Heartburn is common throughout pregnancy and can get even worse towards the end.
To start with, progesterone can relax the valve that normally keeps stomach acid down, allows it to travel up your esophagus. Then, as baby grows, you have less room for your organs. A smooshed digestive tract means food can be pushed back up where it doesn't belong.
While it's typically harmless, continuing or severe heartburn can be an early sign of pre-eclampsia, according to Baby Centre, so make sure to mention it to your doctor or midwife if you're concerned.
Here are some natural ways to beat the burn:
1. Eat smaller meals. Instead of three large meals, eat many small meals throughout the day so you're never eating more food than will fit in your stomach.
2. Eat slowly. Calmly chew your food rather than scarfing it down. This may help prevent indigestion, but it's also a good habit to develop. If you eat slower, your body has time to tell you when it's full, which can prevent overeating according to Mercola.
3. Eat earlier in the day. Lunch is a better time for a bigger meal while pregnant instead of the evening. Eat smaller portions for dinner and don't have a bedtime snack. Being less full when you go to bed may help nightly bouts of heartburn.
4. Walk after you eat. Don't sit or lay after a meal. Instead, get up for a walk. This will help encourage your food to move downwards while also giving you a recommended dose of exercise.
5. Sleep at an incline. If nighttime indigestion is a problem for you, sleep with your head elevated by an especially fluffy pillow, or stack a few books under your mattress so the head of your bed is higher than the bottom.
6. Eat ginger. Ginger is thought to help ease stomach upset, nausea and heartburn. While this has not been evaluated by the FDA, a glass of ginger tea or a ginger candy never hurts!
7. Avoid spicy foods. Spicy foods are irritants and can make heartburn worse for some people. Try limiting your spicy-intake and see if it makes a difference.
8. Avoid fried foods. Fried foods aren't particularly healthy and in some cases, they may cause pain. Remove these foods from your diet and you might notice a positive difference.
9. Essential oils. Some people claim that diffusing lemon or peppermint oil may help relieve esophageal discomfort. However, there is little to no research to back this up. If you want to try, both oils smell wonderful and may give you a boost of energy no matter what.
10. Consume fennel seeds. Livestrong compiled several studies on fennel seeds that show promise for fennel seeds getting rid of harmful bacteria and reducing heartburn. The site also mentions a small study done that shows fennel seeds may help reduce colic in infants. Drink fennel tea, add fennel seeds to food, or look into fennel powder.