Pregnancy heartburn can be extremely painful. Unfortunately, many of the traditional solutions require pills and medications to which you probably don’t 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.
Natural Heartburn Remedies
In most instances, healthy woman with normal pregnancies will experience a noticeable relief from natural heartburn remedies. However, there are definitely exceptions to this rule. Some women’s pregnancy heartburn persists for long period of time. Other women experience severe, debilitating pain. Either situation can cause difficulty breathing, arm and jaw pain, and extreme chest pain. As we said above, if you experience either of these, it is important to talk to your midwife or doctor immediately.
Staying hydrated offers your body a myriad of benefits – not the least of which is reducing your heartburn. But, don’t just gulp it down!
Drinking a lot of water all in one sitting can actually increase your chances of experiencing heartburn. This is because it can fill up your digestive tract, causing the liquid to escape how it entered - up through your esophagus. It is better to sip water throughout the day.
2. Fresh Lemon Water
Lemon is one of Mother Nature’s miracle fruits. The juice is known to increase the production of digestive juices and bile. This not only helps balance your stomach acid, it aids in digestion.
For a quick fix, simply squeeze a wedge or two of lemon in an 8-ounce glass of water. To make the mixture more palatable, add a small amount of honey. Serve as homemade lemonade over ice or heat for a DIY tea.
Peppermint is another great way to sooth your acid reflux and keep your pregnancy heartburn at bay. Try sucking on sugar-free peppermint candies or drinking a glass of peppermint tea.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Like lemon, apple cider vinegar has a wide variety of applications, including natural heartburn relief. As counterintuitive as it seems, low stomach acid can actually bring on acid reflux, causing you to suffer from heartburn.
By mixing a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into an 8-ounce glass of water, you can help balance the acid levels in your stomach.
Beyond tasting great in food, ginger can help reduce stomach pains. You can buy ginger pills or ginger chews over the counter. Alternatively, you could thinly slice raw ginger and steep it in hot water for 5 – 10 minutes. Just be sure to consume ginger in moderation when you are pregnant. High doses consumed frequently can sometimes lead to contractions.
6. Coconut Water
Coconut water is another excellent way to neutralize the acid levels of your stomach. If you aren’t used to consuming coconut, drink it in moderation. It can lead to irregular bowel movements.
7. Aloe Vera
In the same way aloe vera helps soothe a burning sunburn, it can offer relief when you are experiencing pregnancy heartburn. Simply spread the gel over your chest and throat to help reduce inflammation.
8. Pickle Juice
Filled with healthy enzymes and a high level of acid, pickle juice is another formidable liquid that can help normalize your stomach’s acid levels and improve digestion.
9. Baking Soda
It is rare, but there are some women who have too much acid in their stomach. If all other natural heartburn remedies fail, try mixing 1/8 of a teaspoon baking soda with water. Sip slowly. This could help neutralize an overabundance of acid.
Natural Heartburn Prevention
Once you have soothed your symptoms, make sure your pregnancy heartburn doesn’t return. Use these natural heartburn prevention tips to avoid any further pain and discomfort.
Eat Pregnancy Foods that Ward off Heart Burn
A variety of foods can help soothe your digestive tract, decrease inflammation, and reduce acid reflux. Incorporating these into your daily diet is an easy eating remedy that can often be delicious!
- Fennel Seeds (Like ginger, eat these in moderation. Excessive amounts are believed to bring on contractions.)
- Fermented Foods (Fermented foods, like sauerkraut and kimchi are filled with enzymes and good bacteria. These help your body naturally digest foods by normalizing your acid levels and boosting your digestive system’s efficiency.)
Make Lifestyle Changes to Naturally Prevent Heartburn While Pregnant
In some instances, keeping heartburn burn from returning can be as simple as a few lifestyle changes. The following vary in difficulty, but can be effective whether you are pregnant or not.
- Eat Smaller Meals (Eating large portions can fill up your digestive tract, inducing acid reflux as the excess food causes acid to rise. If you do plan to have a big meal, try and make it your mid-day meal. You are less likely to lie down after lunch, helping your body process your food more efficiently.)
- Eat Slowly
- Avoid Eating Just Before Sleeping (Imagine your stomach is like a water bottle filled with acid. When you lay the bottle on its side, the water sloshes about. And the more that is in the bottle, the more it sloshes. The same is true of your intestines. If you can avoid eating before going to sleep, you can help keep acid from rising from your stomach into your chest and throat.)
- Sleep on an Incline
- Stand up Straight
- Exercise Regularly (Exercise has been shown to help reduce acid reflux. Speak with your medical professional about how much physical activity you can handle. Even if it is a slow-paced walk, this can offer significant relief.)
- Bend at the Knees
- Chew Sugar-Free Gum After Meals (Chewing gum encourages your salivary glands to produce additional salvia. This helps keep acid from rising into your esophagus and improves digestion.)
- Avoid Tight Clothing
- Sleep on Your Left Side (This position makes it difficult for acid to rise into the esophagus.)
Avoid Heartburn Triggers
Certain foods and drinks can trigger heartburn. Try to avoid these, when possible.
- Caffeine (such as chocolate, soda pop, coffee, and tea)
- Spicy Foods
- Fatty and Foods
- Fizzy Drinks
Why Does Your Heartburn Occur During Pregnancy?
The ability to grow a life inside your own body is an incredible miracle. But, it is also a lot of hard work – emotionally and physically. Your body is pushed to the brink as it cares for you and the little one inside of you.
All that work and all those changes can lead to worse heartburn during pregnancy. These are some of the typical reasons women experience pregnancy heartburn:
Hormones affect every part of your body. And when you are pregnant, your hormones are going crazy, including the hormone progesterone. This hormone plays an essential role in preventing stomach acid from rising back up and into the esophagus.
Your Baby is Growing and Taking up A LOT of Room!
Your baby is growing. That is a great thing. But as he or she grows, your organs are compressed to make room for little legs and arms. The main organs that are compressed are your digestive organs. This leaves less room for your body to process food, and can cause acid to be pushed back up and into your esophagus.
You are Stressed
High levels of stress can often bring on acid reflux and heartburn. Whether you are rushing around to get ready for the baby or you are just a little bit more emotional than normal, it is common to be stressed while pregnant.
Get Professional Help
As we said before, if your heartburn is severe or persistent, it is recommended that you speak with a medical professional immediately. At Tru Health, our experienced naturopathic doctors are committed to helping you find a natural remedy that is safe for you and your baby.
Additional Heartburn Tips
A healthy, well-rounded diet can help your body function properly. But, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for boring, bland food. We’ve shared one of our favorite slaws - Balsamic Brussels Sprout Slaw. A bright, balsamic mixture studded with almonds.
It doesn't have to be October to enjoy these healthy dishes. Loaded with color, they are delightful year-round.
Paleo Vegan Finger Food Perfect for March Madness - Or Your Next Party
Planning to host a party? Simple ingredients make for finger food, even those not eating paleo will enjoy! And, when you keep ingredients simple and whole it’s easier for your digestive tract to process.
Everyone needs to satisfy their sweet tooth from time-to-time. These healthy cookies are perfect for the holidays, but they also taste great on any given Tuesday.
Naturopathic health care with compassionate integrative doctors who understand your unique medical needs.