Thursday, February 13, 2014

Live & Learn -- Heartburn Home Remedies

Sometimes I like to pretend that I'm a hippie and jump on the clean eating, vegetarian, environmental, yoga practicing bandwagon. And being pregnant has given me more incentive than ever. Obviously while you're knocked up you want to be extra careful about dumping garbage or chemicals into your body, and this also includes most medications.

Acid indigestion (heartburn) is a common discomfort experienced during pregnancy. Basically it's a horrible burning sensation that extends from the bottom of the breastbone to the lower throat, and I seem to get it every single time my stomach gets empty. For me, eating a meal usually resolves it pretty quickly, but I've also discovered a few other home remedies that have been super effective.

Although antacids like TUMS can provide relief, I learned from my yoga instructor that they can actually make the problem worse. Because you actually need that acid to help break down your food, and TUMS breaks it down, which can cause other digestive discomforts and problems.

This is where the hippie stuff comes in. Some of these natural remedies help to treat the uncomfortable symptoms of heartburn without eliminating the acid that your body needs to help break down food. Most of these I heard about in my prenatal yoga class...

{1} Papaya
Natural, fresh papaya is best, but if you can't find it Trader Joe's carries a dietary supplement of natural papaya & pineapple enzymes in tablet form. I find chewing one of these to be effective about half of the time. And I did also once find fresh papaya at Trader Joe's, but I thought it was slimy and tasteless so I didn't buy it again. But the tablets are easy to carry around in my purse for an emergency, and they taste yummy, too.

{2} Yogurt
Make sure you're only using plain yogurt, because sugar will make the problem worse. This has probably been the most effective quick fix for me. One big spoonful of plain Greek yogurt pretty much immediately cures that horrible burning sensation for me. It's obviously a little harder to have on-the-go, but I was shocked at how effective it can be.

{3} Almonds
Plain, natural, unsalted are best, and you don't need many... just a small handful (five or six) will do the trick. For me this one has been about as useful as the papaya tablets... maybe a little better because for me just getting something in my stomach seems to alleviate the symptoms. But if you have heartburn at night I hear that popping a few of these before bed can be a life saver.
So there you have it... some hippie heartburn remedies I learned in my hippie preggo yoga class. And now I'm off to buy some Birkenstock sandals and a hemp necklace.

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  1. great to know! I had the WORST heartburn w. Breanna (sure enough she came out w, a full head of hair too)

  2. i had never had heart burn until i got pregnant. then again, that's excpected since the baby pushes your entire digestive tract into your chest!

    -kathy | Vodka and Soda

  3. Another thing that helped me was hard ginger candy! You can buy it at any whole foods store, and it helps SO MUCH!

  4. This is pretty darn helpful and rather interesting. I had the worst heartburn with Miller and fell in love with Tropical Tums-- as did my Great Dane Presley who hijacked a bottle of them one day.. did you know that Tums won't hurt dogs? True Story. Anyways, thankfully I don't get heartburn often but I'll have to keep these hippie tips in mind if I ever do!

  5. I was the same way when I was pregnant! And it will only get more severe after your baby is born!

    I always thought tums were pretty healthy - yay calcium! - until I looked into it more when I was preggers :)


  6. These tips are GREAT!!! I like to pretend I'm a hippy too so these come in quite handy. ;-)

  7. Thanks for sharing this! I actually get heartburn a lot!

  8. This is great! I love almonds! Also my mom was obsessed with her birkenstocks so I have been on the look out (I use that VERY loosely) for my own pair. Maybe someday!

  9. Julie learned the same thing, that TUMS are bad for you because they remove the acid in your tummy in her medical assistant classes. Crazy! I will have to remember these quick tricks for the few times I get heartburn. Thanks!

  10. I'd heard about papaya and totally forgotten about it! I use Tums and they taste like asshole!

  11. Oh my goodness! I remember the first time I ever experienced heart burn. I had never had it before and started going with everything cold in the fridge. Milk and popcicles were it since I didn't have any antacid. Well, come to find out, milk actually makes it worse. So, it's good to know there are some better remedies out there I might actually have on hand for the next time!

  12. I hope you don't get heartburn too badly, and can't OTC remedy it. I've never tried any of these remedies, so thanks for the suggestion!

  13. Good to know! I love hippie stuff! lol! I never had heartburn when I was pregnant but a friend of mine did and took some sort of prescription medicine for it. I've heard it means your baby will have lots of hair! haha!

  14. Love this post! I totally thought about posting something very similar to this as I've been experiencing serious heartburn as well and found all these things helps! The biggest for me was the papaya enzymes, they freakin rock. So glad you're getting relief as well. I was struggling for the last few weeks until my midwife told me about these. Also I've been avoiding carbs at dinner (omg so hard to do) and found that helps also. Apparently the carbs expand and cause your sphincter to open as well causing more heartburn. Just a thought for you!

  15. That's very interesting. I started getting heartburn from the stress I had from a particular student last year. Mine wasn't so much the burning, but a tightness and feeling like I had something stuck in my esophagus. I ended up with a prescription, but I know so many women who have experienced heartburn while pregnant and want to treat it safely. These sound like great things to try!

  16. These are great tips, I will definitely have to remember them!


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