Berkeley Parents Network >
Pregnancy & Childbirth >
I'm four months pregnant and have had digestive problems
ever since my first month of pregnancy. I feel like nothing I
eat goes beyond my throat. I'm always burping and never
feel as though anything I eat sits well. I'm not nauseous, but
I do throw up sometimes. It seems it depends on what I eat.
A bland diet seems best. I'm wondering if anyone out there
has experienced this and if so did they find relief in any way?
I've tried Tums and Mylanta, they don't work. I'm willing to try
acupuncture, homeopathy, anything for some relief!!!
Sometimes I think eating littel bits frequently helps, but other
times it doesn't. I can't imagine going another 6 months this
way, knowing there is worse heartburn to come. Any
That sounds pretty standard for pregnancy to me. I know I experienced
it, and so did many others I know. I ate whatever I could stomach --
which was bland food like potatoes, white bread, boring cheeses, plain
chicken, etc. I couldn't stand the sight of whole grains, finer greens,
etc. But, it did subside around week 16 -- for some it doesn't, but it
usually does. Then it comes back at the end of the pregnancy. I used
Tums, which worked sometimes. It sounds like you're doing everything
right, to me.
Don't worry, this shall pass before you know it (even if it does seem
like forever right now!) Hang in there and ask your OB about better
You can use real food to help with your digestion. The below
suggestions, admittedly, take a bit of time in the kitchen, but they can
be quite helpful if you have the time.
You can drink kefir, which is supposed to help the digestive system as a
whole. You can make fermented veggies (storebought is usually
pasteurized, and therefore dead/non-helpful). Small amounts of fermented
veggies with each meal assist with digestion.
http://users.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefirkraut.html You can eat a small
amount of pickled ginger with meals, if you like it. It's supposed to
help as well.
By the way.. antacids do not help digestion. They bring it to an abrupt
halt, so everything can rot inside of you, only eventually becoming
purged when you use the bathroom. But yes, they do have the side benefit
of slowing down reactions to spicy/acidic foods.
Does anybody know of an effective remedy for really bad heartburn
during pregnancy? Sunflower seeds and seltzer water have recently
been ruled out. Even sleeping sitting up isn't working anymore.
Papaya extract worked great for me, even better than Tums (what
the doctor recommended). It's natural, tastes good, and you can
take it with every meal as a preventitive measure.
You can get it at any health food store, or grocery store like
Berkeley Bowl or Whole Foods. I used to buy it in a convenient
roll size (just like Certs!) at Lakeshore Natural Foods on
Lakeshore in Oakland.
I had terrible heartburn in the second half of my pregnancy.
Although I never found anything to give complete relief, small
amounts of yoghurt (especially just before bed) and Tums got me
through the worst parts.
you can try papaya enzyme tablets, available at natural grocery
stores. they're chewable, tasted ok, and worked okay (not all
the time, but sometimes) during my pregnancy.
I assume you've already tried the common suggestions?
- Avoid acidic foods (orange juice, tomato sauce, coffee...)
- Eat lots of tiny little meals, not full meals.
- Drink milk. Even a few sips can make a big difference. Take a
thermos of cold milk to bed to sip at night.
My prenatal yoga teacher, Saraswathi at Yogalayam, recommended
also to eat ''basic'' (opposite of acid) foods such as millet and
some kind of dried salted(?) Japanese plum
My heartburn was moderate, not severe, so I'm not sure if these
suggestions will help and you are probably already doing most of
them. I ate millet but never went for the dried plum.
I had terrible terrible heartburn with both pregnancies and it
didn't make any difference what I ate. I even got heartburn from
drinking a glass of water. Some books recommend not taking any
anti-acids when you are pregnant. I am not sure why - something
about the salt I think. However my doctor said it was OK (and I
probably would have done it anyway, no matter what the dr. said
because it made me very uncomfortable and unhappy to have
heartburn all the time) so I ate a lot of Gelusil (over the
counter like Tums or Rolaids). I also sometimes had a teaspoon
of baking soda in a glass of water. Both these remedies did the
Eat lots of fresh papaya. It helped me a lot. There is some
enzyme that helps with the heartburn. You can even get papaya
tablets, but I didn't find those to be as effective.
I also found yoga to help, especially Saraswathi Devi's classes at
Yogalayam. The more you can do to ease your assimilation and
digestion, the less acute the heartburn will be.
My nurse practioner recommended eating cheerios shortly before
bed. That, along w/ Tums, helped some. But the only thing that
really helped was prescription-strength Zantac, which may not be
the answer for everyone.
I hate to say it, but the best thing that worked for me was
liquid Mylanta. Extra strength. It may as well have been water at
times, seems like I drank so much!....Fizzy drinks helped a lot
too (what I would have given
for some good burps!). Seemed to be worse with my second
pregnancy. It was amazing how it simply disappeared when the
babies were born!
Have you tried Ginger? It worked sometimes for me. Otherwise it
was Rolaids or Tums.
I have only one word to say about pregnancy heartburn: Extra
Strength Mylanta. I bought it in bulk at Costco in my last
trimester and sometimes combined it with a few Tums. My OBGYN
reassured me on at least 4 occasions that it was perfectly safe
to take even daily, despite my admitting to her that I chugged
it straight from the bottle. Waiting at least an hour to lie
down after eating also helps, but as I recall that is easier
said than done.
During my first pregnancy what saved me was something called
gastrosoothe-- pricey things you chew on-- probably available at
whole foods. Now, during my second pregnancy, I tried gastro
soothe again and it helped, but it wasn't the magic cure it was
the first time. This time around what's helped the most has
been chewable papaya enyzmes (much cheaper and tastier than
gastro soothe too), chewing on fennel, and eating smaller
meals. Also I try not to eat too late at night. If I'm really
hungry I eat something easily digestible like a banana or
yogurt. I still get a bit of heart burn, but it's mostly gone.
You can get payaya enymes at a healthy vitamin shop or whole
foods. Hope some of this helps. Heartburn is no fun.
Try eating almonds. I tried it skeptically with my last
pregnancy but it worked 100x better than Maloxx. I bought a 5lb
bag of almonds from Costco and ate a few (maybe 10-15) every
hour or so the last four weeks of my pregnancy and it kept the
heart burn at bay pretty much completely. I was even able to eat
Mexican for lunch and pesto for dinner one day and managed to
sleep through the night with out being awakened. (Previously a
simple diet of bread or rice would have had me up for hours at
night.)I know that you said sunflower seeds were out, but maybe
almonds are different enough that they would be worth a try.
I had extreme heartburn during my last pregnancy, which was
caused by my intestines slowing down. I avoided dairy products
as much as was feasible because they slow down digestion, and
tried to increase fiber consumption as much as I could. Before
bed I would have a glass of water with a large tablespoon of
maltodextrin, which is some kind of complex carbohydrate used by
athletes during distance endurance events. I also kept Tums by
my bed and took two during the night if I needed to. I also made
sure to carry Tums with me whenever I went places where food
might not be available. The heartburn vanished the minute my
daughter was born.
I had always thought that mint was good for an unsettled
stomach, etc but I saw a ''to avoid'' list for gastrointestinal
issues at my doctor's office recently.
this page was last updated: Nov 11, 2007
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network