For some women acid reflux is nothing more than a pesky nuisance, but for others it is a painful daily symptom. Acid reflux occurs when there is a build up of acid in the stomach and the lower esophagus sphincter (LES) relaxes, especially during pregnancy, allowing the acid to travel back up causing pain in the chest area and a burning in the throat. While it's more common as your belly expands, putting pressure on the stomach, it's certainly not uncommon to have acid reflux as early as the first trimester, due to the surge in hormones relaxing the LES.
You don't have to suffer through the burning–there's relief! Before you call in the big guns and have your doctor write a prescription try these at home remedies to soothe the burn.
Take small bites chewing your food completely allowing for easier digestion. Watch what you eat. Stay away from foods with high acidity levels. Don't eat too close to bedtime, allow at least three hours between dinner and laying down in bed.
The Journal of Dental Research conducted a study which shows that chewing sugar free gum after a meal for at least 30 minutes produces the salivary glands to produce more saliva helping neutralize the acidity in the stomach.
Both fruits are a natural antacid for your stomach. Eat a ripe banana each day or slice up an apple to munch on later in the evening to help with acid creeping back up.
Caffeine, chocolate and peppermints. These foods lead to a decrease in the LES pressure causing the acid to rise.
Antacids such as Tums, Mylanta or Maalox are completely safe and help alleviate reflux. Be sure to follow up with your doctor if symptoms worsen and follow all directions on the bottle.
Ginger root tea can help alleviate an upset stomach from acid or first trimester nausea. Sipping on a cup 20 minutes before a meal can help soothe an uneasy stomach.
A spoonful of mustard can surprisingly calm the acid. Mustard is highly alkaline and just a teaspoon of straight mustard can neutralize the acid before it creeps up. If you can stomach it, try it!
An H2 blocker like Zantac can be taken to help with acid reflux. When taken correctly they are effective and safe for pregnancy, but be sure to discuss any medication with your doctor.
Disclaimer: Seek consult from your doctor before starting any medication or ingesting unknown substances. This information is informative and not to be used in place of a medical consult.
Photo credit: adapted from harinaivoteza | Flickr