What Medications Can I Take For Heartburn During Pregnancy
Its important to be extremely careful about the medications you take when pregnant.
For heartburn relief, over-the-counter antacids are all considered safe medications to use during pregnancy.
As always, consult with your provider about any medications youre taking even if theyre considered safe.
If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking an over-the-counter medication, call your doctor immediately.
Talk To Your Doctor About Heartburn Medications
This includes over-the-counter ones some are safe to take during pregnancy.
Antacids help neutralize the acid in your stomach and quell that burning sensation. The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health says OTC antacids containing calcium carbonate are safe to use.
If you havent been able to quiet your heartburn with lifestyle changes, your doctor may suggest heartburn drugs like Tagamet and Prilosec, which are generally considered safe during pregnancy. While these drugs are available OTC, you might receive a prescription for a stronger dose if your doctor thinks its warranted.
When youre pregnant, you have to think about the safety of everything you put into and on your body. Some heartburn medications that might be OK for your nonpregnant sister but not for you include:
- Antacids containing sodium bicarbonate, which can increase swelling.
- Antacids containing aspirin, which can be toxic to your baby. Aspirin use during pregnancy has been associated with pregnancy loss, heart defects, and bleeding on the brain in premature infants.
- Antacids containing magnesium trisilicate, which havent been proven safe to use in pregnancy.
Wear Loose Fitting Clothes
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 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
When Can I Expect Heartburn To End
Someday, scientists may very well invent a miracle medication that promises permanent pregnancy heartburn relief. Unfortunately, that hasnt happened yet.
So, if youre wondering how long you can expect to deal with heartburn while youre pregnant, it will probably be throughout your entire pregnancy.
However, just because theres no cure, that doesnt mean you cant find some relief in the meantime.
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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.
Heartburn Acid Reflux And Gerd During Pregnancy
Its called heartburn, although that burning feeling in your chest has nothing to do with the heart. Uncomfortable and frustrating, it bothers many women, particularly during pregnancy.
The first question you may have is how to make it stop. You may also wonder if treatments are safe for your baby. Learn what causes heartburn during pregnancy and what you can do about it.
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Add Fiber To Your Diet
Adding fiber-rich foods is an essential part of treating and avoiding heartburn. The recommended amount of fiber in an adult diet is 25-35 grams per day.
If you are pregnant, you might benefit from adding another 15% per day.
Foods that are rich in fiber include whole grains, popcorn, and raw vegetables. Fiber supplements can also be added to your diet but be sure that they do not contain laxative chemicals.
A regular exercise routine can be very helpful in preventing heartburn after meals.
Activities such as walking, swimming, and cycling can help speed up gastric emptying.
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.
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Can Acid Reflux During Pregnancy Hurt My Unborn Baby
Dr. Johnson assures that simple reflux on its own is not harmful to fetuses. It is only when there is a drastic effect on nutritional input that GERD during pregnancy could become a problem. If symptoms are preventing you from eating the recommended number of calories, it is important to contact your healthcare provider immediately.
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.
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When Should I Call My Doctor
Before taking any medication for heartburn during pregnancy , call your doctor. This is a frequent question during pregnancy.
The office nurse can talk to you about your concerns and what to do next. When you call, there are certain questions you will be asked.
These questions are to try and determine the cause and severity of your symptoms:
Based on this information and how many weeks pregnant, a decision will be made as to what you should do. You may be asked to take an antacid while you are on the phone.
This can help diagnose the problem if your symptoms start to resolve. Based on your medical history, your symptoms, and the severity of your symptoms, you may be asked to go to the office for an evaluation.
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Was It Something I Ate
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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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!
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 Causes Heartburn During Pregnancy
Causes of heartburn during pregnancy include:
- Hormone levels changing: Your hormone levels change during pregnancy, affecting how you tolerate and digest foods. The hormones often slow down your digestive system. Food moves slower, causing bloating and heartburn.
- Esophageal sphincter relaxing: Progesterone, known as the pregnancy hormone, can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax. When it relaxes, stomach acid can move up into the esophagus.
- Uterus enlarging: As your baby grows, your uterus gets bigger. It can crowd your stomach and push stomach acids upward, into your esophagus. Thats why heartburn is more common during the third trimester, the last few months of pregnancy. The baby and uterus are biggest then, crowding your other organs.
Ginger Can Help Heartburn
If your mother gave you flat ginger ale when you had an upset stomach as a kid, it may have seemed like a treat but there was a good reason behind it. Ginger has long been known to help calm stomach troubles, including stomach bloating and acid reflux. Carbonation and added sugar aggravate the stomach though, so youre better off drinking ginger tea.
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Know Your Triggers Every Mom Is Different
And while some foods have all been shown to be heartburn triggers, they might not be triggers for you. So keeping a food diary to try to identify the particular foods that trigger your heartburn is a MUST!!
I would use my bullet journal to do this its saving my mom life when it comes to getting organized!!
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.
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You Can Try Papaya As Well
This little helper has proven itself to be one of the best natural ways to get rid of heartburn while pregnant. The digestive enzymes in this fruit can soothe your insides. Eat it any form diced, dried, juice or tablets, and experience some relief as it will aid digestion and discourage heartburn. However, pay heed to this word of caution. You must be well aware that eating papaya during pregnancy in excess amounts is discouraged, and for good reason. While papaya in small amounts can provide you the relief you need, its safer to depend on fruits like bananas, watermelons, or muskmelons too.
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.
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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.
Why Is Gerd Common During Pregnancy
GERD is practically a hallmark of pregnancy because changing hormone levels can affect the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. The hormone progesterone, producedin large amounts by the placenta, is a smooth muscle relaxant, according toHeather Johnson, MD, an OB-GYN at Reiter, Hill and Johnson of Advantia Health in the Washington, D.C. area. The relaxation of muscles in the digestive system also causes the lower esophageal sphincter muscles to relax. This allows stomach acid to more easily make its way into the esophagus. This, combined with the increasing size of the uterus in the second and third trimesters, pushes the stomach upward and intensifies uncomfortable symptoms. Hence, symptoms tend to worsen as the pregnancy progresses, Dr. Johnson notes.
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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.
Chewing Gum Helps To Alleviate Heartburn
Chewing gum is surprisingly beneficial for combating the ill effects of acid reflux. Researches show that chewing gum for half an hour after every meal reduces the episodes of heartburn. However, you should choose a sugar-free, non-minty gum.
Chewing gum is beneficial to fight off acidity because it increases the production of saliva and bicarbonate in saliva can potentially neutralize excess acid in the esophagus. This will alleviate all the discomforts of heartburn.
Therefore, chewing sugarless gum after meals not only acts as a mouth freshener but it can soothe heartburn. It also helps the chances of cavities as it reduces the acid and sugar level in the mouth.
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How To Treat Pregnancy Heartburn Naturally
While you can’t completely prevent heartburn during pregnancy, there are ways you can minimize how often it happens and reduce the severity when it strikes.
Below are seven tips from Wellenstein, Sridhar, and experts from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.