Holding Pregnant Tummy

Natural Remedies for Heartburn During Pregnancy

Heartburn affects a lot of women during pregnancy, particularly during the third trimester of pregnancy.

The reason for heartburn during pregnancy is increased levels of progesterone. Progesterone relaxes muscle, including the stomach valve that keeps the stomach acid out of the esophagus.

Another cause of heartburn during pregnancy is the growing baby putting pressure on the stomach, pushing the acid from the stomach upwards and of course with the stomach valve relaxed it just goes up into the esophagus.

If you have suffered from heartburn during pregnancy you know how horrible it can be so this article is going to share with you some things you can do to avoid heartburn during pregnancy, some natural remedies for heartburn during pregnancy and if all that does not work some medication you can take to try and get rid of your heartburn during pregnancy.

Natural Remedies for Heartburn During Pregnancy

Ways to avoid heartburn during pregnancy

Prevention is always better than cure, so here are some measures you can take to try and prevent getting heartburn during pregnancy.

While they may not work entirely to prevent heartburn you can be assured the symptoms would be much worse if you didn’t do these things.

Eat Smaller Portions

Instead of eating 3 larger meals a day eat much smaller meals more often. This gives your system a chance to digest the food without overloading your stomach.

It also means you are eating more often and have less of a chance to get hungry. If you are hungry you will also be prone to heartburn during pregnancy.

Keep snacks on hand if you are out so you can eat regularly.

Eat Slowly 

Eating slowly not only aids digestion but it gives your stomach a chance to let you know when you are full. This will help you to eat smaller portions which will also help prevent heartburn during pregnancy.

Sip Liquids

Instead of drinking large amounts of liquids, sip constantly throughout the day and in between meals. Avoid drinking any liquids with a meal.

Sit or Stand after eating

Make sure you sit or stand for a few hours after eating. Avoid bending over and lying down as this will cause the stomach acid to come up your throat,

Don’t eat just before sleeping

Wait a few hours after eating before you lie down or sleep. This will give you a chance to digest your food before lying down.

Sleep elevated at night

Being in the lying down position encourages the stomach acid to come up your esophagus. Prop yourself up on pillows so your head and chest are elevated while you sleep.

Avoid heartburn trigger foods

Certain foods trigger heartburn, so try and avoid these. While there are certain foods that are often triggers for a lot of people, they may not be for others.

Pay attention to what you are eating and if you get heartburn try and eliminate those foods that caused it.

Foods that commonly trigger heartburn are caffeine, fizzy drinks, chocolate, citrus, spicy foods, fatty foods, fatty red meat, french fries, omega 3 (fish oils), raw onion, oil, fried foods, butter and tomatoes.

Wear lose fitting clothing

Avoid any clothing that can put pressure on your stomach or chest areas, this will just make any heartburn symptoms worse. So think stretchy, it will be much more comfortable for you anyway!

Pregnant Woman with Heartburn

Natural Remedies for Heartburn During Pregnancy

Although there are some steps you can take to lessen your chances of getting heartburn during pregnancy the fact is that many women will still suffer from it. When you do here are some natural remedies you can try before you resort to medication.

Yogurt or Milk for heartburn

Eating yogurt or drinking some milk can relieve heartburn. While cow’s milk often gives immediate relief, it can over time worsen the heartburn.

Alternatives you can try are nut milk, rice milk or goat milk.

You can also have warm milk and add some honey. This can soothe your burning chest.

Bentonite Clay for Heartburn

You can take bentonite clay before eating meals can coat the stomach and bring down acid levels. Bentonite clay is found in tablets, capsules and powder form.

It is alkalizing and absorbs the stomach acid, easing heartburn symptoms.


Marshmallows for Heartburn

Sounds crazy right? Well apparently marshmallows coat the lining of the stomach and esophagus, protecting them from the stomach acid.

Slippery Elm Bark

Slippery elm bark is available in capsule, powder and lozenge form. It builds up the mucous lining of the stomach and protects it from the stomach acid.


Chewing Gum 

Try chewing gum for heartburn during pregnancy, it works!

Apple Cider Vinegar

Low stomach acid creates heartburn, so drinking acid cider vinegar can increase the acids can result in relief.

Papaya, pineapple, avocados and bananas

These all contain naturally-ocurring enzymes which help break down food.

Green Olives

Apparently eating a dozen green olives a day can help prevent heartburn and ease it if it does occur.

Coconut Water

Coconut water has lots of potassium and electrolytes that help to keep the body hydrated. Sipping coconut water throughout the day and drinking a glass before bed can help to acid reflux away.

Almonds

Roasted or raw almonds will do, just eat some every day to keep the heartburn away.

Fresh ginger powdered ginger

Ginger

Ginger in any form is great for heartburn, whether powdered, pickled or fresh. You can even try ginger biscuits or ginger ale.

Bicarb of Soda

Bicarbonate of soda quickly neutralizes stomach acid, relieving heart burn.

Drinking Aloe Vera Juice

The healing property of aloe vera soothes the entire esophagus track and provides relief from heartburn.

Chiropractor

Some recent studies show that seeing a chiropractor can help with heartburn. Certain chiropractic adjustments shift the esophageal valve into a better working position. This relaxes the muscle, helping prevent acids from making their way back up.

Aromatherapy for heartburn

Add four drops of lemon, orange blossom or orange essentials oils to a teaspoon of grapeseed based oil. Massage this into your upper back and chest, or pour it into your hot bath so you inhale the vapor.


Medication for Treatment of Heartburn During Pregnancy

While it is great to try all the natural remedies perhaps your heartburn is incredibly severe and none of the natural remedies work.

Please note that while all these suggestions listed below state online that they are safe to use during pregnancy, always check with your doctor before taking any medication during pregnancy.

Antacids

These are popular over the counter medications such as Gaviscon, Tums and Maalox.


H2 Blockers

These medications reduce the production of stomach acid and are used to treat indigestion, acid reflux and ulcers in the digestive system.

Proton Pump Inhibitors

Proton-pump inhibitors are the most effective drug therapy for symptom control and healing of oesophagitis. Omeprazole was approved by the FDA in 1989. Currently, it is the best studied proton pump inhibitor for use during pregnancy.

Have you struggled with heartburn during pregnancy? What worked for you?

Natural Remedies For Heartburn During Pregnancy Infographic

 


Also published on Medium.

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19 comments

  1. Awesome post. Never knew chewing gum and marshmallows will work.
    I used Rennies but that only helps for a little while.
    Next time i will make use of all the natural remedies before trying medication.
    Tx Lynne

    • I tried the chewing gum with my second and it worked well for me. I tried the apple cider vinegar with my first pregnancy and after I puked the heartburn went away for a while. I was throwing up a lot. Sorry, maybe too much information but hey I have to say what happened lol.

  2. I’m with Marisca, I never knew marshmallows would help with heartburn! Do you know if these solutions can help with heartburn in general, even if you are not pregnant?

    Thanks for the great article! 🙂

    • Hi Katie, I am sure they help in general. Honestly I haven’t tried all of these myself. I tried the apple cider vinegar with my first baby and it worked, then with my second baby I tried the chewing gum and that worked too.

      I don’t suffer from heartburn at all normally, but I had awful heartburn while pregnant!

      I would love to be able to test all these our personally 🙂

  3. A very interesting post even for someone who could not get pregnant and is too old even if he could 🙂 I never knew there were so many potential remedies for heartburn, I am going to try some of them for myself as I suffer with it from time to time. Who would think that apple cider vinegar would work, that would be something I would try to avoid if I was suffering. Great article filled with very useful tips and information.

    • Actually I tried apple cider vinegar Gordon and it did work. It would be lovely if you test out some of these home remedies for heartburn and let us know. Sorry to hear you suffer from heartburn, it really is awful to get it.

  4. Wow thats a lot of natural remedies for heartburn! During both my pregnancies I had horrible heartburn the whole time! My Dr. told me to use Zantac but this is a really great list of natural remedies, why take medicine if you can do it naturally.

    • Batya yes that is exactly it, natural remedies are so much better. I was advised to use Gaviscon while pregnant and yes it did help a bit, but if you have heartburn every day for the last trimester like I did it can work out quite costly!

  5. Great article! I was interested in it because when I was pregnant, I had heartburn almost the entire time. I could not eat much and even brushing my teeth gave me heartburn! My older relatives told me they were sure I was pregnant with a boy, which turned out to be true! Not sure how good of an indicator heartburn is to having either sex…LOL

    • Hi Kathy, well I had much worse heartburn when I was pregnant with my daughter than when I was pregnant with my son. The thing that I have heard about heartburn during pregnancy is that if you have lots of heartburn your baby will have lots of hair. My daughter was just about bald all the way past her first birthday and my son had lots of hair!

  6. Hello Lynne,
    Your website will certainly be a handy place on relevant information for mothers to be. I had no idea about some of the remedies mentioned. Gum surprised me as that is supposed to, (and does for some) fill your stomach with air. Natural remedies take precedent.

  7. I have diabetes and so there are times when acid reflux is a big deal for me, especially when I am taking certain medications. Lynne, the coconut water and almond milk are my go to drinks to ensure that I get a good night rest, free from the discomforts of heartburn. As usual, good job.

    • Josephine thanks for sharing your experience with us. I am so sorry to hear that you have struggles with acid reflux. I only suffered during both my pregnancies and it was awful, I can’t imagine having to battle with it constantly.

      That is interesting about the link between diabetes and heartburn. I had no idea that there was a correlation. My dad has diabetes and he always has a bottle of Gaviscon next to his bed. He has had heartburn for as long as I can remember, but only was diagnosed with diabetes much later.

  8. Milk with honey helps me a lot thank you

  9. I hardly had heart burn but good to know not every pregnancy is the same…i wonder of its true like everyone say if you have alot of heart burn your baby will have alot of haor at birth or is it stories i hardly had heart burn yes i had but nothing serious and my boy had alot of hair at birth.

  10. I was really fortunate not to suffer from heartburn during either of my pregnancies. But it is good to know that if I ever do consider having another one that there are a few alternatives to Gaviscon.

  11. Heartburn was never an issue for me during my pregnancy.

    My sister on the other suffered terribly with heartburn, usually the heartburn started towards the evenings.
    She had tried apple cider vinegar, unfortunately that did not help much it made her feel miserable instead.
    An aunt of mine told her to try a mixture of milk and honey, thank goodness for this remedy as it was the most effective from all.
    I am not certain if there are any pro’s or con’s when comes to the mixture in pregnancy as I didn’t research this before.

    I am aware that milk does cause acid build up in your stomach, so not a 100% sure of this remedy. It has worked for my sister though, which could of possibly been sheer luck.

  12. I suffered with heart burn in all three of my pregnancies and it was horrible. I was lucky my doctor told me in my first pregnancy about ginger cookies and it worked, when ginger biscuits weren’t around I had gaviscon. I heard about marshmallows but I do not like the texture of them and avoid them at all costs (even in the Easter eggs). I did not know about pineapple, avocado and banana, pity as I could of been having some yummy salads.

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