When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider About Heartburn During Pregnancy
If heartburn isnt going away, talk to your provider. They can prescribe medications that are safe to take while pregnant.
You should also call your provider if you:
- Have heartburn that wakes you up at night.
- Have trouble swallowing.
- Have black poop.
- Are losing weight.
Heartburn can have similar symptoms to a heart attack. If youve never had heartburn before and youre having chest pains, call your provider or head to the nearest ER.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Heartburn during pregnancy is a common pregnancy symptom, especially in the third trimester. You can prevent or get relief from heartburn during pregnancy by making a few changes to your diet, like eating more frequent but smaller meals and avoiding spicy or fried foods. Some yogurt or milk may also help relieve symptoms. Before you take antacids, be sure to check with your provider for the safest option to take during pregnancy.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/29/2021.
Foods That Help Heartburn
If you want to know how to get rid of heartburn during pregnancy fast, one of the best ways is to look at what youre eating.
A good rule of thumb is to stick to whole foods, including plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Try to avoid processed foods and cook at home so you can control the ingredients.
Heres a list of foods that help heartburn.
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Causes Of Indigestion In Pregnancy
Symptoms of indigestion come when the acid in your stomach irritates your stomach lining or your gullet. This causes pain and a burning feeling.
When youre pregnant, youre more likely to have indigestion because of:
- hormonal changes
- the growing baby pressing on your stomach
- the muscles between your stomach and gullet relaxing, allowing stomach acid to come back up
You may be more likely to get indigestion in pregnancy if:
- you had indigestion before you were pregnant
- youve been pregnant before
- youre in the later stages of pregnancy
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That Uncomfortable Burning Sensation Can Be A Constant Companion For Women Who Are Expecting Learn About Heartburn Triggers And The Best Strategies For Quick Relief
Pregnancy is an exciting time for expecting mothers. Yet each trimester brings a multitude of challenges due to the demands of a growing baby, including fatigue and morning sickness.1 While mood swings and food cravings are common pregnancy topics, less is said about the toll it takes on basic bodily functionsincluding how the digestive system processes food when theres a baby on board.1
The reality is that many pregnant women experience heartburn, an uncomfortable, burning sensation in the chest that results from acid backing up in the esophagus.2 Heartburn can be very uncomfortable and getting quick relief is important to avoid further distress. Heres what you should know about the condition and its solutions.
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.
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Symptoms Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
Symptoms of heartburn should never be ignored during pregnancy. These symptoms indicate that a part of your body is not working properly internally. We will now point out the symptoms of this problem:
1. Sore throat and sore throat
2. Difficulty swallowing
5. Sudden pain in the back or shoulders
6. Feeling dizzy or light-headed
7. Chest pain
8. Sweating too much
Otc Heartburn Medications For Pregnancy Heartburn Relief:
Antacids for Pregnancy Heartburn Relief:
Certain antacids may be ok to take when pregnant. Those containing calcium or magnesium are typically considered safe. Those containing aluminum, aspirin, and bismuth subsalicylate should be avoided. Aluminum can cause constipation and toxicity in large dosages. Baking soda should be avoided due to its high sodium content. And the use of bismuth subsalicylate can result in absorption of salicylate which can cause an increase in fetal cardiac malformation.3 Antacids containing calcium or magnesium include:
- Milk of Magnesia
H2 Blockers for Pregnancy Heartburn Relief:
Do not use H2 blockers without a doctors advice if you are pregnant.
If antacids arent working, the next level of over the counter acid control is an H2 blocker like Axid, Pepcid, Tagamet, and Zantac. The FDA has assigned H2 blockers to the pregnancy category B. Animal testing has shown no evidence of impaired fertility or harm to the fetus, but no human studies have not been done. The benefit of taking these drugs during pregnancy should certainly outweigh any risk to you or the baby.4,5
PPIs for Pregnancy Heartburn Relief:
Do not use proton pump inhibitors without a doctors advice if you are pregnant.
Proton pump inhibitors are used to reduce stomach acid when antacids and H2 blockers arent providing the necessary relief. They expose the fetus to some level of risk, though it is considered minimal.5 PPIs include:
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Indigestion And Heartburn In Pregnancy
Indigestion, also called heartburn or acid reflux, is common in pregnancy. It can be caused by hormonal changes and the growing baby pressing against your stomach.
You can help ease indigestion and heartburn by making changes to your diet and lifestyle, and there are medicines that are safe to take in pregnancy.
Avoid Acid Foods / Liquids
Acid foods and liquids also make heartburn worse. Some of the most popular ones that people incorporate in everyday diet are: tomatoes, chocolate, spicy foods , citrus fruits, coffee or carbonated drinks.
I am Italian and dont even get me started on how much I missed my tomatoes! And, as a general rule, I found that avoiding any kind of takeaway always helped.
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How Can Heartburn During Pregnancy Be Prevented
You can take steps to reduce heartburn symptoms without hurting your baby.
- Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones.
- Eat slowly.
- Drink between your meals, but not with meals.
- Avoid fried, spicy or fatty foods.
- Avoid citrus fruits and juices.
- Limit caffeine.
- Dont smoke and avoid alcohol. Besides causing heartburn, smoking and drinking during pregnancy can cause health problems for the baby.
Other tips to avoid heartburn during pregnancy:
- Sit up straight when you eat.
- Dont eat late at night.
- Dont lie down right after eating.
- Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of the bed. Or try placing pillows under your shoulders. Doing so helps prevent stomach acids from rising into your chest.
Foods For Pregnancy Heartburn Relief
It is important to wash fruits and vegetables properly before peeling and/or eating to avoid harmful bacteria and germs. Raw fruits and vegetables can be contaminated with bacteria that can lead to serious illness.
Fruits for Pregnancy Heartburn Relief:
Vegetables for Pregnancy Heartburn Relief:
The alkalinity of many vegetables helps balance stomach acid. If you are a juicer, try making up your own blend that works well for your system. If not, there are many juice blends available at the grocery. The best choice, however, is to learn to eat more vegetables.
- Mixed vegetable juice. Look for a juice or create a blend that had mostly alkaline vegetables.
- Cabbage juice is alkaline and helps neutralize stomach acid. Cabbage juice has many other medicinal benefits and can even heal stomach ulcers.
- Potato juice is alkaline and helps neutralize acid and aids in healing the lining of the esophagus and stomach. When preparing potato juice, avoid green potatoes they contain toxins that are harmful to the fetus.
- Other alkaline vegetables that help neutralize acid are:
Other Foods for Pregnancy Heartburn Relief:
Herbal Teas for Pregnancy Heartburn Relief:
There is very little data on the use of herbs in pregnant women which means the safety of their use in teas is questionable due to the unknown. Herbal teas may contain substances that can cause miscarriage, premature birth, uterine contractions, or harm to the fetus.
Please consult your doctor before using herbal teas.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
The top way to identify heartburn during pregnancy is that burning sensation in your chest, thanks to the acid backup. But Dr. Gray says thats not the only sign of acid reflux.5 You could also experience:
- An acidic taste in your mouth or the back of your throat
- Slight cough or hoarseness due to acid affecting your vocal cords
- Worsening symptoms of burning or pain when lying down or bending over
- Painful or difficulty swallowing
Many pregnant people also report feeling nauseous, Dr. Gray adds, and some may even vomit as a result. Thats why heartburn can sometimes be mistaken for morning sickness, particularly in the first trimester.
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Does Heartburn/acid Reflux Mean A Hairy Baby
Do you have heartburn/acid reflux during pregnancy?
Dont be discouraged because the good news is your baby wont be bald when born. Science has backed up the belief that the more heartburn you have during pregnancy, the more likely your baby will be born with a full head of hair on average.
It seems that hormones responsible for heartburn are the same ones that cause hair to sprout on fetal. Although, surprisingly, that stood true for both of my pregnancies, both of my babies were born with a head full of hair.
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Does Heartburn During Pregnancy Mean My Baby Will Be Born With Hair
Suffering from severe heartburn? You may want to stock up on baby shampoo. Research has backed up the superstition that, on average, the more heartburn you have during pregnancy, the more likely your baby will be born with a full head of hair.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
How Can I Prevent Heartburn During Pregnancy
They say prevention is the best medicine, so knowing common heartburn triggers can help you keep the acid at bay.
Of course, pregnancy itself is a major trigger for heartburn. As your growing uterus puts pressure on your stomach, this pushes stomach acid up your throat.
Those lovely hormones are no help either. They tend to relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus, which makes it easier for acid to make its way upward.
While theres nothing you can do to stop this entirely, there are a few things that can help prevent heartburn from flaring up during pregnancy:
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What Can I Eat That Wont Give Me Heartburn While Pregnant
The good news is you can eat a lot of things that wont cause heartburn symptoms while pregnant. The important question really is, says Dr. Johnson, what should you not eat if you have GERD? There is actually a relatively short list of foods to avoid, including alcohol, chocolate, citrus juices, tomato-based products, peppermint, coffee, and fatty foods.
Help Bad Acid Reflux At 38 Weeks Of Pregnancy: Here Is How To Get Relief
Do you have bad acid reflux at 38 weeks of pregnancy? Your Growing uterus is pushing up on your stomach. Here are some remedies that you can try to relieve pain until the baby is ready to come out.
At 38 weeks of pregnancy, the baby is almost ready to enter the world. You might have already checked off things to doin the third trimester and packed your hospital bag. Yet, the slightest change in your body might make you think that labor is about to begin.
But not just yet. You still have to go through the not-so-happy part of being pregnant: Heartburn or Acid reflux.
Heartburn or acid reflux occurs in one-quarter to one-half of pregnant women. It is a very common pregnancy symptom and can occur throughout the pregnancy, starting in the first trimester and getting worst in the third trimester.
If you are experiencing sudden bad acid reflux at 38 weeks, you are not alone. Many pregnant women experience severe acid reflux or heartburn around 36 to 38 weeks of pregnancy.
At 38 weeks of pregnancy, bad acid reflux is mainly due to your growing uterus pushing up on your stomach, causing stomach acid to enter the esophagus. Certain lifestyle changes and home remedies can temporarily relieve acid reflux symptoms at 38 weeks of pregnancy.
This article talks about what causes Bad acid reflux at 38 weeks of pregnancy and what you can do to relieve the pain until you go into labor.
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Whats Different About Pregnancy Heartburn
Most women suffer from heartburn during pregnancy due to hormonal and physical changes, particularly during their second and third trimester. This is due to both the physical changes and the production of progesterone.
The hormone progesterone is produced at greater levels during pregnancy. It relaxes muscles including the digestive tract and lower esophageal sphincter . The relaxed muscles in the digestive tract slow digestion causing food to remain in the stomach longer and triggering increased acid production.
The LES is the valve that closes off the stomach to keep stomach acid from refluxing back into the esophagus. When stomach acid leaks into the esophagus, it causes irritation. This irritation is what we know as heartburn.
The physical changes during pregnancy also contribute to heartburn. As the baby grows larger, it takes up more room pushing the stomach upward. The pressure of the baby on the stomach and the modified stomach position leads to the added pressure of stomach contents on the LES.
Both, progesterone and physical changes, lead to acid reflux and heartburn.
Preventing acid reflux instead of treating it once it has occurred is the best option.
How To Cure Pregnancy Heartburn
Everyone gets heartburn, or acid reflux, sometimes, but for pregnant women, heartburn can turn into a daily occurrence. It can strike at any time of the day or night, and it can be very unpleasant.
What are the best ways to cure pregnancy heartburn? Is there anything you can really do about it? Over the counter drugs that act fast in curing heartburn are not the best thing to take on a regular basis during pregnancy, because of their high magnesium content. But the good news is that there are plenty of things that you can do at home to naturally remedy pregnancy heartburn.
Here is a list of some of them.
1) Bicarbonate of soda is such a wonderful substance. Not only can you use it to make the best cookies and cakes, but it can also clean your house, wash your hair and… help you get relief from heartburn! By mixing a teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water and downing it in one go, your heartburn is almost guaranteed to be defeated. Yes, it does taste pretty nasty, but it works. Trust me.
2) Vinegar is another all natural remedy for heartburn. A large tablespoon of natural vinegar, especially apple cider vinegar, cures heartburn for some people. Alternatives to this are pickles which obviously contain large amounts of vinegar. Did you ever wonder why pregnant women are widely rumored to love pickled gherkins? Perhaps it is because they have heartburn-curing properties!
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Natural And Home Remedies For Heartburn During Pregnancy
1. Milk / Dairy
Milk or other forms of dairy help to neutralize the acidity in your stomach. I dont drink cow milk, so I remember I used to eat so much cheese! My wife used to laugh at me eating a slice of cheddar just before going to bed.
Its funny how sometimes our body knows what it needs before we even find out. I remember I was craving so much more cheese than usual even before I read it was good for heartburn.
I didnt know this at the time, but I read that a small glass of almond milk after every meal or just when the heartburn hits also helps.
2. Herbal Teas
Peppermint tea is a bit controversial. Lots of people say it helps, but other find that it just increases their heartburn. I didnt find it really helped me personally.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
This works more as a preventative, so you have to do it every day! You need to mix a teaspoon with some water, juice or tea, and drink it. The downside of this is that it tastes horrible! I could not do it, honestly.
5. Baking Soda
Can Lifestyle Changes Prevent Pregnancy Heartburn
Heres some good news: Although heartburn is one of the biggest complaints during pregnancy, its also one of the easiest to treat for many people, says Dr. Ruiz.
Lifestyle changes can make a big difference. For example, eating smaller and more frequent meals may be enough for relief. This helps the stomach expand less, potentially reducing any problematic pressure against the lower esophageal sphincter. As an added bonus, the approach tends to be better for keeping energy levels consistent, Dr. Ruiz says. If heartburn at night is a problemand even if its notits helpful to avoid eating within two to three hours before bed, he adds.
The kind of advice given to non-pregnant heartburn sufferers about diet applies here, too. That means staying away from highly acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, and onions, as well as spicy choices that may kick off more acid production. Dr. Gray says three options that tend to exacerbate heartburn during pregnancy are chocolate, caffeine, and carbonated beverages.
Another hack: Sleep with your upper body elevated slightly7, so its at least above the height of your stomach. You can prop up the top of your bed, use an adjustable bed frame, or sleep on a wedge pillow. That may be difficult as your pregnancy progresses and you cant lie on your back, but if youre in the first or second trimester, it may be a way to get relief from nighttime heartburn.
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