I'm a chocolate-loving nutritionist, pre & postnatal coach, doula and let's face it- total birth nerd 🤓. I'm here to help you cut through mommy-marketing and pinterest perfection to confidently cultivate a pregnancy and postpartum experience you totally love.
3 Quick Ways to Improve Your Digestion During Pregnancy
Think you’re destined to gastric distress through pregnancy? Think again. Here are 3 quick ways to naturally improve your digestion during pregnancy!
Digestion naturally slows down during pregnancy, and that can also mean increased heartburn, bloating, and general discomfort. No one has time for that!
Eat Distraction Free
Put down the phone, turn off the TV, and tune into your plate. Digestion actually begins in the brain with the sight, smell, or even thought of food. Don’t believe me? Close your eyes and think of your favorite food…
Notice how you start to salivate? THAT is the digestive process starting, right there.
Allowing our bodies to be in rest and digest mode, sets our digestion up for success. So before you sit down to your next meal, take three deep breaths and try eating screen free.
Chew your food.
Sounds obviious, right? But often we inhale our food so quickly, we don’t give those chompers actual time to break down food. Remember that saliva that was triggered before food even entered your mouth? Well saliva has a magical enzyme called salivary amylase. This enzyme works hard to break down carbohydrates, but we have to give it the opportunity to do it’s job. By chewing slowly, and probably longer than you’re used to, your food has the chance to get broken down and mixed with this magical enzyme. This takes a lot of the stress off your gut.
Sometimes a little extra support is necessary. Many foods, especially tropical fruits, contain enzymes that break down different foods. Pineapple for example contains bromelain, a protein digesting enzyme. Avocados contain lipases; fat digesting enzymes. Fermented foods like kraut, apple cider vinegar, or kombucha contain many different enzymes along with beneficial probiotics that may reduce pregnancy related nausea, bloating and gas.
Eating foods containing naturally occurring digestive enzymes may help or you may decide you need a boost from a supplement.
Digestive supplements containing papain, betaine, and bromelain are generally considered safe during pregnancy. If you’re struggling with persistent acid reflux, DGL or deglycyrrhizinated licorice may help. Licorice is generally to be avoided during pregnancy, but this form is considered a safe alternative. Of course, always speak with your medical provider before starting any new supplements.