For anyone that has experienced heartburn during pregnancy understands how annoying it can be.
If you’ve never experienced it before it can be a shock as to how painful it is.
I’ve put together a list my special tips to help ease heartburn during pregnancy.
These tips have helped me deal with acid reflux through all of my seven pregnancies. (and yes, my babies have been born with lots of hair)…. but that’s a myth anyway.
Heartburn is so painful; it’s that burning feeling that comes up into your throat, your chest cavity and even into your jaw.
It can start at around 4 months pregnant and for some people even earlier 🙁
Just as your morning sickness is starting to ease, your energy and appetite is returning and then the dreaded heartburn comes along.
It’s even worse at night and won’t let you sleep.
It’s that last thing you feel like having especially when you’re already feeling uncomfy from being pregnant.
What causes heartburn during pregnancy?
Heartburn is really another name for Acid Reflux and can be called GERD. It happens during pregnancy caused from the pregnancy hormone progesterone.
Progesterone helps relax your muscles including the stomach valve that keeps your stomach acids out of the oesophagus. It’s also what’s responsible for constipation during pregnancy.
It also doesn’t help that it’s getting squishy and crowded from your growing uterus that also pushes up the acids.
Watch this very short video that explains what causes heartburn during pregnancy
and then be sure to read on what has helped me.
Natural remedies for acid reflux
The only ‘real’ treatment for heartburn during pregnancy is pushing your baby, but we don’t want that till at least 39 weeks.
Luckily there are a few ways that can ease the symptoms of the heartburn until the amazing birth happens.
Unforntunealty it may not go away completely but these tips can help if you try to incorporate them into your lifestyle.
Keep a food diary
When you first start getting heartburn symptoms keep a food diary and write down everything you have drank and eaten including: how much, what time, when, before the heartburn began.
This includes supplements; when you took them and how long you’ve eaten before you went to bed.
Know your trigger foods
Your food diary will help you identify the trigger foods that you will need to avoid in order to ease your heartburn.
I normally have a cup of tea at night with hubby and a little piece of chocolate.
After keeping a food diary I realised this is a major trigger food for me and I cannot drink a cup of tea after 5 pm.
I then changed from having traditional tea to a herbal chamomile tea and can’t eat any chocolate at all.
You will start to look at food differently when you understand your trigger foods.
Avoid spicy food/citrus/carbs/mint products
For some people with heartburn, spicy food is a no no.
Some of my favourite dishes are spicy foods but once I get to 4 months of pregnancy I can no longer eat them because of the acid they give me.
Some foods are known to directly affect and irritate the lining of the oesophagus’s and spicy foods are one of them, along with citrus fruits, juices, tomatoes, caffeine, chocolate, mints and peppermint and some medications. There is an exception for ginger.
Carbs are also known to cause a lot of heartburn, especially high carb foods like bread and pastries.
But again knowing your trigger foods is your best weapon against heartburn.
Ginger is known to be one of the most effective treatments for heartburn and can even relieve the pain fast.
It relieves inflammation and prevents muscles pain. It is a spice but it’s an anti-inflammatory spice that aids in digestion and helps soothe the gut.
Always keep some handy and chew it throughout the day. You can have it in any form, powdered, pickled or fresh.
Try incorporating ginger into your diet.
Sip on water
Drink smaller amounts of water with your meals and sip on water rather than drink big amounts in one go.
Be sure to continue to drink at least 2-3 litres of water throughout the day so you aren’t dehydrated or constipated as constipation also triggers heartburn.
Eat smaller meals
Heartburn is also caused by the pressure on the stomach valve from the growing uterus and is already overcrowded so it makes sense to eat smaller meals.
When you eat smaller more frequent meals there’s less stress on your tummy and it won’t push up the stomach valve as much, hopefully causing less acid reflux.
Chewing gum after meals helps encourages saliva that helps break down food and can ease the symptoms of heartburn.
Just avoid the mint type as this can encourage it. Bulk up on a strawberry flavour instead and always keep it handy.
Eat earlier in the day and try making your larger meal lunch instead of dinner.
Going to sleep hours after eating can help reduce the stomach acids along with keeping your meal light with fewer carbs.
Sleep propped up
For me, sleeping propped up at night is easier said than done but it does help reduce heartburn.
When you lay flat down the stomach acids leak straight into your oesophagus and that’s why it’s getting worse at night causing lots of pain.
Whereas sleeping propped up keeps the acids down due to gravity.
Stay at a healthy weight
This is a hard one when you’re pregnant but being at a healthy weight puts less pressure on the stomach valve that leaks and causes the pain.
When I am pregnant my body puts on weight easily, so it doesn’t mean you have to diet; just don’t over eat.
But when heartburn starts to strike and if you listen to your body you won’t put on as much weight because you are naturally avoiding certain foods.
Just make sure you are giving your baby and body everything it needs for a healthy pregnancy even if you have to put up with some heartburn.
Over the counter antacids
You can take over the counter antacid medications like Gaviscon and some chewable’s if it gets really bad or for extra relief.
Just be sure to ask a professional health care provider and always try natural ways before you take anything else.
If you have heartburn attack, sip on some water sit up straight and breathe deeply until it starts to ease a little.
Keep some ginger handy or chew on some strawberry gum.
I hope these heartburn tips can help you deal with your acid reflux during your pregnancy and remember there is light at the end it…
It’s all for a good cause.
Your beautiful baby ♥
Soon your baby will arrive, and you’ll forget all about that dreaded heartburn you experienced along with all the other pains of pregnancy.
Good luck and be sure to share your tips for dealing with heartburn during pregnancy in the comments below.