How Do I Treat Heartburn During Pregnancy
When youre growing a human being, you dont have time for that yucky acid reflux. But your usual go-to methods for treating it may not be safe for your unborn baby.
Instead, here are some of the safest and best ways to get rid of heartburn when youre pregnant:
Immediate Relief For Heartburn During Pregnancy
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Heartburn home remedies
What Are Some Ways To Sleep Better With Heartburn
Creating a sleep hygiene routine that is easy and comfortable to follow may also help improve your sleep. Taking steps such as setting a sleep schedule, creating a quiet, dark bedroom environment, and avoiding eating in the hours before you go to sleep might help. Choose pajamas that are loose around the waist to prevent any restriction around the stomach that could impact your heartburn symptoms.
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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.
Learn What Causes Heartburn For Youthen Avoid It
Fat, caffeine, chocolate, citruspregnant women with heartburn have been advised to avoid all of the above at one time or another. But what causes reflux in one woman might not be a trigger for another.
Rather than tell his pregnant patients to avoid a specific food, Dr. Richter says he advises them to stay away from foods that specifically aggravate them. Everybody’s different, Dr. Richter says. Some pregnant women can chow down on spicy Mexican food or a plate of spaghetti and meatballs with no ill effects.
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What You Should Do When You Get An Episode
The first thing you should do is to go to the hospital. You should call your doctor or midwife to let them know what is going on. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action.
If you are not in a position to go, then you should take some time off work. It is important that you stay hydrated and rest as much as possible. You can also try some home remedies for heartburn in pregnancy such as drinking water, eating small portions of food at a time, and using over-the-counter medication like antacids or acid reflux relief tablets.
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.
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When Should I Talk To My Doctor
If you have heartburn that often wakes you up at night, returns as soon as your antacid wears off, or creates other symptoms , you may have a more serious problem that requires attention.
Your doctor may diagnose you with GERD. This means that your heartburn needs to be controlled to protect you from complications such as damage to the esophagus.
Your doctor may prescribe certain acid-reducing medications to reduce your symptoms. Research indicates that medications called H2 blockers, which help block the production of acid, appear to be safe.
Another type of medication, called proton pump inhibitors, is used for people with heartburn that doesnt respond to other treatments.
If youre concerned about the effects of medications, be sure to talk to your doctor. Doctors can help you control your symptoms while keeping your unborn child safe.
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:
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Natural Remedies For Heartburn During Pregnancy
Is heartburn making your pregnancy even more uncomfortable? Simple lifestyle and diet changes can help you reduce or eliminate your symptoms.
Dr. Justin Hoffman, ND, NMD
Pregnancy heartburn can be extremely painful. Unfortunately, many of the traditional solutions require pills and medications to which you probably dont want to expose your baby. Luckily, natural heartburn remedies can provide heartburn relief.
PLEASE NOTE: If you experience prolonged or severe pregnancy heartburn, see a medical professional immediately.
Sleep Solutions For Pregnancy Heartburn Relief: 8 Useful Tips
March 26, 2020// by Terry Cralle//
Every pregnant woman knows the fiery discomfort that is the burn. Amidst the back pain, the fatigue, and occasional nausea, heartburn is another regular complication that women face during pregnancy.
Major inconveniences that come with heartburn include a burning sensation and general discomfort in the digestive canal, constant sweating, and sleep disruption. Consequently, heartburn can exacerbate fatigue in pregnant women, significantly upsetting their general wellbeing.
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When To Get Medical Help
See your midwife or GP if you need help managing your symptoms or if changes to your diet and lifestyle do not work. They may recommend medicine to ease your symptoms.
You should also see your midwife or GP if you have any of the following:
- difficulty eating or keeping food down
- weight loss
- stomach pains
Your midwife or GP may ask about your symptoms and examine you by pressing gently on different areas of your chest and stomach to see whether it’s painful.
Change Your Eating And Drinking Habits
You may be able to control your indigestion with changes to your eating habits.
It can help to eat small meals often, rather than larger meals 3 times a day, and to not eat within 3 hours of going to bed at night.
Cutting down on drinks containing caffeine, and foods that are rich, spicy or fatty, can also ease symptoms.
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Tips On How To Avoid Heartburn During Pregnancy
Why treat something when you can avoid it altogether? Heres some of the best tips on how to prevent heartburn during pregnancy. Note that, during the latest stages of pregnancy, and depending on your degree of heartburn, this might only help partially. You will still need to try some of the remedies for full relief.
I also found that the list below can be very restrictive. We all love some junk food every now and then, particularly when pregnant. Giving up all of these things, every single day, can be impossible sometimes!
Why Is Stomach Acid Important
- begins the breakdown of fat and protein
- digests food and breaks it down so that when it moves into the small intestine it will stimulate the gallbladder to release bile and the pancreas to release pancreatic enzymes.
- when the bodys pH is too high minerals and vitamins can not/have a hard being absorbed by the body
- Vitamins bound to protein cannot be unbound without being properly broken down by stomach acid.
- without the right amount of stomach acid, malabsorption of food occurs possibly leading to malnutrition .
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Really Bad Heartburn
Sleep On Your Left Side
Sleeping on the left side during pregnancy is recommended for several reasons. First, lying left side keeps the uterus off of other large organs like the liver and improves blood flow to the heart.
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.
Also Check: What Causes Heartburn In The Morning
Causes Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
Heartburn in pregnancy may happen because of changing hormone levels, which can affect the muscles of the digestive tract and how your body handles different foods.
Pregnancy hormones can cause your lower esophageal sphincter to relax, allowing stomach acids to flow back up into your esophagus. Also, as your baby grows, your enlarged uterus can crowd the abdomen, pushing stomach acids upward. Although it’s rare, gallstones can also cause heartburn during pregnancy.
How To Get Rid Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
Pregnancy, as joyful as it is, comes with its own set of not so nice symptoms. Its common for women to experience nausea, back pain, sore legs, and interrupted sleep.
Acidity or heartburn is another really common pregnancy side effect that you may experience. Heartburn during pregnancy is so common that up to 50% of women are likely to experience it at some point in their pregnancies.
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Depending on how bad your symptoms are, you might not be able to get rid of heartburn during pregnancy completely but you can definitely ease the pain.
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Symptoms Of Indigestion And Heartburn
Symptoms of indigestion and heartburn include:
- a burning sensation or pain in the chest
- feeling full, heavy or bloated
- burping or belching
- feeling or being sick
- bringing up food
Symptoms usually come on soon after eating or drinking, but there can sometimes be a delay between eating and developing indigestion.
You can get symptoms at any point during your pregnancy, but they are more common from 27 weeks onwards.
Change Your Sleeping Habits
Put that beautiful rocker/recliner in the nursery to good use and start sleeping on it now! This is another way to fight gravity and ease heartburn symptoms.
A second option is to elevate the head of your bed. You can do this by putting six-inch blocks under the head of your bed.
Alternatively, you can buy a foam bed wedge that you place under your head down to your waist, and sleep on that. That will keep you propped up.
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Antacids You Shouldnt Take
You should always read the labels and ask your doctor before using OTC medicines, herbs, or home remedies while youre pregnant. Even though it may seem like something should be safe, it isnt always. Some conventional treatments for heartburn that you shouldnt use during pregnancy are:
- Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate
- Bicarbonate of soda
- Products containing aspirin
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.
Also Check: Signs And Symptoms Of Heartburn
When Is Medication Necessary For Heartburn During Pregnancy:
The first step is to try over-the-counter medications .
The second step is prescription medications. OTC and prescription medications should be taken under the supervision of your prenatal care provider.
In all instances, it is best to avoid medications during early fetal development . If mediation is needed very early in your pregnancy, discuss which medications to take with your provider based on your medical history.
- Rolaids: calcium carbonate/magnesium hydroxide, considered safe during pregnancy take no more than 12 in a 24 hour period
- Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac: are safe during pregnancy Category B
- Nexium: Works by reducing acid production in the stomach and is a Category B medication.
*Category B Medications: Either animal-reproduction studies have not demonstrated a fetal risk but there are no controlled studies in pregnant women or animal-reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect that was not confirmed in controlled studies in women in the first trimester . Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation Briggs et.al. 4th edition
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Why Exactly Does Pregnancy Cause Heartburn
Heartburn during pregnancy will plague most moms-to-be at some point because progesterone, the hormone that relaxes muscles in pregnancy, also relaxes the stomach valve that keeps acid out of the esophagus. In addition, the growing uterus crowds the stomach, forcing acid into the esophagus.
But there are safe, effective ways to stop it. “Pregnant women really don’t need to suffer with heartburn anymore,” says Adrienne Einarson, RN, assistant director of clinical services at Motherisk, a Toronto-based program that investigates the effects of prenatal exposures on maternal and fetal health. Here, experts recommend 12 different ways to soothe heartburn during pregnancy.
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Ways To Avoid Heartburn During Pregnancy
Prevention is always better than cure, so here are some measures you can take to try and prevent getting heartburn during pregnancy.
While they may not work entirely to prevent heartburn you can be assured the symptoms would be much worse if you didnt do these things.
Eat Smaller Portions
Instead of eating 3 larger meals a day eat much smaller meals more often. This gives your system a chance to digest the food without overloading your stomach.
It also means you are eating more often and have less of a chance to get hungry. If you are hungry you will also be prone to heartburn during pregnancy.
Keep snacks on hand if you are out so you can eat regularly.
Eating slowly not only aids digestion but it gives your stomach a chance to let you know when you are full. This will help you to eat smaller portions which will also help prevent heartburn during pregnancy.
Instead of drinking large amounts of liquids, sip constantly throughout the day and in between meals. Avoid drinking any liquids with a meal.
Sit or Stand after eating
Make sure you sit or stand for a few hours after eating. Avoid bending over and lying down as this will cause the stomach acid to come up your throat,
Dont eat just before sleeping
Wait a few hours after eating before you lie down or sleep. This will give you a chance to digest your food before lying down.
Sleep elevated at night