It can completely feel like that. The other night I had it and fortunately for me, I got up out of bed and popped some special leave in pins into my feet so I could go back to sleep peacefully and soundly. I happen to have acupuncture skills and thought you might also like to know what you can do to help with this pesky pregnant situation!
Reflux, heartburn, indigestion, whatever you want to call it, it a common, especially in the later stages of pregnancy.
It can occur for a number of reasons. Hormonally you are producing more progesterone which relaxes smooth muscle. This means it can also relax the lower stomach valve which prevents acid from going back up into your oesophagus. As you get further on in your pregnancy and your stomach is literally pushed higher and higher, it can also contribute to acid leaking up into your oesophagus. In pregnancy, your gut slows down and you can get constipated. This also doesn’t help reflux as food sits in your gut for longer.
In Chinese medicine, reflux is seen as counterflow Qi, it’s Stomach Qi (energy) going in the wrong direction. The Stomach meridian starts just below your eye and goes down your face, neck, abdomen and all the way down your leg, finishing on your second toe. That is where I recommend using some solid acupressure for 5 minutes, on St-44 (just back from the base of your 2nd and 3rd toe). It’s the best spot to help reverse that counterflow Qi. It is on both feet and you could use this point morning and night or even three times a day if you were up for it.
If you’re in 3rd trimester, it would be best to get your partner to press it for you, so you don’t have to bend down. When you’re earlier pregnant, you’re most likely more nimble and can put your foot up on your knee and press the point from there. Do one foot at a time.
Other things to do to help with pregnancy reflux:
- Eat small meals regularly and often
- Don’t eat 2-3 hours before going to bed
- Don’t drink a huge amount before bed either as that can also bring it on
- Avoid fizzy and carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, spicy foods, fatty foods, chocolate and anything else you know may personally aggravate your gut.
- If you’ve had a large meal and want to help it move through your system, fennel tea can help.
- Ginger is also gentle on the stomach and helps the Stomach Qi move downwards instead of upwards so you could have ginger tea also.
- Try not to lie down soon after you have eaten, keeping yourself upright will help the food move through your system.
- Acupuncture can also be helpful if acupressure isn’t strong enough for you and what’s great about that is, since it’s wholistic, your acupuncturist will take all your signs and symptoms into account and treat them so your overall system can be supported to work better.
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