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Question: “How can I naturally ease heartburn during pregnancy?”

Answer: As a pediatrician, I talk with a lot of pregnant moms. Many suffer from heartburn and, with my interest in natural remedies, ask me about safe and effective alternatives to over-the-counter or prescription drugs. In these cases, I turn to my dear colleague Aviva Romm, M.D., a doctor, herbalist, and midwife at The Ultra Wellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts, who is a knowledgeable authority on integrative women’s health.

Her advice? Try sucking on slippery elm lozenges—especially before bedtime—and repeat as needed. Slippery elm is beneficial because it soothes inflammation and helps reduce stomach acid. (One to try: Thayer’s Original Slippery Elm lozenges, $12.50 for 150 lozenges, Romm also recommends avoiding tomatoes and spicy foods at dinnertime, leaving at least three hours between your last meal and bedtime, and sleeping propped up—at least at a 45-degree angle.

Lawrence D. Rosen, M.D., is the founder of the Whole Child Center in Oradell, New Jersey, one of the first green, integrative primary care practices in the U.S.

Have a question for Dr. Rosen? 
E-mail him at


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