Supporting Reflux During Pregnancy

Posted by Riannon Page on

Reflux is a common symptom to experience in pregnancy, especially if you are coming into the second and third trimester thanks to the physical and hormonal changes your body is going through.

Symptoms of reflux can include burning, stabbing sensations, nausea, belching and general discomfort especially when eating and sleeping. Luckily we’ve got some great tips to help combat these symptoms and help provide relief so you don’t have to put up with these symptoms or rely on medication.

Why it happens:

Hormonal changes: Hormones that increase in pregnancy including progesterone promote the relaxation of smooth muscles around the uterus to support the growth of the baby. This can also affect smooth muscles elsewhere in the body including the lower oesophageal sphincter. When this is relaxed it can allow gastric acid and content in the stomach to repeat up the oesophagus leading to a burning sensation in the chest and throat.

Physical changes: Heartburn can become more prevalent in the second and third trimester as the baby starts taking up more and more room in the abdomen, placing strain on the surrounding organs including digestion!

Tips to overcome heartburn:

Small meals: Eat smaller meals more frequently as opposed to three large meals a day. Try to slow down when you are eating to help break down your food and stimulate digestive juices to assist with digestion

Avoid water with meals: Avoid having large amounts of liquid with your meals and instead sip on water throughout the day away from mealtime to prevent diluting gastric acid (our digestive juice)

Stay upright: After eating its important to avoid laying down, try to have dinner 2-3 hours prior to going to sleep to allow the food to digest.

Monitor your diet: Certain foods can trigger acid reflux, such as fried or fatty foods, chocolate, caffeine, onions, carbonated drinks, and citrus fruits. MINT is another food that can trigger reflux, avoid having peppermint or mint tea if this is you!

Stay active: Regular physical activity helps to improve your digestion and prevent reflux. Stress management: Stress can exacerbate symptoms of acid reflux. Incorporate relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, meditation, or gentle exercise into your daily routine.

Natural remedies:

Ginger: Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe the digestive system. Sip on ginger tea or chew on a small piece of fresh ginger before meals.

Dandelion Tea: Drinking Dandelion tea can help enhance digestive function and increase the production of digestive enzymes as well as promote gastric emptying and moving things along the GI tract.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Dilute a tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a small amount of water and drink before meals to promote better digestion.

Chamomile: Chamomile tea has calming effects and can alleviate indigestion and reflux symptoms.

Slippery Elm: Slippery Elm can help soothe the esophagus and reduce inflammation. Drinking a small amount of slippery elm powder in water can help alleviate reflux symptoms.

Herbal Medicine: there are a number of herbs that can help significantly with heartburn and are fine to use in pregnancy, book an appointment with one of our naturopaths for extra support!

For personalised support and guidance on managing reflux during pregnancy, schedule a consultation with one of our experienced naturopaths. Your journey to relief and comfort starts here!

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