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How To Relieve Heartburn In Pregnancy

Treatment Of Heartburn During Pregnancy

How to Fix Pregnancy Heartburn

If your heartburn wonât go away, see your doctor. They may prescribe or recommend OTC medications that are safe to take during pregnancy. Heartburn usually disappears following childbirth.

Medications may include:

Over-the-counter antacids such as calcium carbonate or magnesium hydroxide. These are generally safe to use during pregnancy. You may find that liquid heartburn relievers are more effective in treating heartburn, because they coat the esophagus.

H2 blockers. These medications block chemical signals that produce stomach acid. They include cimetidine and famotidine , and theyâre available in over the counter and prescription strengths.

Proton pump inhibitors . Like H2 blockers, these drugs help cut down on stomach acid. PPIs, which include lansoprazole and omeprazole , are available over the counter and by prescription.

If you take iron supplements, talk to your doctor before you take a PPI or H2 blocker. These medications can make the supplements less effective.

Prevention Of Heartburn During Pregnancy

Some tips that may help you cut down on heartburn during your pregnancy include:

  • Eat several small meals each day instead of three large ones.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Avoid fried, spicy, or rich foods or any foods that seem to cause relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter and increase the risk of heartburn.
  • Donât smoke tobacco or drink alcohol, which can make heartburn symptoms worse.
  • Drink less while eating. Drinking large amounts while eating may increase the risk of acid reflux and heartburn.
  • Don’t lie down directly after eating.
  • Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of your bed. Or place pillows under your shoulders to help prevent stomach acids from rising into your esophagus.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing. Tight-fitting clothes can increase the pressure on your stomach and abdomen.
  • Try to avoid constipation.

Why Heartburn During Pregnancy

Heartburn is very common in women during pregnancy: almost half of expecting moms experience it at some stage. It is actually one of the possible very early pregnancy symptoms that women experience.

Related: 45 Strange Early Pregnancy Symptoms

Heartburn is caused by the pregnancy hormones, which make the valve at the entrance of the stomach relax, so that it doesnt close completely as it should. This allows acidic stomach fluids and undigested food to move back up from the stomach into the esophagus. This condition is also known as gastrophageal reflux , or acid reflux.

Heartburn can be especially painful when lying down or after youve just eaten, as its easier for the acid liquids in your stomach to come back up. And it can start anytime in the second or third trimester and, unfortunately, it can get worse during the later stages on pregnancy when the baby presses up on the stomach!

Also Check: I Feel Like I Have Heartburn All The Time

Or Inquire About Proton Pump Inhibitors

If other medications don’t help, there are also proton pump inhibitors , such as Prevacid. These have a more powerful acid-suppressing effect than H2 blockers, and most are available over the counter.

Although PPIs are, in general, safe for pregnant women, animal studies have raised concerns that omeprazole could harm a developing fetus, Dr. Richter says. “My recommendation to patients would be to avoid that one because there are about five or six out there on the market, with the H2 blockers,” he says. “All of them look to be safe during pregnancy.”

Be sure to discuss any medications with your doctor.

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Foods That Help With Heartburn During Pregnancy

How to Treat 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.

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Find Out How To Spot The Early Signs Of Pregnancy

Heartburn during pregnancy is very common, varying in intensity from being only mild to very uncomfortable. Around 30-50 percent of pregnant women will experience pregnancy heartburn, which tends to become worse as the due date becomes closer.

Generally, heartburn features more during the second and third trimesters as the uterus gets larger. Women who are older, whove had a baby before and whove experienced pre-pregnancy heartburn are more at risk of having pregnancy heartburn. Gaining a lot of weight during pregnancy also means it is more likely.

Some women experience just mild discomfort after some meals and others can feel an intense burning sensation in their upper chest.

Reassuringly, pregnancy heartburn can often be managed by a few simple strategies and although it may not go away completely, the symptoms can be reduced.

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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

Also Check: How To Cure Heartburn Without Tums

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.

How To Prevent And Treat Heartburn When Youre Pregnant

How to relieve heartburn while pregnant. I Pregnancy tips.

Are you feeling that burning sensation in your chest, mama? Are you struggling to eat and sleep comfortably? It could be heartburn!

And youre not alone!

About half of all pregnant women experience heartburn also known as acid reflux.

As a mom to twins, I had terrible heartburn. My twins took a lot of space in my uterus and as they grew my daughter inched her way up towards my chest .

Heartburn can be a very early sign of pregnancy and sadly, its a symptom that could stay with you for your whole pregnancy.

So if youre suffering, take a look at these 14 life-saving ways to relieve heartburn during pregnancy.

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Drink Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is so popular right now for treating common ailments, cleaning around the home, even for pets!

And, mama, it might also help relieve your heartburn during pregnancy.

Mama Natural recommends starting with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water. Sip throughout the day.

Apple cider vinegar might just be your new GBB!!

Elevate Your Head While Sleeping

One of the key things to stop acid reflux in your system is to always keep your head up. Also, while sleeping instead of laying your head flat on the bed, keep it an elevated position so that you can prevent acid reflux from happening. I found this pregnancy pillow extremely helpful while bedtime as it would keep my head up, but also provide support for my pregnant tummy and swollen foot.

Recommended Reading: Chest Pain That Feels Like Heartburn

What Treatments Help With Pregnancy Heartburn Relief

Youve cut out chocolate , propped up for sleep, cut out the tomato sauce and peppermint, but the heartburn is still there. So, what now? Whats the best medication to take for heartburn while pregnant?

The next step is to try an over-the-counter antacid like Tums, Maalox, or Gaviscon, says Dr. Ruiz. They work by neutralizing stomach acid8, so even if it does come up, it wont burn. With lifestyle tweaks, an occasional antacid tends to help about 70% of his patients, and its considered a safe, conservative method.

If the issue is still burning strong, thats when you switch over to the next level, he says, which means a low dose of Pepcid, which is part of a class of drugs known as H2 blockers. These work by reducing the amount of stomach acid thats secreted by the glands in the lining of your stomach.9 This is also considered safe to use during pregnancy but its best to try other approaches first if your heartburn is mild, says Dr. Ruiz.

A small percentage of people will still experience problems past this point, and thats when prescription options like proton pump inhibitors might be considered, which block the production of stomach acid, Dr. Gray says. The most common in pregnancy is Protonix, which the Food and Drug Administration has classified10 as a category B drug, meaning its safe to take during pregnancy.

Does Pregnancy Cause Heartburn

Home Remedies for Heartburn

Pregnancy increases your risk of heartburn or acid reflux. During the first trimester, muscles in your esophagus push food more slowly into the stomach and your stomach takes longer to empty.

This gives your body more time to absorb nutrients for the fetus, but it can also result in heartburn.

During the third trimester, the growth of your baby can push your stomach out of its normal position, which can lead to heartburn.

However, each woman is different. Being pregnant doesnt necessarily mean youll have heartburn. It depends on many factors, including your physiology, diet, daily habits, and your pregnancy.

Relieving heartburn during pregnancy typically involves some trial and error. Lifestyle habits that can reduce heartburn are often the safest methods for mother and baby. The following tips may help relieve your heartburn:

Alternative medicine options include acupuncture and relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, or guided imagery. Always check with your doctor before trying new treatments.

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Eat Bananas To Get Rid Of Heartburn

Bananas can be categorized as natural antacids as they lessen the effect of your acid reflux. This is enough a reason to have the tasty banana for getting relief from heartburn. High on potassium which is an alkalizing mineral with a pH of 14, banana helps in moderating the acidity of your stomach by increasing its pH. Higher the pH, lower is the acidity. However, you need to eat a ripe, preferably overripe banana because the bananas that are green or are not overripe contain potassium in the form of potassium nitrate and this can actually make your heartburn more painful. Potassium is not the only reason for bananas being such a good remedy for heartburn. Bananas also have such a chemical that stimulates your stomach lining and thus it produces more mucus to act as a buffer against acid.

Get this:

  • Overripe banana

Do this:

  • This will keep your heartburn away.

Sleep On Your Left Side

Whether it is during pregnancy or any other time, health experts recommend sleeping on your left side.

Lying on your left side at night may decrease acid reflux, as it is more difficult for acid to flow into the esophagus while youre in this position.

In pregnant women, a left-sided sleeping position will also prevent the liver from putting pressure on the uterus and also promote blood flow to the fetus.

Plus, it may help relieve back pain and help you enjoy much-needed sleep.

A 2000 study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology reports that increased esophageal acid exposure can be seen in the right recumbent position relative to the left recumbent position .

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Astonishing Ways To Reduce Heartburn During Pregnancy

Heartburn can occur during pregnancy, starting from the first trimester. Usually, it goes on getting worse with passing phases of pregnancy. Pregnancy heartburn is somewhat more serious because the expectant mother is more careful about various changes occurring in the body during pregnancy.

Other Causes Of Heartburn During Pregnancy:

4 Steps to Relieve Heartburn in 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.

    Also Check: Heartburn With Everything I Eat

    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:

    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.

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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.

    Causes Of Indigestion In Pregnancy

    Heartburn During Pregnancy: Symptoms, Causes &  Remedies

    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 you’re pregnant, you’re 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
    • you’ve been pregnant before
    • you’re in the later stages of pregnancy

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    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.

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