A lot of women experience heartburn for the first time during pregnancy.
This is very common and generally harmless, but it can be quite uncomfortable.
Heartburn occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscle responsible for keeping stomach contents in their place, starts to relax or leak, allowing stomach acids to flow upward into the esophagus.
Pregnant women often experience heartburn for two reasons:
Firstly, the hormone relaxin—busy limbering up your joints and connective tissue for an easier delivery—slows your digestion, this means the food you eat food stays in your stomach longer than usual, thereby triggering more acid production.
Second, your growing baby mounts pressure on both the stomach and the LES, increasing the chance that acids will be pushed up into the esophagus.
Natural ways to relieve heartburn during pregnancy
Most women with healthy, normal pregnancies will find it easy to relieve heartburn discomfort naturally.
Make sure that if you find your pregnancy heartburn persists or seems extra severe, see your physician or midwife.
Here are some natural pregnancy heartburn remedies:
Raw apple cider vinegar
Raw ACV is one of the small wonders of the world.
As stated earlier in this article, low stomach acid actually creates heartburn, so ACV works because it increases the acids, resulting in relief.
Make sure the vinegar you are using is raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, and best in an amber bottle.
Mix 1-teaspoon vinegar (building up to 1 Tablespoon) with approximately 8 ounces water; sip this throughout the day and an hour before your meals.
Fresh lemon in water
Lemon juice aids in increasing the production of digestive juices and bile. This helps balance low stomach acids and also aids in digestion.
Squeeze 1-2 fresh lemons into a minimum of 8 ounces water.
Add stevia or honey. Sip.
Yogurt or Milk
Eating Yogurt or drinking a glass of milk can help relieve heartburn. Cow’s milk offers immediate relief for heartburn, however, some say over time it can worsen the heartburn, so try nut milk, rice milk or goat’s milk as alternatives.
You can warm the milk and add some honey; this seems to soothe the burning in the chest for some.