Natural Remedies For Heartburn/Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

How to Alleviate Heartburn in Pregnancy

December 2007, Science Daily. One of the commonest problems for pregnant women is heartburn. It usually shows up in the first trimester, and worsens as pregnancy progresses. According to various studies, pregnancy heartburn may be due to a combination of higher levels of progesterone and pressure on the abdominal organs from the uterus as it enlarges, causing lowered esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure. The lower pressure then makes it easier for stomach contents and acid to get back into the esophagus.

These studies were referred to in the updated monograph “Pregnancy in Gastrointestinal Disorders” monograph by the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG). Based on the monograph, a group of experts from ACG have put together a compilation of tips for reducing heartburn for pregnant women. It also advises about heartburn medications that are safe or unsafe during pregnancy.

How to ease heartburn discomfort when pregnant

If you’re pregnant and having heartburn symptoms, the ACG advises the following simple lifestyle and diet tips to reduce and relieve discomfort.

  • Don’t eat late at night or just before bed. Avoid common heartburn-causing items like chocolate, spicy or greasy foods, tomato sauces, peppermint, carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, and caffeine.
  • Wear loose clothing. Anything that binds tightly at the waist and causes pressure on the abdomen and lower esophageal sphincter area (just below your chest) should be loosened – or left in the closet until you’re not pregnant!
  • Smaller meals are best. Big filling meals in the stomach can lead to acid reflux and heartburn.
  • Don’t lie down just after eating, and let at least 3 hours go by after a meal before you turn in for the night. In a lying-down position, stomach contents, including stomach acid, can more easily back up into the esophagus. This is especially true when you go to bed on a full stomach.
  • Raise the head of your bed by 4-6 inches to keep stomach contents from getting back into the lower esophagus, thus avoiding acid reflux.
  • Eliminate alcohol and tobacco, or at the very least avoid them whenever possible. Cutting them out not only reduces acid reflux, but protects the developing fetus from harmful substances.

Many natural treatments for acid reflux and heartburn – click here!

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