Wellness

How to Naturally Treat Heartburn and Acid Reflux When Pregnant

shutterstock_510965848.jpg

As a holistic nutritionist and pregnant mama-to-be, preventing pregnancy related symptoms naturally was really important to me. I really wanted to have a healthy and happy pregnancy with as few discomforts as possible. I experienced acid reflux around the 22 week mark of my pregnancy and it continued on and off for the duration of my pregnancy.

First, I want to share with you the potential cause of pregnancy related heartburn and acid reflux. Some of the causes are actually different from heartburn and acid reflux that occur in non-pregnant people. Secondly, I share my best tips for reducing acid reflux and heartburn.

Heartburn and acid reflux are can be caused by several factors:

  • Nervous tension can be a cause because it will disrupt the digestive process.
  • Excess stomach acid or too little stomach acid can cause the acid to bubble up the esophagus.
  • During pregnancy, hormones are causing your muscles to relax and this also includes the stomach muscles. Lazy stomach muscles can allow stomach acid to move up the esophagus and cause heartburn or acid reflux.
  • In the third trimester, many of your organs have been displaced to allow room for your growing baby. The stomach gets squished upwards which can cause heartburn or acid reflux.

Naturally prevent heartburn and acid reflux

Eat mindfully

Eating mindfully will signal to your body that you are eating. This will help with overall digestion because you will be in a relaxed state and the body will be able to produce the proper amount of digestive juices necessary. Eating mindfully will also ensure that you properly chew your food and eat more slowly.

Eat in an upright position

Eat at a table in an upright position and wait at least an hour before lying down after eating. Eating in a slouched position or lying down while you are still digesting will allow digestive juices travel more easily up the esophagus.

Avoid trigger foods

Avoid heartburn trigger foods like food that are super spicy, acidic, or fried. Caffeine, fizzy drinks with meals, and dairy can also trigger heartburn.

Eat 6 small meals

Try eating 6 small meals per day instead of 3 big meals; this will be easier on your digestion.

Stay hydrated

Make sure to stay hydrated between meals but don’t drink too much water while you are eating as it can dilute the digestive juices and slow down digestion. Water is really important because it makes up the fluids that facilitate digestion.

Neutralize the acid

Chew almonds or try taking 1/4tsp sodium bicarbonate in water. If all else fails take a Tums, it’s not ideal because the ingredients aren’t the best but it works in a pinch.

Change your night-time routine

If you are experiencing acid reflux at night, stop eating 2 hours before bed and sleep with your body propped up.

This is just a sneak peek at the information I include in my book Healthy Holistic Pregnancy. In the book I cover 27 common pregnancy related discomforts and include lots of tips on how to prevent them naturally. You can find out more on my website JesseLaneWellness.com

Jesse Lane Lee, CNP