March 28, 2011

Natural Remedy For Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Are you pregnant and experiencing a burning sensation in your chest that comes and goes? If yes, then you probably have acid reflux or acid indigestion. As much discomfort as the feeling heartburn brings along with it, it might be comforting to know that you are not alone and that this is quite a common phenomenon during pregnancy. About 80% of women get acid reflux during pregnancy. Acid reflux is characterized by a burning sensation that goes up from the breastbone to the lower throat. Heartburn can happen due to many reasons but usually hormonal changes are the main culprits for this condition. One of the natural processes that take place during pregnancy is the creation of the hormone progesterone, which helps in relaxing the smooth muscles of the uterus. Along with this, it also relaxes the valve that divides that esophagus from the stomach prompting gastric juices to seep back up into the lower throat, causing the unpleasant burning sensation also known as heartburn. A result of progesterone sometimes, might also manifest in the form of sluggish digestion and later during your pregnancy, your growing baby could also be the reason for stomach acids being pushed up into the esophagus.

Natural remedies as well as herbal therapy can help in providing comfort for heartburn. There are home remedies as well, that can aid in preventing and treating acid reflux during your pregnancy, these are:
Avoid foods and beverages that are heartburn triggers like citrus fruits, chocolates, tomatoes and tomato based products, vinegar, mustard, spicy foods, greasy foods, high sodium foods, carbonated beverages, caffeine and mint products.

  • Avoid alcohol and smoking during pregnancy, and altogether. Smoking under normal circumstances, boosts stomach acidity and with hormonal changes, it could further add to gastrointestinal distress.
  • Avoid drinking too much of fluids during mealtimes, instead opt to hydrate yourself all throughout the day. A better option is to sip water consistently in between meals.
  • Eat several and small meals throughout the day. Big meals take longer and prove to be more challenging to digest. Chew your food and don’t hurry your meal down.
  • Make sure you eat at least 2 to 3 hours before going to bed, so that there is sufficient time for your food to digest.
  • Sleep with your upper body propped up and elevated to prevent your stomach acids from moving up to the esophagus.
  • Bend at the knees instead of the waist, as bending at the waist can put unwanted pressure on the stomach and direct the acids towards the throat.
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing, avoid wearing anything that is too tight on the waist and stomach area.
  • Maintain the recommended weight as advised by your doctor. Too much weight can put pressure on the stomach and force the acids into the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) causing acid reflux.
  • Exercise can help alleviate heartburn. Some good forms of exercise are pilates, yoga and stretching.
  • Herbs are also helpful in easing gastrointestinal distress. These are ginger, chamomile, gentian, aloe vera, peppermint, aniseed, orange peel extract, grapefruit skin and chicory root. They can be had in the form of supplements, in which case you must only take the prescribed dosage, or in the form of tea. Either way, consult your doctor before using any herbs.
  • Baking soda is another temporary remedial reliever for acid reflux. You can prepare a solution by mixing one tablespoon of baking soda with a glass of water. Baking soda helps in the neutralization of stomach acids.

The symptoms of acid reflux during pregnancy varies, consult your doctor before trying any home remedies.