One of the most common symptoms seen during pregnancy is heartburn. This uncomfortable burning sensation along the chest bone and into the throat can happen at all hours of the day and especially when you lay down to go to sleep. The good news is there is a lot of ways to help prevent and get rid of heartburn during pregnancy symptoms with diet changes, positions, and natural supplements.
Why Does Heartburn Happen During Pregnancy?
Heartburn is more likely to affect pregnant women for a few reasons.
The increase in the hormone, progesterone, causes relaxation of the closure or sphincter between the stomach and esophagus. This allows stomach contents, which are acidic, to travel up and irritate the esophagus. Hormones also slow down the production of stomach acid which is needed for proper digestion of food. Undigested food which sits in the stomach is more likely to come back up into the esophagus.
The second reason heartburn occurs during pregnancy is due to the increasing pressure of the growing uterus on the stomach. As baby takes up more room in the abdomen there is less room for the stomach, making it easier for stomach contents to travel upwards into the esophagus. Heartburn is often the worst and the end of the 2nd trimester and beginning of the 3rd and improves as baby makes his or her way down preparing for birth.
Natural Ways to Prevent Heartburn
The good news is there are a few easy lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent and lessen heartburn during pregnancy. Here are some natural ways to prevent heartburn:
Change Your Positions
Since heartburn is mostly likely to occur after eating when the stomach is full, avoid leaning back in a chair or laying down for 30-45 minutes after eating. It may also be helpful to prop yourself up with a few pillows so the head is higher than the chest before bed. Of course laying on your back during pregnancy is not recommended so this position is great for winding down before falling asleep.
Change Your Eating Habits
The foods you and the amount of food you eat have an affect on the chances of heartburn happening during pregnancy. It is best to stick to smaller meals which are spread out throughout the day rather than eat 2-3 large meals a day. Also, avoid eating 1-2 hours before bedtime to ensure all your food has been digested before laying down. Lastly, there are a few foods which can aggravate heartburn so do your best to avoid these foods: citrus fruits and juices, coffee, tomatoes and tomato base products and onions.
Drink Your H2O
Drinking water through out the day can help aid in proper digestion. Try taking smaller sip and avoiding large gulps of water. Also limit water intake at meal time and try to get the majority of your water in between meals to ensure digestive enzymes and stomach acids are not diluted.
Natural Ways to Treat Heartburn
If you are already experiencing heartburn during your pregnancy, don’t worry, there are a few ways to help improve the severity and frequency of this uncomfortable sensation.
Adding a digestive enzyme and probiotic supplement can help support healthy digestion. Digestive enzymes help better break down large proteins which can often be more difficult to digest. Also probiotic supplements help add good bacteria to support healthy digestion.
An increase in progesterone leads to the decrease in the production of stomach acid during pregnancy. To help balance the low stomach acid adding water to your lemon can help aid in better digestion.
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
It must sound crazy to add vinegar when your experiencing the burning sensation of heartburn but just like lemon increased the acidity in the stomach does does apple cider vinegar. Try adding 1 teaspoon to 8 ounces of water and sip throughout the day or an hour before bed.
Chiropractic adjustment during pregnancy are safe and have many wonderful benefits but a lot of women don’t know chiropractor can help relieve heartburn. Certain adjustment can help relax the diaphragm and shift the esophageal valve into a better and lower position. Also, chiropractic adjustment can help increase the response of the parasympathetic nervous system which controls our relaxation and digestion.
What has helped you?
What are you tips and tricks for dealing with heartburn during pregnancy? Please share in the comments below.