When someone gets pregnant there are so many beautiful and miraculous things the body will experience. You’re growing a human, and it’s truly incredible to see what your body is capable of. But there are also numerous challenges you have to deal with. One of the most common, and unfortunately, uncomfortable challenges pregnant women experience is heartburn during pregnancy.
This is a common symptom due to changes in hormones and increased pressure on your stomach caused by your growing baby. Stomach acids are being pushed back up the esophagus during pregnancy so a lot is going on that isn’t necessarily due to what you’re eating or drinking. During the first trimester, it is more likely caused by hormonal changes. Whereas during the third trimester the baby growing bigger every day can be the cause.
Heartburn during pregnancy appears as a burning sensation in the stomach and esophagus that moves all the way up to the chest. The pain associated with heartburn is pain coming from behind the breastbone. However, even if the feeling is annoying, it’s best to try natural remedies first instead of over-the-counter medications.
Why? For starters, because the most common heartburn medications like Prilosec is not considered 100% safe for a growing baby. Therefore, you may not want to take the risk and expose yourself and your baby to the potential side effects. Safer alternatives like Tums are also best to be limited because they interfere with healthy, normal digestion and nutrient absorption which is not ideal during pregnancy. We need to fully absorb all our nutrients for baby!
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Heartburn During Pregnancy
Searching for a natural remedy, like to chew gum, ginger tea, or simply avoiding foods that give you heartburn is a smart choice! Remember to seek professional medical advice if the sensation of heartburn persists or becomes too painful.
This leads us to our topic today, a natural way to reduce heartburn during pregnancy: Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is a great natural alternative to heartburn pills because it also contains beneficial bacteria and other elements. In small amounts, it is safe to consume during pregnancy and easy to find in most health food stores. Today’s post will be all about how apple cider vinegar helps with heartburn during pregnancy. Keep reading to find out more!
The short answer, yes, it can!
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) contains acetic acid and enzymes that can help to regulate stomach acid levels. A 2016 study found that it helped with heartburn symptoms, especially in those who didn’t respond well to over-the-counter medications, although the results were not statistically significant. Buy the ACV with mother, this is the fermented bacteria and probiotics that are usually accumulated on the top of the bottle. The unfiltered and unrefined vinegar has a cloudy and murky appearance. This is the most natural, organic, and healthy type of apple cider vinegar, even if it might look a little unappetizing.
You may be wondering if ACV is safe during pregnancy since it is mostly found unpasteurized. Pasteurization is a heat treating process so it kills most of the good bacteria that is in there when we really just want to get rid of the bad bacteria. So, pasteurization negates the benefits of the ACV in the first place. Unless it is being used purely for flavoring purposes!
It is ultimately up to your comfortability level on whether or not you want to try apple cider vinegar for heartburn relief.
How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar For Heartburn
Now that you know apple cider vinegar can be an easy “at home” relief aid for heartburn during pregnancy, here is how to take it for optimal results and safety.
Take One Tablespoon Or Less
Since apple cider vinegar contains high acid levels, you should stick to one tablespoon at once. It will be enough to help regulate the digestive juices in your stomach and relieve heartburn. Just so you know, one tablespoon is 15 milliliters. So to be sure you can measure it as well.
Dilute ACV With Water
Again, the high acidic content implicates that it’s best to drink diluted apple cider vinegar. The ideal ratio is one cup of water per one tablespoon. Mix it up and you are done! You can also try adding a dash of apple cider vinegar to any other type of beverage like tea. It has a very unique flavor so you’ll have to find what works best for you. Especially if you have any pregnancy food aversions. I personally like to throw ACV in a green smoothie or even a cup of tea! If you’re into juicing, which you guys know I’m not a huge fan of ( see this post on juicing during pregnancy ), you can also add ACV to your favorite juice.
Drink AVC Before Larger Meals
The optimal time to drink your apple cider vinegar cup is before a meal to prevent the heartburn from occurring. If you are someone who likes a big breakfast, or you typically get heartburn after breakfast, try drinking it in the morning. It may also be beneficial to drink it before a meal that is high in carbohydrates like pizza or pasta. Try to plan ahead if you know you will be going out with friends or for a specific meal.
However, no matter which meal it is, do what works best for you. The point is to drink ACV before your meal so that it reduces heartburn before it really kicks in, especially if the kind of meal you are about to eat typically gives you heartburn. Ideally, you would want to avoid those kinds of foods all together, but sometimes those are your favorite foods and hard to avoid all the time.
Don’t Overdo It
As there isn’t any research on ACV during pregnancy, it is best to not overdo it. It’s not recommended for pregnant women to drink more than two cups of the apple cider vinegar concoction per day, i.e. 2 tablespoons or 30 milliliters. So, just make sure not to go crazy with the ACV. Even though it is a natural relief solution, it needs to be taken in moderation! And too much of anything can cause other issues that you definitely don’t need to add to your plate during pregnancy.
Other Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Pregnant Women
ACV Helps Manage Blood Sugar Levels
Although the research is limited, some data suggest ACV may help with better blood sugar control, of course, coupled with a healthy diet, limiting foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. Keep in mind, this data is also in non-pregnant individuals, so if you have recently been diagnosed with gestational diabetes still follow the guidelines above when using ACV during pregnancy.
ACV May Improve Heart Health
A few animal studies suggest ACV may reduce cholesterol levels leading to improved heart health. Another study conducted in rats showed reduce blood pressure. However, there is no evidence in humans so it is not wise to rely on ACV for a healthy heart in or outside of pregnancy.
ACV Helps Relieve Morning Sickness
It’s a win-win! You might be able to knock out nausea and heartburn all in one. Many people claim that apple cider vinegar curbs morning sickness for pregnant women. However, other research states it may induce nausea when taken on an empty stomach so tread lightly. Mixing one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with juice from half a lemon, a bit of honey, and warm water may be your new favorite drink!
ACV May Help With Pregnancy Acne
Acne during pregnancy is quite common due to hormones. Apple cider vinegar is also known to help relieve those pesky pimples that pop up! The acetic acids found in ACV are the key here. So, ACV paired with a good skincare routine and complementary treatment is a great defense system to getting clearer skin while pregnant. To get the best results, mix one part apple cider vinegar with three parts room temperature water. Then, apply delicately to the skin with a cotton pad. and you are good to go!
Have You Taken Apple Cider Vinegar During Pregnancy?
Well, the secret is out! Now you know how to use apple cider vinegar to relieve heartburn during pregnancy. That being said, there isn’t much research to support ALL the claims made on ACV on the internet, and no real research on its use during pregnancy so it is best to still limit use and avoid regular ACV shots.
Remember, everyone is different and every pregnancy is unique. Always double check with a doctor before trying any new food or drinks if you’re pregnant. And, if you’re looking for more ways to improve your overall health and pregnancy experience, check out our app, The Prenatal Nutrition Library!