Heartburn is such an awful feeling, but while pregnant? That’s just mean! Here are the best pregnancy heartburn natural remedies to find some relief!
MY ESOPHAGUS IS ON FIRE.
Or at least, that’s what it feels like when the dreaded third trimester heartburn strikes. I’m writing this post at 36 weeks pregnant with our fourth child, and the heartburn has been an entirely unwelcome companion for the last month or so.
Pregnancy heartburn is different from regular heartburn because the cause is pretty unique: a rapidly growing baby in your belly, gaining more and more delectable fat rolls by the day, and shoving your stomach all up into your other internal organs’ business. Digestion can be a challenge, and stomach acid gets elbowed (almost literally!) back up in the opposite direction.
Basically, in the third trimester baby just starts to run out of room in your hard-working uterus, and mama is feelin’ it in oh-so-many ways. (Amen?!)
Three years ago I published this post: How to Treat Acid Reflux Naturally (With a Single Surprising Ingredient). In essence, I recommend taking a spoonful of apple cider vinegar (ACV) to treat heartburn/acid reflux based on my hubby’s incredible experience and success.
Years ago he used to be on a daily prescription medicine for acid reflux, but was able to permanently discontinue those after discovering the ACV trick from a chiropractor (who we thought was rather kooky at the time, but that’s another story) which worked like a charm for him. The basic idea is that the stomach is over-producing acid because it thinks it doesn’t have enough, so if you take a spoonful of ACV it sends the message that your stomach can chill the heck out and the heartburn goes away.
Dozens of comments on the post share that ACV worked great for them too, however, a number of comments are from pregnant women, bemoaning the fact that the ACV remedy just didn’t work for them as a pregnancy heartburn natural remedy. (My theory? Because pregnancy heartburn has a totally different cause, as I explained above!)
I wasn’t pregnant at the time, so couldn’t volunteer as test subject for other remedies, but here we are, four years later, and baby #4 is shoving my internal organs into unrecognizable positions as we speak (er, as I type).
First things first: I’ll tell you the pregnancy heartburn natural remedy that is working (immediately and effectively!) for me this time, then I’ll list out a few other options that I’ve seen recommended in the natural pregnancy world that you may want to try, should my number one recommendation not work for you (…but I really think it will!)
My Ultimate Favourite Pregnancy Heartburn Natural Remedy
My number one fave carry-it-with-me-literally-everywhere* pregnancy heartburn natural remedy is clay water. Hallelujah and praise Jesus that it works SO WELL and just about instantly. I give the low-down on clay water (including how to make it and keep it on hand) in this post.
*No joke: I carry a little ziplock baggie of bentonite clay powder with me in my purse and in the van that I can stir into a glass of water at a moments’ notice.
Other than the fact that I use clay for a bajillion different things, and it’s probably the most often-used item in my natural medicine cabinet, it didn’t occur to me to use it for this purpose until the first bouts of heartburn struck as I entered my 3rd trimester. (Bonus – it’s great for carrying toxins out of your gut in a gentle way, which is always helpful!)
But once I thought about it for like two seconds, I realized that clay is a base (as opposed to an acid… <— wave hello to the teeny-tiny modicum of high school chemistry info that remains in my very non-scientific brain!) and of course it would help to neutralize the acid in a similar way as Tums, which I consumed copiously in my first and second pregnancy’s 3rd trimesters.
You know how Tums taste kind of like chalk? Yeah, so does clay water, only without the added sugar, colours, and other unrecognizable ingredients. Plus clay water is waaaaaaaay cheaper, so: total win.
So that’s my go-to pregnancy heartburn natural remedy right now. I keep my Hydro Flask on my bedside table with clay water in it, and if/when I wake up in the night with raging heartburn, I take a few swigs and it’s tamed pretty much instantly. I’ll also often take a drink of it before turning out my lights at bedtime in the hope of warding it off altogether, depending on the day and what I ate before bed. (And it usually works!)
The only downside to this is that it *may* make you have to get up to pee a little more frequently, but let’s be honest – you were gonna get up to pee anyway, especially in the last trimester. 😉
The clay that I use and love and keep on hand at all times is, of course, Redmond Clay. It’s amazing stuff, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I have a gigantic bucket of the clay in powder form because I knew I’d run out quickly if I didn’t order in bulk. (I also keep a few tubes of the hydrated clay on hand for other purposes, like direct skin application.)
You can buy it in bulk from Redmond or Amazon, or in a handy tube of pre-hydrated stuff (Also available on Amazon. I keep several of these around, stashed in different places), and if you’re not ready to buy a six-pound bucket just yet you can try a smaller jar (Amazon).
It’s available from a few other online retailers as well. Your local health store may carry it too, so check there if you like to shop local!
Other Pregnancy Heartburn Natural Remedy Suggestions to Try
This is a remedy that is perhaps the most frequently recommended in the natural pregnancy world, but after trying it with my first baby and not experiencing much relief, I haven’t tried it again since. Still – many mamas swear by it, so it’s still worth a try if you’re looking for options!
I’d go with a brand like this one in capsules, instead of chewable tablets, to avoid the added sugars etc.
Apple cider vinegar
Yup, the original acid reflux remedy that doesn’t work for a lot of women… works for a few! I had a handful of mamas recommend this remedy on social media when I asked, so you may as well give it a try. (But have clay water on hand, just in case it ends up making it worse!)
In general, the better digested your food is, the less chance you have of experiencing acid reflux. That’s not the entire answer, of course, but it’s a vital piece of the puzzle.
This brand contains a variety of enzymes so if the papaya enzymes don’t work for you, I suspect this one probably would. I would just take it daily as a preventative, especially with meals. (In fact, I think I’m going to order some now for my last month of pregnancy, and hubby can use it too when his digestion is out of whack.)
Avoid certain foods
Without a doubt, there are certain foods that bring on the raging fires of heartburn for me. Like many other pregnant women can attest, tomatoes and other highly acidic foods will do it almost instantly. (Chili, spaghetti sauce, pizza – I’m avoiding them all right now.) Also, I find that greasy foods like potato chips (even the ones with good oils, like these ones, which have been a huge craving this pregnancy) can trigger it too.
Once you clue in to a certain food being a trigger for you, just avoid it. Plain and simple common sense, but make sure you’re paying attention.
Small (but frequent) meals
Having smaller meals instead of gigantic meals where you stuff yourself can be a useful strategy too. Having an overly-full stomach can be the perfect storm for heartburn.
On the flip side of the same coin, make sure you don’t skip meals or go too long between them. I found myself both unbearably nauseous and fighting off heartburn in the small handful of times I’ve not eaten properly in a day.
Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Extract (DGL)
A midwife friend of mine recommend this one to me. DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice Extract) provides digestive relief and has worked well for many mamas with heartburn.
I couldn’t find it in my local health food store (or on the Canadian amazon) or else I totally would have tried this remedy. Here’s a brand that looks pretty good on amazon, but if you have a particular other recommendation, be sure to let me know below.
Have you tried any of these pregnancy heartburn natural remedy suggestions? What has worked best for you?
This post is sponsored by Redmond and contains their affiliate links (as well as Amazon’s) because I begged and pleaded with them to partner with me so that I could pay some bills while spreading my great affection for everything that they are and everything that they produce as a company. They’re awesome, so they said yes. ? My unabashed love for everything they make is 100% authentic and real!