Common Pregnancy Related Discomforts – Heartburn

General Description

Heartburn is an internal burning sensation in the chest or throat as a result of regurgitation, or reflux of acidic gastric contents into the lower esophagus. As many as 80% of women experience heartburn in the third trimester of pregnancy.


Sources of Discomfort

Pregnant women are more prone to experience heartburn due to physiologic changes during pregnancy, such as stomach displacement as the baby grows, the softening of the lower esophageal sphincter from increased progesterone in the body, and decreased motility of the GI tract. Heartburn can be triggered by eating rapidly, or consuming foods that are fatty, spicy, or fried, as well as by consumption of citrus, coffee, chocolate, or alcohol.


Methods of Relief

  1. Consume small frequent meals, avoiding specific food triggers. Consume liquids separate from meals to inhibit secretion of gastric juices. Avoiding laying down for one hour after meals. Consider taking a walk to remain upright and encourage digestion.
  2. For night occurrences, sleep semi-upright with the use of extra pillows.
  3. Avoid antacids (tums / Mylanta), Alka-Seltzer, and baking soda.
  4. Digestive and/or papaya enzymes with meals.
  5. Comfrey tablets with pepsin.
  6. A plain baked potatoes and thoroughly chewed raw nuts, particularly almonds.
  7. 1 Tbs of cream or milk to coat the stomach.
  8. Acupressure Points: Applied to stomach 36 and Pericardium 6.
  9. NF formula’s liquid calcium/magnesium supplement, 1 tsp. to 1 Tbsp., as needed.


Lozenges, teas, and infusions

Slippery Elm, marshmallow root, ginger, peppermint, chamomile, skullcap, or passion flower