Heartburn and Indigestion
Heartburn is a form of indigestion with a burning feeling that starts in the stomach and seems to rise into the throat, caused by leakage of small amounts of hydrochloric acid from the stomach into the esophagus. Greasy fried or spicy food often cause heartburn and indigestion. Try to figure out what foods cause heartburn in you and don’t eat them. In pregnancy pressure from the enlarged womb coupled with relaxation of the valve at the top of the stomach forces acid into the back of the throat. Here are some things you can try, see what works best for you:
Eat smaller, more frequent meals, say 5 to 6 small meals each day, to reduce gastric acid
Drink between meals, not while eating (1/2 hour before meals and 1-2 hours after)
Avoid eating an hour before going to bed
Sleep and rest with your head slightly higher than the rest of your body
If you have heartburn at night, prop yourself up with 2 to 3 pillows to sleep
Take a walk or sit quietly, relax and breathe deeply
Yogurt or milk may help as it neutralizes the effect of gastric acid
Slightly acidic foods, such as fruit juice and tomatoes may provide some relief
Don’t mix dairy and acid foods as this will make you feel sick and give you stomach pains
Avoid highly spiced and fried foods
Peppermint, chamomile, raspberry leaf or ginger tea may help
Fresh coriander, slippery elm or dried paw paw
Umeboshi juice (a Japanese plum available from health food stores). Boil 3 plums in 600 ml of water and keep in the fridge, drink a little when needed
Spearmint or peppermint candies, sweeties,lollies might be helpful
Lemonade or Fruit ice blocks or ice candies can be very cooling and soothing to an upset stomach
If none of these suggestions seem to work for you, talk to your midwife, pharmacist, nutritionist or naturopath. Ask about other remedies or antacids which might be helpful but use them only the way your health care provider advises you.
Keep your medical provider informed of any unusual changes, always discuss with your midwife or doctor anything of concern to you medically.
Do you have some more safe, natural, useful, ideas for pregnant women to try…?
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