Natural Solutions For Relieving Heartburn During Pregnancy
For a pregnant woman, heartburn relief during pregnancy is sought at different times throughout gestation, for different reasons. In the third trimester, the actual physical condition of the baby pushing on the stomach can result in heartburn symptoms. In the other trimesters, symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux are occurring due to changes in the digestive process. The irony in all of this is that the simple, natural heartburn remedies you can follow to ease discomfort during pregnancy are the same methods to use to reduce heartburn’s symptoms when you aren’t pregnant. So consider these heartburn remedies as something to follow throughout life, whether currently pregnant or not.
Getting Heartburn During Pregnancy
There are, of course, a few things that do increase the likelihood of getting heartburn and acid reflux when pregnant. First, the human body is very intelligent. To ensure the growing fetus will get all of the nutrition it needs, digestion slows down, allowing more time for absorption. Overeating can cause heartburn when not pregnant, but even more so when tackling a slower digestive process. Also, some research is showing that the change in hormones might have an impact on the lower esophageal sphincter, which is the valve that keeps acid from backing up into the esophagus. However, there are many lifestyle factors that impact the LES valve as well, so it is difficult to pinpoint a direct cause.
How to Avoid Getting Heartburn During Pregnancy
In any case, the following acid reflux and heartburn remedies are good practices to follow during pregnancy and after. There is no better time to make a lifestyle change than when you are motivated to provide your growing baby the nutrition he or she needs to thrive:
Eat Small Meals, Don’t Overeat
Many people overeat, which can cause heartburn by overloading the stomach. With the slowed digestion of pregnancy, eating too much will increase the likelihood of acid reflux even more. Eat small amounts, throughout the day, and listen to your body. It will let you know when it is hungry. Though fluid intake is important, try to do so in moderation as well, and not during mealtimes, so that your stomach acid can digest properly without being diluted. An added benefit of eating in small amounts is that it helps stabilize your blood sugar, which is important when pregnant.
Eat Nutritious Meals
Another lifestyle change to consider during your pregnancy and after is to start to look at not only how you eat, but what. More than ever, you need to be eating foods that have nutritional value, so your baby can receive the health benefits of the essential vitamins and minerals you are receiving. Processed foods and junk foods are directly correlated to digestive problems. A key to heartburn relief during pregnancy is to start eating wholesome foods. A prenatal vitamin is not a free pass to eat McDonald’s and Doritos. In fact, vitamins cannot be absorbed properly if your digestive system is in turmoil, so these prenatals can pass right through without providing many benefits.
Don’t Lie Down After Eating
With a full stomach, you can help your digestion by walking or engaging in moderate activity. Lying down increases the likelihood of heartburn, especially with the slowed digestive process in pregnant women.
Soothe With Natural Products, Avoid Antacids
Research is finally showing individuals that we are not a society of people with too much acid. In most cases, we have the perfect amount of acid needed or are actually lacking. When you reduce your stomach acid, you are actually standing in the way of absorbing nutrition properly because you can no longer digest food completely, which can impact your health and your baby’s. Your body has what it needs where digestion is concerned, so don’t interfere with its natural process. For soothing heartburn relief during pregnancy, nothing works better than all natural products such as DGL, Aloe, and Slippery Elm.
For many women, even before becoming pregnant, acid reflux, heartburn and/or indigestion would occur, at least on occasion. However, if you had severe heartburn prior to becoming pregnant and ate nutritious foods in small amounts, you should consider food allergy testing. Common food allergies such as eggs, wheat, and dairy, once removed from a person’s diet, have shown promising results in curing heartburn once and for all. Pregnancies may increase the likelihood of developing some acid reflux symptoms, but making lifestyle changes now can provide heartburn relief during pregnancy and for the rest of your life.