This is the common name for the sensation of pain, heat, and acidic burning in the esophagus experienced after eating. It may be caused by nervous tension, excess production of stomach acids, relaxed stomach muscles which allow foods to back up, or the mechanical displacement of the stomach by the upward movement of the enlarging uterus. It is most common during the last half of the pregnancy. The numerous commercial remedies for heartburn (such as Alka-Seltzer, Rolaids, baking soda and other antacids) are contraindicated during pregnancy. The following remedies are considered safe and effective for pregnant women.
° Eat small meals frequently. Take a bag of nuts and dried fruit with you when you are away from home.
° Chew, chew, chew! And eat slowly.
° Don't drink while eating; do consume plenty of liquids between meals. If you must drink with meals, try half a lemon squeezed into a glass of water.
° Notice which foods seem to produce your heartburn and eliminate them from your diet. Greasy and highly seasoned foods are a problem for many women.
° Be aware that coffee and cigarettes increase heartburn by irritating the stomach.
° Avoid lying down after eating.
° Make Anise or Fennel seed tea your after meals or during meals beverage. These seed teas are tonic to the stomach and gently assist digestion.
° Chew on or eat some organic orange peel a few minutes after your meal to aid digestion.
° Eat a small amount of apple peels, pineapple, or, best of all, papaya after meals. All forms—fresh, dried, canned, juice, even tablets—contain digestive enzymes.
Remedies for Heartburn
° Sip yogurt, cream, or milk to relieve heartburn due to overproduction of stomach acids.
° Fly to help the stomach settle down: sit cross-legged and raise and lower your arms quickly, bringing the backs of your hands together over your head.
° Carry raw almonds when you travel: chew them slowly to relieve heartburn.
• Slippery Elm, Severe heartburn can usually be allayed by eating a teaspoon of Ulmus fulva powder mixed with some honey. Slippery Elm bark neutralizes stomach acids, soothes the stomach, and helps absorb intestinal gas. Slippery Elm throat lozenges, sold in most health food stores, offer a convenient way to use this remedy away from home.
Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year