Acid reflux is often referred to as heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It is caused due to the stomach acids getting pushed into the esophagus, which results in burning sensation in the chest region, abdominal pain and discomfort. In pregnant women, the chances of this gastrointestinal problem increases manifold. This is because, due to the weight gain, an additional amount of pressure is exerted on the abdomen which tends to push the contents of stomach into the esophagus. Several over-the-counter medicines that can provide relief from the GERD symptoms. However, it is always advisable to opt for natural remedies.
Remedies for Acid Reflux
Water is considered as one of the best home remedies for acid reflux. It dilutes the concentration of stomach acids and reduce the intensity of the heartburn sensation. Then the diluted acid is flushed out of the digestive system quite easily. One should take, at least two glasses of water after every meal.
Baking soda can be found in almost every household and is popularly used for treatment. Prepare a solution with one tablespoon of baking soda in a glass of water, and drink it. As baking soda has basic chemical properties, it is good for neutralization of the stomach acids. Thus, it provides temporary relief from the stomach pain. However, pregnant women who have pre-eclampsia should avoid baking soda because it has high sodium content.
You may be surprised to know that an acidic substance like apple cider vinegar can treat this discomfort. Put one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in half a glass of water and mix it well. Take this mixture in small sips when you are having your meals.
Eat a few almonds after you get up in the morning. It brings down the abdominal discomfort caused by acid reflux. Make sure you chew the almonds properly or else, it can lead to some other digestive problem. Eating a clove has an amazing effect on the bloated feeling after meals. Milk, carrot juice, milk of raw coconuts, etc. are other natural remedies.
Several herbs have cured this digestive problem successfully. Here is a list of herbs that can be safely used during pregnancy:
Ginger improves your digestive health naturally. You can use powdered ginger, pickled ginger or even simple fresh ginger root for this purpose. Whenever the symptoms set in, chew a piece of ginger. This will relax the muscles in the esophagus wall and the pain and discomfort will subside.
The components of herbal tea, like peppermint and aniseed, have a soothing effect on the burning chest sensation. You can add some honey into the tea and have it on empty stomach in the morning.
The skin of grapefruit is another excellent herbal cure for heartburn. Remove the outer skin of organic grapes and allow it to dry by placing on a plate. Chew the dried grape skin when you feel the sense of fullness.
In some of the European countries, aloe vera juice is considered to be the best remedy during pregnancy. It is believed that the juice helps to bring down the irritating sensation and inflammation in the esophagus.
Chicory root is a powerful herb that can lessen the adverse effects of stomach acids in the esophagus to a great extent. Boil one teaspoon of chicory root in water for around ten minutes. Allow it to cool down before you take it. Though it is slightly bitter in taste, this concoction can reduce the severity of stomach irritation significantly.
During pregnancy, acid reflux cannot be prevented. However, you can check the intensity of its symptoms by following a GERD diet. To curb acid reflux, strictly avoid spicy food, fried food, fatty food, and food items which are heavily seasoned. You also have to stay away from chocolates, tomato-based products like ketchup, citrus fruits, mustard, mints, etc. Do not take heavy meals. Rather, keep the size of your meals small and eat a number of times throughout the day. While eating, chew your food properly. Drink plenty of fluid, but not along with the meals. Avoid caffeine beverages like tea, coffee, cola, etc. Stop consumption of alcohol completely. Have dinner a few hours before you retire for the day. While sleeping, make sure that the head of the bed is raised 6-8 inches higher than the rest of the body. In this way, gravity will not let the stomach acids to rise into the esophagus.
The remedies during pregnancy discussed here are quite safe at any stage of pregnancy. The effect of these remedies can vary from one person to another. However, if the discomfort continues for a long time, then do not hesitate to contact your doctor.