Preventing and Healing Heartburn in Pregnancy

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Heartburn and indigestion in pregnancy is common.  Your digestion slows to allow better assimilation of nutrients, and your organs become a little compressed with the growing baby.  What we also need to understand is that many modern mothers also have stagnant digestion due to food selection and lifestyle.  Let's start there...

The key to fixing an ongoing problem is removing the initial source of complication.  Anything symptom relief is only that - symptom relief for in the moment.  Here are a few ways you can prevent and ease heartburn and indigestion:

  • Encourage digestion through daily food selection. Bitter foods, greens, balanced plant foods, and only a hint of meat will help digestion.  Don't overdo the dairy and certainly don't overdo dry foods.  Be sure you're drinking enough water, but not too much water with your meal.  Bone broths (stock), healthy fats, and properly prepared foods will help assimilate nutrients and move food through the body.
  • Encourage digestion through elimination.  Don't ignore the urge to have a bowel movement after every big meal or you'll increase constipation (increasing risks for hemorrhoids) and slow digestion overall causing stomach acids to overproduce.
  • Encourage digestion with posture.  A poor posture not only puts baby in a poor position and increases back pain, it also further compresses the GI tract hindering digestion.  Sit up tall, walk tall, add some Pilates and/or yoga into your daily routine.  Tailor sit and gently twist your body to the left and then to the right.  Get off your desk chair and use a stand up desk.  If you need to sit, sit with your knees below your hips.
  • Encourage digestion with activity.   Exercise encourages energy use and gets the body systems flowing.  Walk at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Discourage heartburn with neutralizing celery.  About 30 minutes before a meal, eat a rib or two of celery to neutralize stomach acids.
  • Discourage heartburn with a soothing herbal chai.  After your meal enjoy a warm cup of herbal (decaf) chai tea.  Chai is traditionally blended with herbs that encourage digestion and sooth the GI tract.  Talk with your local herbalist to select a chai blend for pregnancy.

Learn more about taking care of yourself and your baby throughout the perinatal stages in a local or online Esali Birth class!