Herbs to Aid Digestion in Pregnancy

Nausea and heartburn are common digestive symptoms during pregnancy. Many herbal teas are safe and effective for this – do check with a qualified herbalist if your situation is complex.

Food & Herbal Teas for Digestive Problems

For constipation and bloating, gentle self-massage of the abdomen can be beneficial – use gentle circling motions moving from the lower right hand side of the abdomen above the pelvis, upwards to the ribs, across to the left and down towards the left hand side of the pelvis.

For sickness and nausea, nibble on dry oatcakes first thing to settle your stomach. Take Ginger in any form: fresh Ginger tea; Ginger biscuits; Ginger beer or if you can’t stomach anything, break a piece of fresh Ginger and inhale the aroma. For severe sickness, Ginger tablets may be required.

For heartburn, drink Meadowsweet tea with meals and through the day as required.

For constipation, drink plenty of fluids and eat high fibre foods, also gentle exercise to get things moving. Many herbal teas are helpful for constipation in pregnancy, common ones are Chamomile, Ginger and Peppermint – although limit Peppermint tea after the birth if you are breast feeding as the strong flavour can pass in to the breast milk.

Finding a Comfortable Lying Position

Digestive problems such as heartburn and constipation can be influenced by the pressure of the baby in your abdomen. Finding a good position to sit or lie in will help with this, experiment with pillows or towels rolled up in to bolsters to find a comfortable position. During pregnancy, most women find a side-lying position comfortable:

       SIDE-LYING: The most comfortable position for most women is similar to the Recovery Position used in First Aid. Lying on your side, bend your knees and place a pillow between your legs at the knees. Also place a small pillow between your wrists, especially if you have had any swelling or other symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Women are usually advised not to lie on their backs (supine) from Trimester 2 due to the risk of Supine Hypotensive Syndrome when the blood pressure drops rapidly and the woman experiences light headedness, nausea and may pass out briefly. However, many women do find a semi-reclining position comfortable in to Trimester 3:

        SEMI-RECLINING: This position can be achieved sitting on the floor with a support behind the back and under the knees. It is also used by health practitioners on a reclining examination or massage couch. Always ensure the lower back is supported, a pillow is ideal, and that the legs are bent and supported under the knees by a pillow or bolster. This is a great position for self-massage or massage from the birth partner.

For a personalised consultation – I offer 90 minute Pregnancy Massage sessions in Glasgow on Tuesday and Saturday mornings, costing £50. The sessions include a massage tailored to you and your stage of pregnancy, along with advice on sleep positions, exercises and relevant herbal remedies. Email whitecat-herbal@hotmail.co.uk for further information and to check availability.


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