Pregnancy heartburn is a common ailment that many moms experience. At MidWife360 in South Florida, we hear these complaints all the time.
Heartburn or acid reflux is uncomfortable, but generally not a danger to mom or baby. Many people don’t experience heartburn until they are pregnant or later on in life. You may be wondering, how do I know if I have heartburn?
What is Pregnancy Heartburn?
Acid reflux is when stomach acid creeps up towards the esophagus. This is common in pregnancy due to hormonal changes, and the pressure of the baby on the stomach. Unfortunately, it tends to worsen as the pregnancy progresses. A burning sensation in the throat is the most common symptom, but there are other symptoms associated with acid reflux.
Other Symptoms Include:
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Burning sensation in the chest and throat
- Acid taste
- Gnawing feeling in the stomach
- Raspy voice
Is Testing Needed?
Labs and testing are not usually needed due to how frequent and apparent it is to diagnose heartburn. That being said, if you are pregnant and experiencing chest pain, that needs to be addressed by a medical professional. Be sure to let your doctor or midwife know right away.
The most common medications prescribed to pregnant women with heartburn are antacids, proton pump inhibitors and histamine blockers. These medications are usually safe and effective for brief periods of time. However, because heartburn can persist for larger time frames, some women tend to try natural remedies in order to avoid long term use of medications. As well as any side effects.
5 Natural Remedies for Pregnancy Heartburn
The medical professionals at MidWife360 know that heartburn can often be managed safely with herbs and supplements.
1. Raw Almonds
Check the packaging and be sure the almonds are raw, not roasted. Try consuming 8 to 10 plain raw almonds on a daily basis. The almonds can help keep the stomach acid where it belongs by toning the gateway between the stomach and the esophagus.
Melatonin is a common natural sleep aid. Fortunately, it can also help to keep heartburn at bay. Similar to almonds, it helps tone the muscular gateway between the stomach and esophagus. Try taking 0.3 milligrams before going to bed each night.
3. Slippery Elm
Slippery elm is an herb that is safe to consume during pregnancy. It gets its name from becoming slippery when wet. This gentle herb aids heartburn by coating the lining of the esophagus and stomach. This will help protect the delicate tissues.
Look for slippery elm lozenges at a natural foods store. We recommend taking 2 to 4 lozenges when needed or try taking them before going to bed.
4. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow Root is an herb that is safe during pregnancy, and like slippery elm, also becomes slippery when wet. This herb works in the same way as slippery elm, by creating a coating on the lining of the esophagus and stomach. Thus, protecting those delicate tissues from acid and allowing them to heal.
Marshmallow root can be consumed in tea, twice daily. Put one tablespoon in one cup of boiling water and steep for half an hour, and then enjoy. Alternatively, you can take two pills of the marshmallow root 2 to 4 times a day.
5. Plain Crackers
Acidic foods or spicy foods tend to trigger heartburn and should be avoided. If you do experience heartburn following a meal or snack you ate, try eating plain or saltine crackers. The crackers are able to absorb the excess of acid in the stomach. Thus, helping to stop the signs and symptoms of heartburn.
Refrain from Heartburn Triggers
- Foods that can trigger heartburn: soda, coffee, spicy food, tomatoes
- Try not to eat right before bed
- Stay away from consuming mint, peppermint, spearmint.
- Don’t lay completely flat in bed, try propping yourself up with pillows.
If you have any other questions or concerns about heartburn or acid reflux, the midwives at MidWife360 in West Palm Beach, Florida are here to help.
We provide holistic gynecology and pregnancy services, including home birth and water birth to women throughout South Florida. Our mission is to awaken, nurture, and support freedom, grace, and integrity for family planning, childbirth and women’s care. We hope you will have an enjoyable pregnancy with these tips!