What Is Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
People use the terms heartburn and acid reflux to mean the same thing. But they have different definitions:
- Acid reflux refers to the LES not tightening as it should. This allows the stomach acid to travel from your stomach up to your esophagus.
- Heartburn, the feeling of pain or burning in your chest, is a symptom of acid reflux.
Women may have acid reflux during pregnancy and experience heartburn due to changing hormone levels and the baby growing.
What Is Heartburn During Pregnancy
Heartburn is a common issue for pregnant women which involves acidic stomach contents being regurgitated back up the individuals oesophagus, which can cause burning in the throat and chest. Symptoms are often worse immediately after eating or while lying down.
The reasons for the increase in heartburn in pregnancy are complicated and not completely understood, with multiple factors potentially at play:
What Does Gerd Feel Like During Pregnancy
GERD can wear many hats and feel different in each individual, says Dr. Garza. Some may experience an intense burning sensation in the chest and throat, while for others it is a sharp pain just below and slightly to the left of the sternum. Some will have a sour taste or frequent regurgitation or burping. Often, symptoms are worse after meals, and this may make eating challenging, notes Dr. Ross.
Because the symptoms can be wide-ranging and different for each person, it is important to know what symptoms are concerning. Rarely, GERD can cause severe esophageal irritation that leads to pain or difficulty with swallowing, or even bleeding. Passing dark or black stool would be concerning for the development of bleeding and should prompt an immediate discussion with your physician/obstetrician, says Dr. Garza. He also cautions that GERD does not typically cause shortness of breath, pain with breathing, nor chest pain with exertion. Any of these symptoms could be signs of a more worrisome complication of pregnancy, especially the development of a blood clot, and would indicate that medical advice is necessary.
Read Also: I Have Heartburn So Bad
How To Get Rid Of Heartburn Naturally While Pregnant
How to get rid of heartburn with diet?
We already know acid reflux recurs most at night.
The relaxation after a hard day needs anything but the best. But, unfortunately, heartburns occur most when you try to rest at night.
So, the best way to get rid of heartburn when pregnant naturally might include some of these:
The highly rich whole-meal food is laced with zinc, manganese, and magnesium.
Oatmeal is not only easy to prepare but also easy to digest.
Moreover, oatmeal can be made as a part of a meal or dessert.
Regardless, it will boost metabolism whenever you decide to have a bowl. It also supports better intestinal health.
Pregnant women can eat it in smaller portions.
Its one of the most filling foods to get rid of heartburn while pregnant.
So, these were some of the foods that wont cause heartburn during pregnancy and can help avoid terrible acid refluxes.
Clearly, there are easy-to-get solutions with natural as well as medicinal options.
Now, let us look at the causes of heartburn during pregnancy.
Heartburn Symptoms And Pre
If your heartburn symptoms don’t go away with medicine, it’s important to see your doctor as it may be a sign of something more serious, such as pre-eclampsia. A pregnant woman with pre-eclampsia usually has high blood pressure and problems with her kidneys. Pre-eclampsia could also seriously affect a woman’s liver, blood and brain. Any pregnant woman can experience pre-eclampsia â almost 1 in 20 Australian women will develop it.
Because pre-eclampsia is dangerous for both you and your baby, you should let your doctor know if your heartburn medicine is not working. This is especially important if you’re also feeling very unwell or you have:
- sudden swelling of your hands, feet or face
- a headache that doesn’t go away with simple painkillers
- problems with your eyesight such as blurring or seeing flashing lights or dots
- a strong pain below your ribs
Find out more about how pre-eclampsia is treated here.
Also Check: What Are Ways To Get Rid Of Heartburn
What Are The Benefits Of Heartburn Relievers For Pregnant Women
Youre probably wondering why you need to get your hands on the best heartburn relief when you are pregnant. Well, heartburn relievers are perfect for those moments when gas starts to build up in your stomach during pregnancy. As the baby grows inside of you, it is putting pressure on your stomach which can lead to gas build up. This causes the stomach acid to go up your esophagus which is why you end up with the taste of bile at the back of your throat. A heartburn reliever can provide you with these benefits.
What Medications Are Safe To Take During Pregnancy
However, it may be best to avoid magnesium during the last trimester of pregnancy. Magnesium could interfere with contractions during labor.
Most doctors recommend avoiding antacids that contain high levels of sodium. These antacids can lead to a buildup of fluid in the tissues.
You should also avoid any antacids that list aluminum on the label, as in aluminum hydroxide or aluminum carbonate. These antacids can lead to constipation.
Finally, stay away from medications like Alka-Seltzer that may contain aspirin.
Ask your doctor for the best option. If you find yourself downing bottles of antacids, your heartburn may have progressed to gastroesophageal acid reflux disease . In that case, you may need a stronger treatment.
Also Check: Does Breast Cancer Cause Heartburn
Navigate Your Way Around Pregnancy Medications
Its difficult to know what you can and cant take during pregnancy. Not all medications are completely off limits, but there are a few that are questionable. When it comes to antacids and other heartburn relief remedies, you want to watch out for anything that includes aspirin or baking soda. They can be dangerous to your baby.
Natural remedies are by far the best types of medications you can take. They are safe and can be used with each other. If you are still struggling, look for those that give you immediate relief and always follow the directions. However, your doctor will be able to prescribe or recommend longer term options if your heartburn has manifested into GERD due to your pregnancy.
What To Drink For Heartburn During Pregnancy
If youre wondering what to drink when expecting a baby and plagued by indigestion, there are many beverages that you can sip on throughout the day for relief.
- Milk. The alkaline composition of milk including cows milk and nut milks can provide immediate relief from heartburn. Just stay away from milk that is high in fat, as fatty foods can cause even worse heartburn.
- Coconut water. Coconut water is very high in electrolytes which promote pH balance and help to neutralize stomach acid.
- Herbal tea. Ginger, fennel, peppermint, and marshmallow root are all heartburn remedies that can be found in tea form. Sip on herbal tea in between meals to prevent or relieve heartburn.
- Water. Thats right good old water. Sip on it throughout the day to make sure that you stay hydrated so that your digestive system can work as efficiently as possible without any hitches in the form of indigestion.
Avoid beverages that may exacerbate symptoms include caffeinated drinks such as coffee or green, white and black tea, carbonated drinks, and acidic drinks such as orange juice.
Recommended Reading: Is Applesauce Good For Heartburn
What Typically Causes Heartburn For Pregnant Women
As mentioned above, the causes of heartburn are complex and not wholly understood, may be related to the pattern of relaxation on the lower oesophageal sphincter .
There are a number of everyday recommendations typically given to people who experience heartburn and wish to avoid or alleviate symptoms, including:
- Eat smaller meals
- Sleep in a more upright position
- Avoid food 2-3 hours before bed, especially acidic and spicy food
- Drink fluids mostly between meals instead of during the meal
Causes Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
When does heartburn start in pregnancy?
Many starts to feel it at the beginning of the first trimester.
However, some see heartburn as a symptom of pregnancy.
Acid reflux during pregnancy third trimester is also quite a common phenomenon.
Here are the causes of heartburn in pregnancy listed down below:
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Heartburn With Baking Soda
How To Get Rid Of Heartburn During Pregnancy Fast
You never know when or where heartburn may strike. Its a good idea to keep some emergency heartburn-relief remedies in your handbag in case youre caught off guard.
Keep a small stash of the following items on you at all times:
- A teabag of your favorite heartburn-relieving herbal tea
Calcium-containing antacids such as Tums or Rolaids .
During pregnancy, the stomach has prolonged gastric emptying times and the gastroesophageal sphincter has decreased tone. Together, these changes lead to reflux and possibly combine with decreased esophageal tone to cause ptyalism, or spitting, during pregnancy as well as reflux and heartburn.
How Can I Manage Symptoms Of Heartburn
You can carry out a few lifestyle changes as a pregnant woman that may help considerably with your symptoms:
Eat small regular meals. This avoids filling up your already squashed stomach. Take measured bites and drink slowly
Refrain from eating up to three hours before bedtime
Use two pillows to keep your head and shoulders above your chest when lying down to avoid acid going up the oesophagus
Avoid bending or stooping positions
You May Like: What Does It Mean When You Have A Heartburn
How Is A Diagnosis Made
A diagnosis can be made by the patients report of their symptoms and a physical examination to exclude other pathologies.
The doctor may ask several questions regarding the type of the discomfort experienced including the
- Site of the discomfort
- Character e.g. burning, stabbing, shooting
- When you first noticed the symptoms
- How long the symptoms last
- Any factors that make it better or worse
- The presence of any blood in the refluxed material or from your rectum
- Any other symptoms and
- How this affects you.
The last question is an important one, as if the symptoms are mild and do not cause you concern, you may be able to avoid medical treatments.
On a case by case basis, the doctor may listen to your heart and lungs, take your blood pressure and/or feel your abdomen.
Further investigations are not usually required and it is important that investigations involving radiation are NOT performed in pregnant women in order to avoid radiation exposure to the foetus.
If symptoms are persistent, gastrointestinal endoscopy is the investigation of choice.
Pregnancy Heartburn Relief: What You Need To Know To Find Relief Fast
If you are looking for heartburn relief in pregnancy, you are not alone! Many women experience heartburn during pregnancy. In fact, in a review of studies on heartburn during pregnancy, it was found that 39% of women experience heartburn in the first trimester and that number increases to 72% of women by the third trimester!
There is a common legend that if you experience intense heartburn during pregnancy, your baby will be born with a full head of hair.
And while I cant say if the legend is true or not, I can help you address the feeling of a volcano exploding up your esophagus. Here is what you need to know about pregnancy heartburn relief.
You May Like: Can You Get Heartburn From Not Eating
Who Needs Heartburn Relievers
Who needs to get their hands on the best heartburn relief? If you are pregnant and have been suffering from heartburn from time to time, taking a heartburn relief medication can soothe the pain away. This is because the medicine will help prevent the gas from building up in your stomach then cause the acid to come up all the way back to your esophagus. You wont have to worry about that burning sensation slowly moving up your throat because of this medication.
You can also use the best heartburn relief if you are prone to indigestion when eating. There are some individuals who tend to experience indigestion during meal times so taking medications for it can help relieve the build-up of gas and acid in the stomach. It is important that the medication is taken prior to eating so that it can do its work in helping keep the stomach and digestive system working efficiently.
If you have acid reflux, the best heartburn relief can be a huge help in keeping gas, bloat, and acid from forming too much in your stomach to the point that it will go back up your throat. Acid reflux can be painful at times especially after eating or when lying down but with a medication that provides relief, you will be able to go on normally without having to worry about a distended belly because of the gas present and the acid that gradually slides back up the throat.
Final Thoughts On Home Remedies For Heartburn During Pregnancy
With any natural remedy, I want to remind you that you need to check with your doctor before trying these. Everyones body reacts differently to supplements and you may not find relief using these home remedies or they could cause you harm by reacting with a condition you have.
I found relief with a combination of these remedies during my last pregnancy, by waiting a few hours before laying down and then elevating my head and laying on my side I avoided heartburn at night time, drinking milk worked really well along with eating smaller more frequent meals, avoiding the foods that triggered my heartburn and using a little baking soda when the heartburn got bad on occasion.
Try some of these and see if you can combine a few of them to give you relief if you can find ways to keep it from starting you may be able to avoid it most of the time. Talk to your doctor if you cant find a way to overcome your acid reflux and heartburn, she may be able to prescribe something that will work for you or may know of other ways to relieve your heartburn.
Read Also: How To Cure Heartburn No Medicine
Opt For Tums Over Rolaids
You may be tempted to get Rolaids as thats what youre used to. Cut this out during pregnancy.
The best option is to take TUMS. These digest within the stomach to balance out the stomach acid. However, some pregnant women have said that theyre arent as effective as Pepcid during the third trimester.
TUMS is useful when you need on-the-spot treatment, but Pepcid will last longer. There is also the downside of sugar in TUMS, which should normally be managed but especially during pregnancy to avoid gestational diabetes.
Indigestion And Heartburn In Pregnancy
Many women experience indigestion and heartburn while they are pregnant, which can be painful or uncomfortable. There are ways to help avoid or treat indigestion and heartburn, especially if it is mild. Sometimes the feeling of heartburn can be confused with a more serious condition called pre-eclampsia.
Indigestion, also called ‘dyspepsia’, is a feeling of pain or discomfort in the stomach . This mostly occurs after eating or drinking but can happen some time after.
If you have indigestion in the early stage of your pregnancy, this may be caused by changes in your hormone levels. In the second or third trimester, indigestion becomes more common and may be caused by your baby pushing up against your stomach. As many as 8 in 10 women may have indigestion during their pregnancy.
Symptoms of indigestion may include:
- reflux or regurgitation
- feeling heavy, bloated or full
- feeling sick
Heartburn is a burning pain in the throat or chest, behind the breastbone, caused by stomach acid coming up the oesophagus and irritating the lining.
In pregnant women, indigestion and heartburn can be caused by:
- eating a big meal
- drinking fruit juice or caffeinated beverages
- doing physical activity soon after eating
- bending over
- feeling anxious
It’s a good idea to take note of the particular foods, drinks or activities that give you indigestion while you are pregnant.
Read Also: Does Milk Get Rid Of Heartburn
When Can I Expect The Heartburn To End During Pregnancy
Unfortunately, heartburn is a symptom you’re likely to experience throughout your entire pregnancy if you have it at all.
In fact, even if you escaped indigestion early on in your pregnancy, there’s a good chance you’ll have a surge starting around the second or third trimesters, when your uterus takes over your abdominal cavity and forces your stomach upwards.
Fortunately, the burn should clear up as soon as you give birth.
Prevention Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
Some tips that may help you cut down on heartburn during your pregnancy include:
- Eat several small meals each day instead of three large ones.
- Eat slowly.
- Avoid fried, spicy, or rich foods or any foods that seem to cause relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter and increase the risk of heartburn.
- Donât smoke tobacco or drink alcohol, which can make heartburn symptoms worse.
- Drink less while eating. Drinking large amounts while eating may increase the risk of acid reflux and heartburn.
- Don’t lie down directly after eating.
- Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of your bed. Or place pillows under your shoulders to help prevent stomach acids from rising into your esophagus.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing. Tight-fitting clothes can increase the pressure on your stomach and abdomen.
- Try to avoid constipation.
Read Also: I Get Heartburn All The Time