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How To Deal With Heartburn During Pregnancy

How Can I Prevent Heartburn During Pregnancy

4 Steps to Relieve Heartburn in 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:

What Causes Heartburn In Pregnancy

Unfortunately, its extremely common to experience heartburn during pregnancy. And while morning sickness seems to get all the hype, many women find heartburn just as unpleasant a pregnancy symptom. In early pregnancy, heartburn is caused by the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the uterine muscles to fit your growing babyand also relaxes the valve between the esophagus and the stomach. In the final months of pregnancy, baby squashes your digestive organs and causes heartburn. The good news? Heartburn wont affect baby.

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:

  • Oatmeal
  • A teabag of your favorite heartburn-relieving herbal tea
  • Milk.

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.

Also Check: What’s Good For Heartburn And Indigestion

Natural Remedies For Pregnancy Heartburn

Diet and lifestyle modifications are the primarytreatments for GERD during pregnancy. Try the following steps to manage acid reflux during pregnancy:

  • Eat frequent, small meals instead of large meals.
  • Wait three hours after eating before lying down.
  • Limit weight gain to therecommended amount for your pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
  • Elevate the head of your bed about 8 inches. This can be done with a wedge pillow or blocks under the headboard posts.
  • Avoid bending over or stooping as much as possible, especially on a full stomach.
  • Avoid foods that relax the lower esophageal sphincter, such as caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, and fatty foods.
  • Avoid spicy foods and instead eat bland foods, like yogurt, to help with GERD. Just make sure to consume low- or nonfat dairy to avoid triggering symptoms.
  • Try chewing gum. It can stimulate the salivary glands and clear acid buildup in the esophagus.
  • What Medications Are Safe To Take During Pregnancy

    Causes and Treatments of Heartburn During Pregnancy

    Over-the-counter antacids such as Tums, Rolaids, and Maalox may help you cope with occasional heartburn symptoms. Those made of calcium carbonate or magnesium are good options.

    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.

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    How Can Heartburn During Pregnancy Be Prevented

    You can take steps to reduce heartburn symptoms without hurting your baby.

    Dietary changes:

    • 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.

    Heres What Other Mamas Have To Say About Relieving Heartburn During Pregnancy Naturally

    I asked the moms on my Facebook page about their go-to natural remedies for pregnancy heartburn, and here is a sample of their responses.

    • Apple cider vinegar, pickle juice, digestive enzymes! Katie Keepman
    • An apple in the morning and right before bed. Elsa Silva
    • It may sound weird, but I would either drink a little pickle juice, or eat a spoonful of peanut butter and within about 5-10 minutes was gone. Jessica Fields
    • Baking soda in a little bit of water helped! Was it gross? A little, but still more enjoyable than heartburn! Erin M. Strand
    • Maybe not the healthiest, but I always had ginger snaps next to my bed. I ate one or two at night for the heartburn and another one or two in the morning for the nausea. Sarah Gilroy
    • I didnt treat my heartburn with any natural remedies, but did learn that bad heartburn can often present itself as nausea/morning sickness! Women who experiences bad nausea/MS should consider your remedies as well! Renee Jillian
    • So far, wearing hazelwood helps some. Not perfect, but helps a little. Susan Miller
    • I had heard to eat a few green olives. So when a pregnant friend was needing relief, I suggested her to try itand it works!!! Shawna Beaubien
    • Liquid slippery elm works instantly! Ashly Burke-Goike

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    When You Should See A Doctor For Heartburn

    Wellenstein tells Insider that heartburn is “rarely a cause for major concern in pregnancy, especially if a woman didn’t have an issue with it prior to pregnancy.”

    However, if symptoms become more frequent or severe despite lifestyle and dietary attempts, or “if she develops nausea and vomiting due to the severity of the heartburn, she should promptly alert her doctor. And it is a medical emergency if she begins vomiting blood, since this may indicate a more serious condition related to heartburn,” Wellenstein says.

    Was It Something I Ate

    HOW TO STOP, PREVENT AND DEAL with acid reflux during pregnancy ?

    You expected the swollen ankles, the morning sickness, and the burgeoning breasts. But this burning indigestion? Whered that come from?

    As the name implies, heartburn feels like a fiery churning that starts behind your breastbone and travels up your esophagus, a tube connecting your throat to your stomach. These acids can even make it all the way up your throat.

    In addition to feeling a burning sensation which can last several minutes to several hours you may also:

    • feel bloated
    • have a sour taste in your mouth
    • have a sore throat
    • cough frequently

    While the burrito you ate for dinner probably didnt help matters , the burning feeling you have has more to do with hormones than jalapenos.

    45 percent of moms-to-be experience heartburn. And if you had heartburn before pregnancy, youre even more likely to have it during.

    Heartburn can fire up, so to speak, at any point in pregnancy, but its most common during the second and third trimesters. Experts arent exactly sure what causes the smoldering, but they suspect its a three-pronged problem.

    Read Also: Does Nexium Help With Heartburn

    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.

    Medicines For Indigestion And Heartburn

    Medicines for indigestion and heartburn during pregnancy include:

    • antacids to neutralise the acid in your stomach
    • alginates to relieve indigestion caused by acid reflux by stopping the acid in your stomach coming back up your gullet

    You may only need to take antacids and alginates when you start getting symptoms. However, your GP may recommend taking them before symptoms come on for example, before a meal or before bed.

    If you’re taking iron supplements as well as antacids, do not take them at the same time. Antacids can stop iron from being absorbed by your body.

    If antacids and alginates do not improve your symptoms, your GP may prescribe a medicine to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. 2 that are widely used in pregnancy and not known to be harmful to an unborn baby are:

    Also Check: How Do You Get Rid Of Heartburn In Your Throat

    How To Avoid Heartburn During Pregnancy

    Heartburn or indigestion may not be new for you. You may have had it during your first trimester and then it went away. But now, itâs back. And youâre likely wondering why.

    Many pregnant women have heartburn at some point. The hormone progesterone relaxes the ring-like sphincter at the base of your esophagus. This normally closes off entry to the stomach. When it doesnt close, food mixed with digestive enzymes can back up into your esophagus. The result: irritation and a burning sensation in your chest. And in the third trimester, you can also feel full because your growing uterus is putting pressure on your stomach.

    Also Check: What Not To Eat When Having Heartburn

    What Is Heartburn Again

    How to Cope With Heartburn During Pregnancy: 13 Steps

    Despite its name, heartburn has nothing to do with your heart. Instead, the burning sensation is caused by powerful stomach acid that backs up into your esophagus, the tube that connects your throat and stomach, according to the Cleveland Clinic2.

    Typically, when you swallow something, your lower esophageal sphinctera ring of muscles that act as a valve at the end of your esophaguswill relax to give food or liquid a clear path to your stomach. Then, if that valve is working properly, it will tighten back up so the contents of your stomach stay where they should. But if your lower esophageal sphincter is malfunctioning for some reason, those acids can bubble their way back up into your esophagus, causing a burning sensation. This is known as acid reflux, and heartburn is a telltale symptom of the condition.

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    A Sample Diet Plan To Keep Pregnancy Heartburn Away

    This is the good list, for it tells you all about what you can eat.

    • One portion of fibre and iron rich foods include green leafy vegetables, prunes, dates
    • Two portions of protein daily from foods such as pulses, egg or meat
    • Three portions of milk or dairy products daily
    • Four portions of carbohydrates from foods such as cereals, whole-wheat bread or potatoes
    • Five portions of fruits or veggies
    • Healthy fat intake from foods such as avocado, nuts or fish
    • Water intake 6-7 glasses of water daily
    • A big no to caffeine and alcohol intake

    How To Deal With Heartburn In Pregnancy

    What and how you eat can make all the difference with heartburn during pregnancy.

    Try:

    • Eating smaller meals throughout the day
    • Making your main meal at lunchtime, which takes pressure off the digestive tract later in the day when the body is tired or ready for bed
    • Avoiding food a couple hours before bed or a nap
    • Sitting upright after eatinglying down can push stomach contents back up
    • Propping your head up with a couple of pillows while sleeping

    Avoid:

    • Tight fitting clothes. They put even more pressure on your organs.
    • Liquids while you eat. This dilutes your digestive juices, making them less effective.
    • Eating the following aggravating acidic foods:
    • Chocolate
    • Caffeinated and sugar beverages, like tea, coffee, soda, etc.
    • Onions
    • Spicy, fatty, rich, and fried foods
    • Fizzy drinks
    • Large quantities of meat in one sittingthe body works harder if overloaded or too rich
  • Iron supplements, since they can cause heartburn. Check with your doctor to see if changing to a liquid supplement might be an option.
  • Again, adding and subtracting certain foods and behaviors daily will help build a more balanced foundation for your wellness.

    Pregant? Get my FREE week-by-week updates Week by Week Promo

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    Listen To What Your Body Is Telling You

    What you can eat during pregnancy is largely dependent on how certain foods make you feel. In your first trimester, you likely had aversions and foods that induced nausea just by looking at them. Now, certain foods may trigger heartburn. Fat, caffeine, chocolate, and citrus fruits are all common foods that cause heartburn during pregnancy. Know your triggers and stay away from them.

    How To Deal With Pregnancy Heartburn

    Natural Ways to Deal With Heartburn During Pregnancy | Best Treatment For Pregnant Woman

    Pregnancy Health |

    One of the most common pregnancy side effects is heartburn. You may have never before experienced the discomfort of heartburn but now that youre pregnant, its a common, uncomfortable occurrence. Why is that?

    Many women who dont typically suffer from heartburn will often experience it during their pregnancy due to the physical and hormonal changes that happen as a part of pregnancy.

    During pregnancy, progesterone levels are high, and this hormone has a relaxing effect on the sphincter. The sphincter constricts at the bottom of the esophagus to prevent reflux of food and acid from the stomach. This relaxing effect of the sphincter in addition to increased pressure on the stomach as the uterus grows can cause heartburn during pregnancy.

    So, even though its called heartburn, it doesnt involve your heart at all. Heartburn feels like burning or pain in the middle of your chest, and it usually happens soon after eating. Other symptoms include frequently burping, feeling sick, throwing up food, and feeling bloated or full. You may also feel pain when lying down, and your mouth may also have a bitter or acid taste in it.

    Heartburn can happen during any trimester, but it usually gets worse as the uterus grows and places more upward pressure on your stomach and esophagus, especially when youre lying flat. Heartburn is more common in women who have already been pregnant and those who had heartburn before they got pregnant.

  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals
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    Focus On Liquid Food Or Chewing Properly:

    Liquid foods are less likely to trigger discomfort than solids since they pass easier across the stomach. Soups, fruit smoothies, yogurt, milkshakes, protein shakes, and puddings are all healthy choices. Look for liquids that give a lot of protein, such as milk and probiotic drinks, and try to chew the solid foods properly and slowly well, until they are almost liquefied. There is this lore that if you chew your food 32 times, you get better digestion it cannot hurt to try. Keep in mind, though, that drinking significant quantities of fluids be it water or any other drink will make heartburn worse, as drinking can force you to swallow more air. During a meal, if you feel thirsty, take little sips between bites of food.

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    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.

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    What Makes It Worse

    Most spicy, greasy, fatty foods known for causing heartburn are also likely to cause problems for pregnant women. Food doesnt digest as well or move as quickly during pregnancy. So, eating large meals or overeating in general can also increase the risk for heartburn. Eating right before bedtime can cause problems, too. Smoking makes heartburn worse and is another reason to quit, especially while pregnant.

    What Other Pregnant Moms Do For Heartburn

    How to Cope With Heartburn During Pregnancy: 13 Steps

    This will sound odd, but Ive found something that works: Put two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into six ounces of water, and drink it. Its not so bad to drink, and it works! Something about the enzymes in the apple cider kills the acid and the burning. Ive drank it by itself when Ive been in the midst of a reflux episode and also drank it while eating a meal I thought might give me reflux.

    I took Tums for a while, but they stopped working. My doctor told me to get Prilosecsince I started taking that, I havent felt heartburn at allits amazing!

    I avoid heavy, spicy, fatty foods and big meals. I dont eat too much at night either.

    Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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