Heartburn is a common complaint among pregnant women. Hormonal changes in the body throw off the digestive tract, altering flavor preferences and the ability to digest foods and beverages. The growing baby demands space that throws alignment of digestive organs out of whack, too, and can sometimes slow digestion. These 20 natural home remedies for easing heartburn symptoms are (mostly) non-toxic so they will bring you relief without harming the baby.

  1. Heartburn during pregnancyAloe Vera Juice: A little bit is said to promote digestive health but too much can be toxic. Add just a teaspoon or two a day to smoothies or cereals; don’t use it if you don’t get results.
  2. Anti-Reflux Diet: Avoid alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, foods that are fatty, greasy, or spicy, and nicotine.
  3. Apples: The pectin in apples helps speed digestion and absorbs excess acid.
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar: Sometimes heartburn is caused by too little acid in the stomach, making digestion slow and gassy. A couple teaspoons of apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice in tea with honey might do the trick.
  5. Bedtime Snacks: Forget about ‘em. Avoid eating for at least three hours before going to bed so gravity can assist food going down into the lower digestive tract instead of lingering in the upper digestive tract.
  6. Chewing Gum: The act of chewing promotes saliva production which reduces acids in the esophagus.
  7. Comfy Clothes: If it’s tight enough to be uncomfortable, it’s tight enough to restrict digestion.
  8. Elevate the Head: If heartburn keeps you awake, use extra pillows to elevate the head during the night. Also, avoid bedtime snacks.
  9. Exercise: Do exercise regularly but don’t do it right after eating. Let digestion happen first.
  10. Herbal Teas: Chamomile, fenugreek, and mint are best for easing heartburn symptoms.
  11. Pickles: That’s right, there’s a reason for the craving. Vinegar-based foods such as sour and dill pickles increase acidity levels to aid digestion when heartburn is caused by too little stomach acid.
  12. Raw Almonds: The alkaline in calcium-rich almonds helps neutralize stomach acids.
  13. Saccharomyces boulardii: Be sure to get live cultures of this probiotic for optimum nutrient absorption. Look for it in refrigerated cases at health food stores and pharmacies, don’t buy it off the shelf.
  14. Sauerkraut: Works like apple cider vinegar and pickles to add acidity when heartburn is caused by too little of it.
  15. Sit Up: Keep the head above the stomach after eating so gravity can help with digestion.
  16. Sleep on Your Left Side: People with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) report relief when switching sleep positions from right to left.
  17. Slippery Elm: Soothe the digestive tract with this herbal supplement in capsule, lozenge, or powder form.
  18. Stop Smoking: Nicotine relaxes the esophageal sphincter, making it easier for what went down to come back up again.
  19. Warm Water and Fresh Lemon Juice: Drink a cup about 20 minutes before a meal to balance acid levels in the digestive system.
  20. Weight Loss: Pregnancy’s a tough time to lose weight but, if not pregnant yet, shedding weight may make pregnancy feel better later.

Source: Nelson, Jennifer. “13 surprising home remedies for acid reflux.” Mother Nature Network / Health. MNN Holdings LLC. Oct 15, 2014. Web. Mar 7, 2014.