Just when the endless list of pregnancy symptoms couldn’t get any longer, the dreaded heartburn comes into the mix like some forgotten heroin of the story. If we personified heartburn, he’d be like:
‘I love you so much I will wake you up at 3am for a little reminder of how sweet I am and how good we are together!’
Heartburn. No, just no. Take a seat.
Today we’re gonna bust his ass once and for all!
Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones to have heartburn only in the third trimester, maybe he’s been following you around since the first like your high school crush.
Whichever category you fall in, I’ve got the solution.
What causes heartburn?
I think it’s important we touch this subject before we dive into our list of home made remedies.
Heartburn is usually caused by an acid reflux when the food doesn’t quite reach it’s way to our stomach. In our case, our big bulging belly.
Not only that, the hornmonal changes your body is facing during pregnancy have their role, just as with nausea in the first trimester.
If you’ve got a naturally small stomach, baby will be pressing down too. When your stomach expands to make room for your growing baby, the muscles can separate slightly and relax, which causes reflux.
So now we’ve established why heartburn happens what can we do to keep it at bay?
I like to think that prevention is more effective and easier to deal with than when heartburn actually strikes as it can be a pain to get rid of.
That’s why this post will mainly focused on the preventive actions you can take to stay clear of the frustration. Plus you’ll find the one and only remedy that did work for me that you can easily make at home, so read on for more….
1 Eat in small doses
I know it’s hard and so tempting not to finish the wholecarton of ice cream or the second plate of pasta when the hunger *ahem, craving * strikes, but I promise you’ll have a better chance of shaking up that rising feeling in your throat. Who needs that?
Aim to eat say every two to three hours, snacks unlimited! As long as the snacks are more on the healthy side i.e. nuts, seeds, fruit, granola bars, you’ll be fine. Plus, a handful of almonds is more likely to keep pesky heartburn at bay than a full fat yoghurt.
But we’ll get on to that later, for now try and nibble like a hamster on small portions – hey that doesn’t mean you can’t eat all the lasagne, just not in one go!
2 Don’t eat after 9pm
I know, I know, they’re not exactly remedies – but they’ll go a long way if you take them on board and this one in particular was a real life saver for me during that final hurdle balloon stage.
Eat dinner early – that goes for those women from a Mediterranean background too! (I know how it is, my partner’s from Spain) If that means planning ahead, so be it.
You could also try eating your main meal at lunch time and save a lighter supper-type snack for later. Oh and skip the ice cream after dinner, it can be a real heartburn starter.
It’s just a small change in your routine that will make a whole lot of difference – then you can carry on your wind down with a hot shower, a gentle massage from your SO…and off to bed you go.
3 Eat ginger
Ginger is really good for combatting our old friend heartburn. It doesn’t – and shouldn’t – have to be a large amount, especially if you’re not used to it as there are studies that link ginger with provoking contractions.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a few fresh raw shavings in an infusion after meals. Just grate it or chop up fine pieces and boil for 5-10 minutes. You can reuse it again a couple of times if you so wish, just heating it up.
Be careful though as unlike other teas and infusions, ginger actually seems to get stronger after being left on its own.
If you don’t feel like drinking it in a tea, you can always get those ginger chewy confections (my grandma adored them, and now I do too) or mix it in a healthy curry. Yum!
4. Walk it off
I know that times have changed and people much prefer to sit down and catch up with their favourite series while eating dinner (duh, who doesn’t?) but believe it or not, this Is actually the worst thing you can do.
Make like the 1800’s and get out for a little stroll around the neighbourhood after eating. Smile and wave at the other pregnant woman doing the same thing. Frown at the guy over the road asking way ahead of time when your baby’s due.
Just ten minutes will help kick start your metabolism before you cuddle up on the sofa with your other half while enjoying the last few weeks of couple time. Unless you’ve already got other kids, in which case you could read a bedtime story together. You get the jist.
5 And finally….the one and only….
…Hot water, bicarbonate and lemon juice. Lil’ bit of honey to sweeten. Works like a treat.
I first discovered this and made it my favourite go-to when heartburn wanted to rear it’s ugly head and we were with some friends for lunch.
Not so practical for whipping up a quick home remedy. One of my friends offered me a natural solution she had in a little sachet. I didn’t take it, even though there were no contraindications written, but I was overly careful throughout all of my pregnancy.
I did, however, look up the main ingredients in the sachet – bicarbonate.
I’ve got to say I had to play with the dosage a bit the first few times to get something that didn’t automatically make me go running to the sink to spit it out.
The key is this:
- One teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- Two teaspoons of lemon juice
- A great big fat dollop of honey or maple syrup
- A cup of hot water
I hope you all enjoyed and can get some use out of these quick tips and tricks to slam dunk Mr Heartburn once and for all!
Have any of you tried other remedies that worked for you? I’d be intrigued! Let me know with a comment below and feel free to share!