Heartburn is a common compliant during pregnancy. And this symptom automatically resolves after the delivery of the child. In this review we will be looking into some of the causes and treatment for this ailment.
Causes Of Heartburn
During pregnancy, the body of the mother produces more progesterone. This hormone works as a muscle relaxant and it relaxes the sphincter valve situated at the beginning of the stomach. This causes the contents of the stomach to escape into the esophagus. This results in heartburns. Another reason for heartburn is the changes that occur in the mother’s body owing to the presence of the child. As the child grows bigger, the uterus occupies more space and pushes the digestive tract upwards. This results in heartburns.
Common Symptoms of Heartburn
- Burning feeling below the throat
- Sour stomach
- Chest pain or upper abdominal pain
- Sourness in mouth
- Stomach ache
- Coughing fits
- Swallowing Difficulty
- Excess saliva secretion
Natural Cures For Heartburn:
Mentioned below are some of the most effective home remedies for heartburn. If these measures cannot bring any change, it would be prudent to consult a physician.
Almonds are rich in oil and they help in counteracting the acid levels. Hence, try eating 4 to 5 almonds on a daily basis. Almonds can also help in nourishing the baby.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera contains certain anti-inflammatory agents that can reduce heartburns. However, in case of pregnant women, it would be safer to consult a physician before taking any kind of herbal juice.
3. Coconut Water
Coconut water helps in neutralizing the stomach acids. It would be beneficial to consume coconut water on a daily basis.
4. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds help in improving digestion. You can boil 2 teaspoons of mashed fennel seeds in water and then drink this water.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar stimulates bicarbonates and stomach acids. It sooths the lining of your stomach and counteracts the effects of acid-generating foods. Dilute a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and drink this solution to reduce heartburns.
Papaya is rich in certain enzyme that improves the process of digestion and soothes your stomach. Consume ripe papaya for reducing heartburns. Raw papayas can cause uterine contractions. It would be safer to consult your physician before trying this remedy. You can also try papaya supplements.
Ginger is a popular digestive aid. It helps in reducing heartburns. You can either take a ginger tea or try to consume ginger in its raw form.
8. Honey And Milk
Consuming a mixture of honey and milk can help you to improve your digestive power. It also soothes the stomach.
9. Slippery Elm
Slippery Elm absorbs the stomach acids and thus it prevents the inflammation of the stomach linings. Add little slippery elm powder (2 tbsp) to a glass of boiling water. Let it stay for 5 minutes. You can also add some honey to this preparation. Alternatively, you can take slippery elm lozenges.
10. Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL):
It is a herb from which glycyrrhizin has been removed. Licorice is made of certain anti-inflammatory agents that can prevent heartburns. DGL is available in the form of chewing gums as well as tablets.
Foods That Can Prevent Heartburns:
- Dairy products like low-fat milk
- Ice creams
- Basil leaves
- Fermented foods
- Chewing gum
- Fermented drinks
- Whole grain food
- Papaya & Pine apples (Consult physician)
- Lots of water
- Fruit juices
Foods That Can Exacerbate Heartburn:
- Spicy, acidic and oily foods
- Carbonated drinks
- Citrus fruits
- Mint products
- Fried food
- Greasy food
- Processed meats
How To Prevent Heartburn:
- Avoid oily, spicy and acidic foods.
- Sleep in a position where your lower body is bit lower than your upper body. This would aid in breathing and proper digestion.
- Avoid overeating. Do not eat more food at one sitting.
- Avoid sleeping immediately after the meal. Wait for around 2 hours before lying down. But if you are too sleepy then lie down on your left side. This would avoid acid accumulation in your stomach. It would also allow the nutrients and blood to flow towards the baby.
- Avoid wearing tight outfits. Tight dresses would increase the pressure on your abdomen. Also try to maintain a straight posture when you are sitting.
- Drink lots of water. Avoid drinking too much water during the meals. This would induce more pressure on your esophageal sphincter.
- Start taking chewing gums after your meals. This would increase saliva secretion. And the bicarbonate content of the chewing gum would aid in neutralizing the stomach acids.
- After taking food, eat some low-fat and plain yogurt. This would counteract the stomach acids.
- Consume raw or cooked ginger. Drinking ginger tea can also help. Similarly, fennel tea also aids in reducing heartburns.
- Avoid eating in a hurry. Chew your food properly while eating. This would aid in easy digestion. Avoid eating or drinking right before sleeping.
- Avoid foods that trigger heartburns in you.
- If natural remedies are not working, take antacids. However, it would be safer to consult your physician before taking any kind of medicine. Avoid medicines that contain aluminium.
- If you do not get relief with antacids, opt for proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers. Consult your physician in such cases. Self medication could be dangerous.
- Avoid alcohol and cigarettes.
- Eating apples or drinking apple juice or unsweetened applesauce can help you in reducing heartburns.
- Avoid taking acidic foods.
- Avoid taking foods that contain baking soda. Baking soda increases the sodium content in your body. This can result in water retention.
- Avoid medicines that contain acetylsalicylic acid or Salicylate. Also avoid aspirin.
- Avoid constipation.
- Whenever you are bending avoid bending at your waist.
- Avoid anxiety and stress. Try to engage yourself in pleasant and relaxing activities like reading magazines, watching movies, meditation etc.
- Keep track of your weight. If you are underweight or overweight, it can lead to several health problems including heartburns.