Heartburn During Pregnancy: Causes, Natural Remedies & Future Prevention
What Causes Heartburn During Pregnancy?
Heartburn, also called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, is a painful condition that occurs when stomach acid gets into the esophagus. Anyone can experience this condition, but heartburn during pregnancy is common.
What causes heartburn during pregnancy? Generally, it occurs because a muscle (called the lower esophageal sphincter) that’s supposed to keep acid from “refluxing” into the esophagus is weak during pregnancy, probably due to elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone. This issue goes away after delivery.
What does heartburn feel like when pregnant? The most common symptoms are a burning sensation in the chest, just behind the breastbone, and/or a burning sensation in the throat.
How to Get Rid of Heartburn During Pregnancy Fast (Using Home Remedies)
Prolonged or severe heartburn is something you should talk to your doctor about. However, for mild to moderate episodes, there are home remedies for heartburn during pregnancy. If this condition affects you, it’s good to know how to quickly get rid of your heartburn.
Here are some remedies to try:
- Water (sipped throughout the day). While heartburn may make you feel like your chest is on fire, you shouldn’t try to extinguish that fire by gulping water. Drinking too much water too quickly can actually worsen your symptoms. Instead, stay hydrated and reduce heartburn by sipping small amounts of water throughout the day.
- Peppermint. Having a glass of peppermint tea or sucking on sugar-free peppermint candies can help relieve heartburn.
- Ginger. Consuming ginger in pill form, as chews or by slicing it into thin strips and steeping in hot water for 10 minutes helps some women get relief. However, use ginger in moderation as large amounts and frequent consumption can cause contractions.
- Lemon water. Lemon can help balance your stomach acid and relieve heartburn by promoting the production of bile and digestive juices. Try squeezing a few wedges into a tall glass of water and sipping on it.
- Apple cider vinegar. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in an 8-ounce glass of water can help balance stomach acid levels and reduce heartburn symptoms.
By trying some of these treatments, you may find the right heartburn treatment during pregnancy.
Preventing Future Heartburn While Pregnant
Even better than finding an effective way to treat heartburn while pregnant is learning ways to avoid it altogether. Try these tips:
- Eat smaller meals more often, rather than three larger meals.
- Chew sugar-free gum after meals to increase saliva production.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid lying down right after eating.
- Sleep on your left side at night and/or sleep with the head of the bed elevated slightly.
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing.
Reach out to our Mother & Baby Care specialists if you are experiencing bad heartburn during pregnancy and need professional medical advice.