Heartburn in pregnancy - ditching your bra and other pearls of wisdom

aromatherapy birth preparation general pregnancy health heartburn in pregnancy plant based self care vegan Jul 27, 2021

Yes, you read that right! If you have heartburn in pregnancy, the first thing I am going to advise you to do is take off your bra. If it were up to me, you wouldn’t be wearing it at all…ever…but It isn’t up to me. 

You are probably wondering what all of this has got to do with heartburn. So, let me elaborate.

Heartburn is caused by a reflux of stomach acid into your oesophagus, the pipe that connects your throat to your stomach. The mechanism for this not to happen is built into your diaphragm in form of a sphincter muscle called your oesophageal sphincter. 

Here's what happens in pregnancy:

Relaxin hormone relaxes all smooth muscles, including the oesophageal sphincter and your growing bump is causing more upwards pressure, meaning that your tummy shifts up and gets squeezed, acid can leak back into your oesophagus and that burns.

Voila - fantastic recipe for heartburn!

As you will appreciate, humans were made well before brassieres and we have a further mechanism. Our ribs flare out to make space. Most bras will not allow your ribs to flare. The straps are tight around your ribcage. And yes, we your care providers do advise you to get fitted for a pregnancy bra, but it is my experience that this is not enough.

Once the bra goes, the heartburn goes!

So, my advise is to get out of that bra. Just don't wear one! Currently a lot of us are working at home, so you can attend office meetings entirely liberated! Hey, every cloud….

Definitely do not wear one when you are just at home, cooking, cleaning, relaxing and most definitely NEVER in bed at night!

Other things you can do:

Cut down on acidic foods such as coffee, tea, fizzy drinks and sugar and replace them with more alkaline foods such as green leafy veg, herbal teas, nuts and water.

Yoga and deep breathing exercises. In yoga you learn how to sit and stand in alignment and as a result, you will make extra space in your torso for your baby and everything else that needs to fit in there. The more space, the less heartburn! Deep breathing in alignment mobilises your ribcage and diaphragm, relaxing the tissues and making even more room. 

Drink a cup of peppermint or ginger tea. They are excellent teas for soothing your heartburn as well as helping with nausea.

There are many more common ailments of pregnancy that you can easily address with a few simple changes in your habits, food, aromatherapy and the support from an experienced birth worker.

If you are looking for plant based solutions for your pregnancy related ailments and worries, then you are in the right place. If you would like some support around your vegan pregnancy nutrition, again, you are in the right place.

We have exciting news for pregnant vegans coming in August! 

If you are already on our mailing list, keep a very close eye on our emails. If not, grab our free Aromatherapy for Vegan Pregnancy Guide and you will be added so you can be first to hear about the pregnancy program specially designed for pregnant vegans! 


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