Digestive Issues During Pregnancy

Each pregnancy seems to bring about its own cluster of health challenges. I say challenges, because I have found them to be just that. A difficult time that forces me to do more research, try different ways to heal, pray for answers, and focus on the positives instead of “complaining” to myself and God. This being my 8th pregnancy, I have dealt with all kinds of discomforts – starting with my low thyroid to poor circulation, to pre-diabetic conditions, gallstones to digestive problems. I have with God’s help and grace healed most of the conditions I have faced – through His provisions in nature only. I do have weakened areas that I still have to stay on top of through supplementation (like my thyroid – I take TW from Pure Herbs, an herbal sea vegetable tincture). One day, if God permits, when I am not nursing or pregnant, I plan to do a juice fast and help speed the healing on any other weakened areas. But all in God’s time. Each precious life is well worth the short pains and challenges I have overcome.

With every new adventure, God gives new perspective, and a compassion and empathy for others in similar conditions that I would not have had prior. I do believe that every experience God permits our way is not only for our benefit and betterment, but then to use to help those around us. In this spirit, I would like to share what has worked for me and the symptoms and causes for some digestive issues experienced this pregnancy.

At the beginning of the pregnancy, I attended a WAPF conference in Georgia, where I was first introduced to the Leaky Gut Syndrome. I listened intently to the talk given about gluten, celiac, and this Leaky Gut issue. It impacted me so greatly, and I felt so impressed that this was a major cause of many of our family’s digestive sensitivities and allergies, that I put together a workshop and formed a juice fast for our natural health group. (For more information, please check out the link for the notes.)

I put myself on the GAPS diet for about 2 months, while I also took LOTS of probiotics, food enzymes, and fermented cod liver oil/butter oil. We also juiced several times a day, and had soup as much as possible, from homemade stock. We also prayed and worked on releasing toxic gluten from our systems.

This made a huge difference in my own health and for those in my home; but also for the ones who went on the juice fast in our health group. They all experienced healing and cleansing; feeling great at its completion and looking forward to doing another one.

After experiencing this, God sent me through another trial of indigestion. I couldn’t figure out why I was experiencing such terrible cramping, gassiness, and pains in my stomach area each day in the early evening. After some muscle testing, we found I had h. pylori in the stomach that had done some damage. Getting rid of that with colloidal silver, I now was dealing with low hydrochloric acid (HCL).

HCL is very important to digestion. Without proper levels you can’t absorb minerals and other vital nutrients from the foods that you eat. And even a couple days of little mineral absorption wreaks havoc on all the body systems. For me this showed up in my thyroid weakening again such that I had to triple the amount of supplementation for it. I also started gaining almost a pound a day while we were trying to figure out what was going on! Any extra weight put on during pregnancy just makes it that much more uncomfortable and difficult to get around. I definitely wanted to resolve this!

I had already incorporated taking probiotics each day. This is very helpful in encouraging good stomach digestion. I also started taking a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar in the morning and in the evening. I got some HCL supplements from Nature’s Sunshine (called PDA). I continued taking my food enzymes when needed. I even bought some Swedish bitters to help out. I found a dry mix of the herbs online, and am making my own, which should be ready next week. The herb safflower also helps aid in digestion and the production of HCL. So, I have taken this in capsule form (through Nature’s Sunshine). These all will aid in stomach acid production and healing the stomach lining to produce its own proper amount.

So while I am not out of the woods yet, these steps are greatly helping me to improve and heal the low stomach acid issue. Many pregnant women experience heartburn or low stomach acid. The misinformation that is out there says that it is caused by too much stomach acid, and the remedy is antacids. This only makes the problem worse in the long run. Antacids hinder the stomach lining from producing HCL, which of course will only make the condition worse. The problem is that the pressure from the baby, a pinched nerve, a misalignment in the spinal area, or even the bacteria h. pylori (among other causes like taking birth control pills, antacids, or antibiotics) can cause low stomach acid. It takes prayer and patience to find the root cause, fix it, and then begin healing and repairing; all the meanwhile supplementing until the production is back to normal.

I will continue to post any other helpful methods I experience along my road to maintaining a healthy pregnancy. God has been good! This will be my 4th home birth. I love that God introduced me to natural childbirth through a good friend. It has made all the difference in experiencing the miracle of birth. Children truly are a blessing. I accept God’s timing and planning for our family and its members; knowing that motherhood is the most amazing calling, that all life can only exist from God, Who knows us before we are even conceived. Praying God’s blessing to you and yours.

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