For women who are pregnant, it can seem like the list of symptoms and side effects they experience is never ending.
One of the most common complaints from pregnant women is heartburn. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid travels back up the esophagus, causing a burning sensation and often times leaving an acidic taste in your mouth.
It can start as early as the first trimester and tends to peak during the last few months.
Heartburn can happen to anyone but there is a significantly higher risk of experiencing it while pregnant. There are a number of reasons why this happens, they include:
Growing Baby – It may seem obvious but the further along you get in your pregnancy, the larger your baby is and the less room your body has for everything else. This includes your stomach and diaphragm, which often gets compressed, making it more likely stomach acid will be pushed into your esophagus.
Hormones – When pregnant, a woman’s progesterone levels are elevated. This hormone is responsible for the relaxation of muscles throughout your body, including the sphincter muscle responsible for keeping stomach contents in your stomach. When relaxed, it is easier for acid to travel back upwards. The increased hormone levels also cause your body to digest food slower, which can also increase the occurrence of heartburn.
Even though there is no way to prevent heartburn from occurring while pregnant, it does not mean you need to suffer from it for nine months. Luckily, there are a number of natural, home remedies that have proven successful for treating heartburn. The most effective remedies are below.
Home Remedies for Heartburn During Pregnancy
Lemon does amazing things for digestive ailments and it is a safe and effective heartburn treatment for pregnant women. Lemon juice can increase the production of digestive juice and bile necessary for digestion, therefore reducing the occurrence of heartburn. It can also be helpful for pregnant women who are looking to increase their fluid intake.
To use: Squeeze a fresh lemon into a glass of water and sip throughout the day. It can be enjoyed hot or cold depending on your preference.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Drinking vinegar may seem strange to reduce heartburn symptoms but it can do wonders. Since heartburn is often caused by a lack of stomach acid, consuming apple cider vinegar can relieve the symptoms. For optimal health benefits, it is important to use only raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar.
To use: Mix 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and drink before meals.
Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe Vera juice is a powerful natural remedy for many digestive ailments and heartburn is no exception. It is generally considered safe to consume while pregnant and has few side effects, making it an excellent option for those suffering. Consuming Aloe Vera juice can reduce inflammation in your stomach and esophagus as well as reduce the symptoms of heartburn. There is some controversy around this remedy while pregnant so be sure to speak with your physician first.
To use: Follow the suggested usage on the packaging of the Aloe Vera juice in conjunction with your physician’s recommendations.
Ginger has long been used to treat digestive ailments and when used properly can help pregnant women find relief from heartburn symptoms. However, when used in excess it can cause contractions so be sure to follow your physician’s recommendations.
To use: Seep 1 teaspoon of ground ginger in a glass of hot water for 10 minutes, then enjoy.
Coconut water may help reduce heartburn symptoms in pregnant women as well since it has been shown to neutralize stomach acid. Therefore, if it travels up the esophagus it will not cause the burning sensation typically associated with heartburn. Also, it is advised that pregnant women stay as hydrated as possible and coconut water is an excellent way to increase your fluid intake daily.
To use: Drink coconut water throughout the day or when symptoms flare-up.
Like coconut water, drinking plain water throughout the day will also help reduce heartburn symptoms. Quickly gulping down a glass of water can make heartburn worse but if you sip water slowly throughout the day it can help keep stomach acid in the stomach where it belongs.
To use: Sip water throughout the day, using caution not to drink too fast.
Fennel seeds are another great alternative for reducing heartburn symptoms. They help soothe the entire digestive tract, reduce the amount of stomach acid produced and decrease inflammation. Consuming excessive amounts of fennel seeds can lead to contractions though so it is important to follow the recommendations of the manufacturer and your physician.
To use: Seep crushed fennel seeds in a glass of hot water and enjoy. Can also be added to other hot or cold tea beverages.
While not as popular as some of the other remedies listed, some people find a lot of relief from seeing a chiropractor. It is possible that they can make adjustments to your body to better align the esophageal sphincter, reducing the occurrence of heartburn.
While experiencing heartburn while you are pregnant may seem inevitable, it does not have to be debilitating. There are a lot of great options that are both safe and effective while pregnant for you to try.
The information provided here is meant to be informative and does not constitute medical advice in any way. If you have any questions or concerns while pregnant, be sure to seek the advice of your physician or midwife. Do not start an herbal or home remedy without first discussing your options with a medical professional.