medications that might be OK for your nonpregnant sister but not for you include:
- Antacids containing sodium bicarbonate, which can increase swelling.
- Antacids containing aspirin, which can be toxic to your baby. Aspirin use during pregnancy has been associated with pregnancy loss, heart defects, and bleeding on the brain in premature infants.
- Antacids containing magnesium trisilicate, which havent been proven safe to use in pregnancy.
Also Check: What To Avoid With Heartburn
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How Do You Treat Heartburn During Pregnancy
Besides taking Gaviscon, Pepcid, or some other over-the-counter concoction that may or may not be suitable for pregnant women, there are quite a few natural, organic remedies that you can use to quell the burning sensation. Chewing on sugarless gum is a surefire way to increase saliva production, which can neutralize excess acid in your esophagus. Note that sugarless gum does contain artificial sweeteners, but it is usually fine in moderation. Also note that mint can often exacerbate heartburn in some people, so opt for a non-minty flavor if it happens to affect you.
There are several foods you can eat that make things easier on your tummy as well. Almonds also help neutralize stomach acids and are a good source of protein. They also make a great snack. Almond milk will work for this too, as will cow’s milk, warmed up with a spoonful a liquid sweetener. These base liquids will also help neutralize the discordant acids of the stomach. Papaya is high in vitamins A and C, and has been known to calm sour stomachs for years. Try it fresh, dried, or freeze-dried all of them will do the trick.
Consume Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar is one of the best things you can have to control heartburn during pregnancy.
Even though apple cider vinegar is acidic, it helps balance the acid production in the stomach or buffer the acid activity.
Apple cider vinegar is also good your health and the baby growing inside your womb.
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Discuss H2 Blockers With Your Doctor
If an antacid isn’t working, it may be time to consider stronger medications.
Your first option will likely be an H2 blocker like Tagamet or Zantac. These drugs suppress stomach-acid production. All four H2 inhibitors on the market are now available without a prescription and considered to be safe during pregnancy. But talk to your doctor before taking them.
“They really work,” says Einarson. “You only have to take one or two a day.”
Which Diet And Lifestyle Changes Relieve Heartburn During Pregnancy
The management of heartburn during pregnancy involves many of the same principles as management in the non-pregnant state. Lifestyle changes may include:
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Talk To Your Doctor About Alginates
Antacids are the most commonly bought heartburn medicine/ medications, but you can get some that also have alginates. These medications help to line the esophagus to eliminate the pain and discomfort that you feel, giving you immediate relief.
At the same time, they create a barrier over the top of your stomach acid. This foamy barrier stops the acid from getting through, preventing the reason for the heartburn in the first place. Its a long-term option.
If you suffer from bad acid reflux during the night, you will want to discuss these as an option during pregnancy with your doctor. They can give the lining throughout the night to help you sleep and then you stick to immediate or other options during the day.