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How To Help Heartburn During Pregnancy

Other Causes Of Heartburn During Pregnancy:

Natural Heartburn Prevention During Pregnancy
  • Fatty foods, due to increased acid production
  • Spicy foods
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • H. Pylori is a bacteria that has been associated with stomach ulcers. This is mentioned here more for information purposes for individuals who have had stomach ulcers associated acid reflux. This is not a routine test done for heartburn, though it may be of interest to individuals who have had chronic stomach pain/ulcers.

Since the hormonal and anatomic causes of heartburn during pregnancy cannot be avoided, the management of heartburn during pregnancy is by practicing prevention.

Reducting esophageal sphincter relaxation and decreasing intrabdominal pressure.

  • Reducing the relaxation of the esophageal sphincter can be accomplished by avoiding foods that are known to relax the sphincter:
    • Peppermint

    2. Decreasing intrabdominal pressure during pregnancy is easier said than done. Here are some suggestions:

    • Dont lie flat during pregnancy, especially after eating.
    • Avoid lifting heavy objects or any activity that will strain your abdominal muscles. This increases the pressure in your abdomen and will cause gastric contents to reflux up into your esophagus.

    Opt For Natural Remedies To Avoid Heartburn During Pregnancy

    As youve seen, there are natural remedies to combat the discomfort caused by heartburn during pregnancy.

    If youre unable to find relief, its best to consult your obstetrician to evaluate the need to incorporate any medication.

    Either way, always keep in mind that establishing healthy lifestyle habits is positive in all stages of life. Not only should you eat well, but also exercise frequently and get a good nights sleep.

    Treatment For Heartburn And Acid Indigestion During Early Pregnancy

    Before jumping into the possible treatment options for pesky heartburn, confirm you are indeed pregnant with your trusted health care provider. They can help you better understand how to approach your symptoms and decide next steps.

    If you are indeed pregnant and experiencing heartburn, we recommend taking the following measures to keep your heartburn symptoms at bay.3

    • Avoid foods that flare up your symptoms. These might include spicy foods, fried foods or meals, caffeine such as coffee or soda. Create a journal of foods that youve noticed might cause upset stomach.
    • Stay away from large meals just before bedtime. This can trigger acid reflux due to your sleeping position.
    • Sleep with a pillow wedge that raises your head to deter acid reflux.
    • Consult with your doctor to determine whether an antacid, like TUMS, would be right for you.

    While its no fun to experience heartburn and acid indigestion, talk to your care provider about the many tools and resources to help you manage. Whether together you decide you should use TUMS to help manage your symptoms or find comfort in pairing antacids with other preventative measures, you have options.

    Read Also: Foods That Cause Heartburn And Gas

    Pregnant Women And Heartburn

    Pregnant women are more likely to get heartburn for a number of reasons.

    First, during pregnancy, the hormone progesterone is secreted in higher amounts to support the pregnancy. Progesterone causes the valve that separates the food pipe from the stomach to relax, causing heartburn.

    In addition, the growing uterus starts to put pressure on the stomach and other internal organs in later pregnancy. That pressure can also push food and stomach acid back into the food pipe.

    Indigestion and heartburn are more likely in women who had heartburn before pregnancy and in those who have been pregnant before.

    Preventing heartburn is the best way to manage it. Certain foods or beverages tend to trigger the symptoms. Avoiding those foods can help to prevent the discomfort associated with heartburn. Foods that tend to trigger heartburn include:

    • Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, and pineapple
    • Caffeine
    • Tomatoes
    • Chocolate

    As well as avoiding these foods, it can be helpful to eat smaller meals more often. Instead of three big meals per day, five or six smaller meals may be better.

    Staying upright for at least 20 to 30 minutes after eating can prevent the stomach contents from backing up into the food pipe.

    At night, it is better not to eat within 3 hours of going to bed. Propping up the head of the bed or using extra pillows to keep the head elevated can help prevent heartburn that occurs at night.

    Anyone who finds it difficult to quit should speak with a doctor.

    Drink Milk Or Eat Yogurt

    How to get rid of heartburn when pregnant naturally ...

    A serving of yogurt or a glass of milk can both relieve stomach acid. Keep in mind that cows milk may offer immediate relief. However, some say that, over time, stomach acidity can get worse with dairy.

    Therefore, try drinking goats milk or a plant-based milk option such as almond milk or rice milk. Heating milk and adding a bit of honey can calm burning in the chest as well.

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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!

    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.

    Also Check: How Can I Relieve Heartburn

    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:

    How Can I Prevent Heartburn During Pregnancy

    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:

    Recommended Reading: Foods To Eat To Avoid Heartburn

    Slippery Elm Bark And Marshmallow Root

    Some mamas find relief from mucilaginous herbs like slippery elm bark and marshmallow root. Due to their gummy consistency, they coat the intestines and soothe digestion. Be sure to use under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner and away from food and supplementsthey can interfere with nutrient absorption.

    Pregnancy Itself Ups Your Risk Of Heartburn

    Normally, there are certain factors like your weight, whether you smoke, and your genes that can increase your likelihood of heartburn. But when you’re pregnant, it’s the pregnancy itself that makes you more susceptible.

    “There are two main factors,” says Renee Wellenstein, DO, who is a double board-certified OB-GYN. One that’s hormonal and one that’s physical.

    Heartburn is caused by acid reflux, when food and digestive fluids, which contain acids, back up in your esophagus and create that uncomfortable burn. That backup can happen when you’re pregnant because you have higher-than-usual progesterone levels, which can one slow digestion and two relax the muscle, called the esophageal sphincter, that separates your esophagus and stomach.

    Combined, these two factors create the perfect storm for heartburn because the slow digestion can lead to more backup in your esophagus and the relaxed muscle makes it easier for acid to creep through.

    “The other factor is the growing uterus that physically pushes up on the stomach as it grows,” says Wellenstein.

    As a result, heartburn does tend to get worse throughout pregnancy. Fortunately, all those changes to your body that cause heartburn during pregnancy quickly disappear after you give birth. So, at least that’s something you can look forward to leaving behind at the hospital when you bring your newborn home.

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    Foods That Help With Heartburn During Pregnancy

    There are certain foods that double as natural remedies for heartburn during pregnancy. Some of these home remedies for heartburn during pregnancy may work well for certain women but not for others. Find out what works best for you among these foods that help with heartburn during pregnancy.

    • It is recommended to eat multiple small low-acid meals per day, and to avoid lying down during an hour of eating.
    • Melons and bananas are good as they have low acid content.
    • Fermented foods.

    Foods that contain probiotics, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and tempeh, are incredibly beneficial for digestion. They are full of enzymes and they help to promote the secretion of digestive juices. This keeps things running smoothly and prevents problems like indigestion and heartburn.

    • Green vegetables such as broccoli, beans.
    • Bread, especially whole grain.

    Was It Something I Ate

    10 Natural Cures For Heartburn In Pregnant Women

    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.

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    Why It Heartburn Happens

    Heartburn is common in pregnancy due to the hormonal changes that happen during this period, as well as being caused by the baby’s development, which can cause stomach compression, which can make the contents of the stomach to go back up the esophagus towards the mouth, leading to heartburn symptoms.

    In addition, heartburn during pregnancy can also be caused by your diet. Thus, it is recommend to avoid eating fatty foods, foods with caffeine, and avoid taking in liquids during meals. In some cases, the doctor may also recommend some type of medication, such as Dimethicone to help with digestion.

    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.

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    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.

    References

    How To Avoid Heartburn During Pregnancy

    Pregnancy Tips : How to Avoid Heartburn While Pregnant

    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, it’s back. And you’re 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.

    Recommended Reading: What Can I Drink To Help Heartburn

    Best Cures For Heartburn During Pregnancy

    What can you do about this common pregnancy side effect.

    When you’re pregnant, your body undergoes lots of changes to grow a healthy baby. One of the unfortunate side effects can be heartburn. If you know what might be causing your heartburn and ways you can help stop it, you may find some relief.

    Heartburn actually has nothing to do with your heart, but is a burning pain in the chest. It happens when the acid from your stomach backs up into your esophagus-the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. Heartburn can affect anyone, but heartburn during pregnancy is especially common. “Eighty percent of women will experience heartburn at some point in their pregnancy,” says Erin Bassett-Novoa, M.D., a family doctor in Lawrence, Mass., who provides prenatal and obstetric care. Heartburn happens during pregnancy because of the increasing size of the uterus and a surge in hormones, including progesterone. “The uterus pushes up, increasing pressure on the stomach,” says Bassett-Novoa. The bigger Baby gets, the more pressure is exerted on the stomach, which is why most women experience the worst heartburn in the second and third trimesters. In one study of more than 600 pregnant women, 72 percent experienced heartburn in the third trimester.

    Acidic foods

    Heartburn is caused by acid going from the stomach back into the esophagus, so eating acidic foods only exacerbates the problem. Limit canned tomatoes and tomato sauces, vinegar, acidic dressings and citrus fruits.

    Is Heartburn An Early Pregnancy Sign

    There are so many noticeable changes going on in your body when youre pregnant. But there are also subtle symptoms of pregnancy you may have before you know you’re pregnant. You might be wondering, is heartburn an early pregnancy sign?

    Lets take a look at heartburn and how it might relate to pregnancy symptoms, as well as how to manage some discomfort you might be experiencing.

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    Heartburn Medication To Avoid During Pregnancy

    Talk to your doctor before taking any antacids. Some contain ingredients that may harm you or your baby. Be sure to not to take these medications:

    Ranitidine. In 2020, the FDA stopped sales of an H2 blocker called ranitidine because it was contaminated with a cancer-causing agent. If you take OTC ranitidine, stop your use. If you have a prescription for ranitidine, talk to your doctor about other options before you stop your medication.

    Wear Loose Fitting Clothes

    7 Natural Ways to Relieve Heartburn During Pregnancy

    Have you been putting off buying maternity clothes?

    Are you still squeezing yourself into your pre-pregnancy clothes?

    Mama, it might be time to think again!

    This dietician says avoiding those tight fitting clothes can help relieve heartburn.

    So if youre looking for some comfortable tops, check out these fun maternity shirts.

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    When Will It End

    Heartburn symptoms are usually mild and manageable. Tell your healthcare provider if your heartburn is severe, if you spit up blood, or have dark-colored bowel movements. This is a sign of blood in your digestive tract. Fortunately, heartburn usually ends with the birth of your baby and your body goes back to its nonpregnant state.

    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.

    Recommended Reading: Home Remedy To Stop Heartburn Immediately

    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.

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