Hello ladies,

 

I am new to this site and to pregnancy.  I am 10 weeks and have had my first encounter with heartburn.  While lying in bed this morning I suddenly had a sharp pain in my left chest area – after talking this over with a friend (a mother and RN) she suspects heartburn or acid reflux.  I have never had any issues with this in the past, but am told that it is a common symptom of pregnancy.  Although the sharp pain has diminished, a slight nagging pain has continued all day. 

 

Does anyone have any suggestions for natural treatment of this or remedies to try?  I found an online article suggesting herbs, but I do not want to try any herbs as they may be harmful for the baby?

 

I do plan to discuss this with my midwife on Wednesday morning, but your ideas and thoughts are gratefully appreciated before then.

 

Brooke

 

 

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I've had heartburn through most of this pregnancy (now 31 weeks). You can try avoiding acidic foods, especially tomatoes, as well as spicy foods. I've read that mint and chocolate should also be avoided because they relax something (can't for the life of me remember the right term!) allowing the acid to go up into your throat. I've noticed that chocolate does increase the symptoms for me.

Other things that help me: not eating a lot at a time, especially right before going to bed; reducing white sugar consumption; little to no caffeine (a single cup of coffee will irritate me all day); eating small amounts of yogurt; drinking soy milk (we don't drink dairy milk); exercising - especially yoga and walking. Also, last week I started taking acidophilus (sp?), which puts good bacteria back in your gut (particularly helpful if you've been sick or taken antibiotics) and I've noticed a decrease in the reflux problems. I'm not sure if this is just corollary, or if it is a real contributor to feeling better, but it is something I've noticed.

When I get it really bad, my husband makes a concoction that is safe for baby. He heats up some water so that it is hot, but not too hot to drink. To the water (about 2-3 ounces), he adds 1-2 tsp of baking soda and stirs until dissolved. Then he adds some lemon juice. It makes me burp like a man for a couple minutes, but seems to neutralize my stomach contents enough to make the pain and discomfort stop. And afterward, I can usually get to sleep just fine. Though he loves the taste, I don't particularly care for it. But, it is better than the other home remedy I found to work about as well: drinking apple cider vinegar (/shudder - I HATE vinegar! lol).

I hope that helps!
Rachel
I would sip aloe vera juice. That seemed to help. I've also heard Apple Cider Vinegar...
Yes...Apple Cider Vinegar. When you get heartburn, it is usually because your body is not producing enough hydrochloric acid. I know it sounds weird, to fight acid with acid, but you have to think of it as fighting acid with the RIGHT kind of acid. Once you give your body enough, you will not have heartburn. I liken it unto 2 negatives equal a positive, as found in math.

I suggest getting the Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar with the "mother". This is raw and unfiltered, which means all the good nutrients are still in there because this cider vinegar does not endure heat processing. Boil water and let it cool to a temp that will melt honey when you put it in. Use 2 Tbsp of honey and then when it cools to warm enough to drink, but not too hot, add 1-2 Tbsp of ACV. Start off with 1 Tbsp and work up to 2. I do 2 Tbsp because I dont want to have to drink more.

This particular ACV is antifungal too, so if you ever are battling internal candida yeast issues or yeast infections, you can use it diluted. When my babies were born, they ended up getting a yeasty rash when they were a couple of weeks old. When their rash wouldn't go away with simple diaper rash creams, I knew it was something else. I used a diluted solution (1 c warm water to 2 tbsp ACV) on their bottom, smeared it with UNrefined, virgin, coconut oil (also antifungal among other thigns), gave lots of air and sunshine and that usually did the trick. Other times, i would make a paste with probiotics..just using water or I'd use yogurt.

for your heartburn, you may also want to start on a good probiotic to help increase the good bacteria in your gut. It will keep your immune system healthier (80% of your immune system is in your gut) and will help you with digestion issues.

I have also heard liquid calcium (with vit d, mag, phosphorus...which helps you absorb the calcium) helps with heartburn also. Hope this helps!
M&M's always set me off. Once I had a cup of coffee while I was working as an LNA, and literally had to run out of a patients room and shut myself in a bathroom, where I paced and whimpered with my arms wrapped around my head! It was hilarious in hind's sight, not so much when it happened!
Milk or yogurt really does help, also try the chewable Rolaids, they are much more palatable than Tums. I know you said no herbs, but there are some holistic remedies that can help without being at all harmful to the baby. Fennel seed tea is very soothing to the digestion, which might help prevent heartburn if you drink a little after your meals. For some reason raw almonds can help a lot too, and papaya (any kind, fresh, dried, canned...) will help too.
Thanks ladies for all of the advice. After this first instance, I have not had any other problems. I am planning to get some ACV and try that if it happens again. Thanks, Joni, for the advice on yeast also. It will be a great plan for the future.

Brooke
I just learned a new trick for heartburn today in a birth doula workshop here in Portland OR. Use two fingers and press firmly (but not so much that it hurts) in the middle of your chest, between your breasts and slightly above. It's an acupressure point (like the one's at the top of the shoulders that I used to torture my brothers with as a kid) and the sternal pressure point is supposed to help with the pain caused by heartburn, although I have yet to try it. Heartburn becomes more common in the third trimester, as your stomach is pushed up into the ribcage and digestion is slowed by your growing baby. Try a little of everything and see what works best for you...and then let us all know ;)
I've recently suffered a flare with a peptic ulcer in the last two weeks--I've had it on 2 or 3 prior occasions in my life. The first bout sent me to the hospital in college; the pain can be excruciating and last for days or even weeks. They started me on a bevy of medications for 2 weeks, with instructions to continue on an acid reducer (Nexium) for 3 months, but of course, I stopped after 2 weeks.
Now that I can recognize the symptoms, I jump on therapy right away to stave off most of the severe issues. But now that I'm preggo, this complicated the treatment picture tremendously. I haven't had an ulcer in over 3 years, so when I felt the telltale "knife" in my epigastric area, I tried to ignore it, take calcium, etc. I stay away from Rolaids due the aluminum content, and I'm already on probiotics daily. Finally this weekend I made the decision to start a brief course of OTC Zantac (after much study on safety, etc.). There is so much guilt surrounding the decision to take any medications during pregnancy, and eventually I had to assess my risk tolerance and weigh the benefit to risks before deciding to start therapy. I intend on only being on it for 7 days and reassessing. I'm already feeling tremendous relief in the pain.
Truthfully, I'm not sure why I'm sharing all of this--maybe to assuage my conscience of some of the guilt I feel for taking meds during pregnancy. Thanks for listening--lol :)
I had heart burn with my 1st pregnancy about the last 6 weeks & was MISERABLE! SO when I got it (or acid reflux) this time at 20 weeks,I thought NO WAY! I told my midwife & she suggested the Apple Cider Vinegar as others have here. 2 tsp in as much water as you need to make it tolerable really does the trick! Keep doing it til it works (I've only had to do the 2tsp/day). All the other things about avoiding foods, etc may work - it didn't for me on my 1st so I WELCOME this ACV treatment. Wonder if that is why some pregnant women crave pickles...a thought.

Good luck that is miserable! Oh & another thing..dried papaya (or mango)...it's papaya I think. Keep it around & snack on it all day...she also mentioned that but I don't have that readily available as I did the ACV.

Gwen
There is a great book called Pregnancy Sickness by Margie Profet. She talks about sickness in the first trimester. Heartburn and sickness may be a way to protect the baby in the first trimester (while the major organs are developing) from certain foods and toxins. The baby is most vulnerable in the first trimester so you should be feeling better soon.

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