Dianna Martino - Holistic Naturopath & Coach

Holistic Adelaide Naturopath

Acid Reflux in Pregnancy

Acid reflux in pregnancy is a common occurrence that can be very uncomfortable. Stomach acid can rise up into the oesophagus as the lower oesophageal sphincter relaxes due to pregnancy hormones. This can feel like a burning sensation in the chest, or even reflux into the throat.

Strategies to alleviate acid reflux

  • Avoid consuming large meals
  • Avoid drinking too much with meals
  • Remain upright for three hours after meals
  • Avoid chocolate, coffee, citrus juices, tomato and carbonated products if they make your symptoms worse.
  • Raise the head of your bed by 20 cm to reduce the occurrence of reflux episodes
  • Lie on your left side so that your stomach is below your oesophagus
  • Avoid alcohol and unnecessary medications that reduce oesophageal tone
  • Peppermint can induce relaxation of the lower oesophageal sphincter, thus should be avoided if you notice that it makes your symptoms worse.
  • Almonds can help to balance the acidity
  • Be mindful of your posture. If you slouch, your stomach is compressed and this pushes the contents up into your oesophagus.
  • Wear comfortable clothing, avoid tight fitting garments that cut in around the waist.
  • Eat slowly and mindfully, ensuring you chew your food well to decrease the load on the stomach for better digestion.

A note on antacids

If you are thinking about taking antacids, there are a few things you should know. Antacids based on sodium bicarbonate/baking soda/sodium citrate are high in sodium, this causes water retention. Avoid aluminium by checking the labels for aluminium hydroxide and aluminium carbonate.

If acid reflux becomes severe, see your health practitioner for support.