Pregnancy is a wonderful blessing, but let’s admit it does have it’s downsides. From constant nausea in the first trimester to getting up to go to the bathroom every 5 minutes, sometimes you find yourself counting down the days until your child is born. Though most symptoms come and go, there seems to be one that just loves to stick around throughout the whole pregnancy, and that is heartburn.
Oh, we bet you’re nodding your head now. You might be one of the lucky ones, but heartburn usually occurs in most pregnant mommas. This is because the lovely hormone known as progesterone relaxes our muscles during pregnancy. This includes the stomach valve that keeps all that acid out of the esophagus. Not to mention, our constantly growing uterus that’s forcing that yucky stomach acid up higher. So that yummy piece of pizza you had just a while ago… you’ll probably be feeling the aftermath of it later.
During pregnancy it is highly recommended that you don’t take any medication, other than your required prenatal vitamin, so we found some great home remedies and tips that will help banish that annoying and painful heartburn for good.
8 Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Okay, so we didn’t promise it would taste amazing, but believe us, it works! Apple cider vinegar is good for so many things, including weight loss, lowering blood pressure, treating dandruff and even relieving pain after sunburns or bug bites, but back to the heartburn.
It seems a little strange to think that drinking vinegar will somehow help your burning chest, but oh, how it creates wonders. The vinegar actually increases the acids in your stomach, but in a good way. The vinegar mimics the acidic environment within your stomach and helps break down the food, causing instant relief.
You would think that you get heartburn from a lot of stomach acid, but in fact, if you have too little stomach acid, then your body will have a hard time breaking down your food and therefore you end up getting a burning heartburn sensation or acid reflux.
Here’s what you do: Mix 1.5 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar with 8 ounces of water. We recommend not chugging the glass just to get it over with. If you have small sips throughout the day, or even before a meal, this helps prevent that acid from turning into heartburn.
Make sure when using apple cider vinegar, that you use one that is raw, unpasteurized and organic. Eden Foods Apple Cider Vinegar is a great option. It’s all natural, and super inexpensive to buy. Buying organic apple cider vinegar is not only 100 times healthier for you and your baby but it increases the chances of creating instant heartburn relief. If you dread drinking it you can always try getting all Natural Apple Cider Capsules, but once again, drinking it raw is a lot more beneficial, we say, suck it up! It’s worth it.
7 Fresh Lemon Water
Here’s an option that might taste a little bit more appetizing, lemon water. Lemon is also a little miracle when it comes to helping with that annoying heartburn. Lemon aids in your body’s digestion by increasing the production of bile and digestive juices. This helps balance low stomach acids which prevent the cause of heartburn or acid reflux.
Here’s what you do: Squeeze 1-2 fresh lemons into a glass of water (about 8 ounces full). If you want to add a little bit more flavor you can add a natural sweetener like honey. If you feel like a nice warm beverage, try warming up the water in a kettle first. Either way, it provides you with the same benefits.
Lemon water isn’t just good for the prevention of heartburn. It’s also known to reduce inflammation, cleanses your system, is great for your skin and even freshens your breath! Who would have thought? Try keeping a big bottle with you at all times. This not only helps make sure you’re getting your proper water intake, but it’ll prevent that heartburn from creeping up.
Try using an infused water bottle. These are super handy when it comes to making flavored water. It doesn’t leave those flakes and seeds, while still getting on the tasty benefits of the lemon. You can also try different fruits for different health benefits, but if it’s heartburn you’re looking to cure, lemon is your go-to fruit.
Next up, peppermint. This one is a well-known remedy for that stubborn heartburn. It also is known to help nausea, double whammy! Sucking on a peppermint leaf or drinking tea eases heartburn tremendously. Some mommas-to-be recommend using peppermint oil as well.
This is a great excuse to take a nice, relaxing bubble bath. Another great idea, peppermint lozenges. Try to aim for ones that don’t have any processed sugar in it. Lozenges are great because they are on-the-go, while freshening breath and giving you instant relief. We love Fisherman’s Friends sugar-free peppermint lozenges. They taste yummy and ease nausea and heartburn. Why is peppermint so good?
Though this is a great, natural remedy, it is recommended that you only use it, up until the end of the second trimester. Why is this? Peppermint can be the cause of lowering milk supply in some women. Now, this doesn’t apply to everyone, but we wouldn’t recommend taking the risk! You’re going to need a steady milk supply once baby arrives. So try to use the other remedies during that last trimester.
5 Eat Foods That Are High In Enzymes
One of the most important things when it comes to avoiding heartburn is diet. Foods that are high enzymes are known to help aid heartburn discomfort. Enzyme rich foods can help with not only heartburn but acid reflux as well, along with improving digestion. This is because the enzymes act as compounds that help break down food. This allows the proper nutrients to be absorbed.
Some examples of foods that are rich in enzymes include papaya, ginger, pineapple, raw nuts and vegetables. Try your best to incorporate these into your diet. These natural foods are not only good for heartburn but they contain a great source of vitamins and minerals as well!
Though we recommend getting these enzymes from nutritious, whole foods, you can also take Enzyme Capsules. Dr.Mercola’s Digestive Enzymes Capsules are GMO and Soy Free. These capsules contain enzymes that help your body better digest foods.
Be sure to contact a doctor before you take any capsules, even if they are all natural, better safe than sorry.
4 Eat Small Meals Throughout The Day
How much and how often you eat can have a big effect on whether or not you get heartburn. Ever notice a pattern between that all you can eat buffet and constant heartburn once you get home. That’s because a very full stomach can cause the valve between your stomach and esophagus to relax. This results in stomach acids being pushed up into the chest and esophagus, and there appears that lovely heartburn.
Eating several small meals a day, is not only a great way to aid in digestion and speed up your metabolism, but it prevents this muscle from relaxing and causing heartburn.
It’s great to eat several small meals throughout the day! Just make sure not to eat too close to bedtime. Eating a meal close to the time when you are ready to go to bed can trigger heartburn symptoms. This is because when you lie down, it makes it a lot easier for your stomach acids to move towards your esophagus. To avoid this, try to have your last small meal, two to three hours before you decide to go to bed.
If you’re having a hard time finding and preparing foods that are nutritious and anti-heartburn then try Chris Kresser’s Paleo Recipe Generator. This is a great resource because you can personalize your own meal plan online, using healthy and wholesome recipes that can help soothe your heartburn. Plus, it’s super easy to use.
Another great habit to get into is to try to sleep with your head propped up a little bit. Though your chiropractor might not agree with us, most moms swear by it. Propping your head up slightly when going to bed can help aid in soothing heartburn and acid reflux. It might not ban heartburn for good, but it definitely helps!
3 Avoid Heartburn Triggering Foods
Staying on the topic of diet, there are some foods that you should really consider avoiding, especially if you feel you’re prone to heartburn. Usually these foods will have a high acidic content in them. Some examples could be foods such as tomatoes, chocolate, and citrus fruits. Even spices such as black pepper, garlic, raw onion and other spicy foods. All of this and more can be the cause of that annoying heartburn.
Citrus foods, in particular, are well-known for their association with heartburn and acid reflux, especially consumed on an empty stomach. Remember, the higher the acidic content in food, the more likely you’ll get heartburn. This is because, the acid content is contributing to the stomach acids already in your body, meaning it is more likely that it will reach your esophagus, causing heartburn.
We want to get rid of acids in our body, not add them. Thought citrus fruit can have some essential vitamins and minerals, we recommend you try to get these nutrients elsewhere, or at least until you give birth.
Who knows, maybe even by eliminating one of these out of your diet your heartburn could be gone for good. It’s definitely worth the try! Here’s a great little diagram to help you remember the foods that you should avoid, and the foods you should indulge in, to get rid of that nasty heartburn once and for all.
1 Slippery Elm Bark And Marshmallow Root
You’re probably thinking to yourself, what the heck is elm bark? Or, I thought marshmallows only went on my s’mores, well these two ingredients are about to be your best friend. Slippery elm bark and marshmallow root are known as mucilaginous herbs. The slippery elm bark is basically the bark of an elm tree. This is used as a natural medication for various things, heartburn being one. Marshmallow is a plant. It is also known as a natural medication for various illnesses.
So how do these work exactly? Both remedies create a protective layer within the lining of the digestive tract. This protective layer can coat the intestines and soothe digestion, thus, preventing your stomach acids from creating the burning sensation of heartburn. You can purchase these herbs in powder like form. Some mommas say that slippery elm lozenges did the trick.
When using slippery elm bark, make sure it is the inner bark, not the outer bark. This is a very important thing to remember, because the outer bark contains chemicals that could possibly affect your pregnancy, and even cause miscarriage. This is why is very important not to get the two mixed up.
When taking these herbs make sure to use them under the proper guidance of a healthcare practitioner. If you have a high risk pregnancy, then we recommend avoiding herbs altogether, it’s not worth the risk.
There you have it, a variety of different ways to help you blast away that heartburn for good. Remember, everyone is different. Some remedies may not work for you at all, and some may do the trick! It’s all about trial and error. In the end, if you still are not finding relief, just always keep a healthy diet and drink lots of fluids. Everything you are going through will soon be forgotten once that little angel arrives into your life.
What is your favorite home remedy for heartburn? Let us know!