Eat Smaller Meals Throughout The Day
Gastric emptying is also slowed by the progesterone hormone. Eating a large meal will stay in your stomach longer and allow more time for acid reflux to occur.
Try to eat 5 or 6 small meals a day. Do not overload your stomach when you eat. Avoid greasy, fatty, and fried foods whenever possible.
Due to a simple lack of space in your stomach, as you progress into your third trimester, your stomach will be compressed and not be able to hold as much.
Coupled with the slower emptying time and progesterone effects mentioned above, eating a large meal might not only cause you painful indigestion, it may not even stay down!
This is the same advice we give if you are fighting morning sickness. Eating small meals reduces your chances of reflux and nausea during pregnancy.
Opt For A Glass Of Cold Milk
There is nothing better for heartburn during pregnancy than a glass of milk. This is the number one medication prescribed by doctors because it is effective, healthy, and natural. You will likely already have it in the house.
You dont even need to have cows milk. Even soya and almond milk will do the trick. What you want is something thats cold and neutral against the acidic levels in your stomach and esophagus. While balancing the acid, you will get more calcium in your diet to support your growing baby.
Do watch out for the amount of milk you drink. It does have natural sugars and some fats, so you dont want to replace every drink you have with it. Just one glass should be enough for immediate relief. The downside is that it doesnt offer the long-term effects.
Dont add chocolate to your milk to make it taste better. Chocolate is one of the worst offenders for causing heartburn during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Myth #: Swinging On A Hair
Myth: Hang your wedding ring from a strand of the fathers hair over your belly. If the ring swings around in circles, its a girl. If it sways back and forth, its a boy. An alternate version of this myth recommends dangling a pin over the mothers wrist.
Reality: Theres no real evidence to confirm or deny this one. Mass doesnt see any scientific basis for it, but she says people who follow traditional Chinese medicine might explain the dangling ring as evidence of the bodys natural forces at work.
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Herbal Supplements And Vitamins
Some alternative therapies have been found to safely and effectively alleviate some of the uncomfortable side effects of pregnancy but natural doesnt always mean these herbal supplements are safe. As with any over the counter medication, its important to talk with your doctor about every supplement or vitamin you take while pregnant.
Prenatal vitamins are also an important part of a healthy pregnancy. Multivitamins that include folic acid are safe and important before and during the first few weeks of pregnancy because they can help prevent some birth defects. Your doctor or midwife can advise you about which type of multivitamin with folic acid you should take. Medical providers sometimes prescribe extra folic acid or iron supplements, depending on your specific situation.
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
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What Lifestyle Changes Help Heartburn
The best way to avoid heartburn discomfort is to prevent it. These lifestyle changes can make a big difference:
- Avoid trigger foods: Foods that promote heartburn include fried and fatty foods, caffeine, chocolate, spicy foods and carbonated beverages.
- Lose weight: Being overweight increases the likelihood that youll experience heartburn.
- Avoid eating late at night: Try to eat three hours before going to bed. At a minimum, you should wait at least one hour after eating.
- Elevate the bed: Physically lift the head of your bed about six to eight inches so youre sleeping on an incline. If thats not possible, use a wedge pillow for lift.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco: These substances increase the chances of heartburn attacks.
- Wear looser clothing: Tight clothing can put pressure on your digestive system.
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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.
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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
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Take Serious Action With Ranitidine
Doctors will be able to prescribe Ranitidine if your acid reflux doesnt give up. This is important if you constantly feel like you need the help of the medications mentioned above to help settle the heartburn. It is possible that rather than being acid reflux that it has become GERD, which is far more serious.
Ranitidine reduces the amount of acid that your body is able to make. The downside is that this can lead to some problems with digestion. Therefore, its given when GERD is a problem because this means too much acid is being produced.
Your doctor will want to keep the amount of the heartburn medicine you take to a minimum. It is usually given in tablet form and is a long term option.
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Invest In Your Partner
With a toddler or young child in your home, it might be harder to get away for a special weekend or go out for date nights. But do what you can to invest in your partner and your relationship before the arrival of your second baby.
It doesnt have to be a weekend or a night out if you cant swing it. Special time together at home and intentional conversations will also strengthen your relationship.
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Opt For Tums Over Rolaids
You may be tempted to get Rolaids as thats what youre used to. Cut this out during pregnancy.
The best option is to take TUMS. These digest within the stomach to balance out the stomach acid. However, some pregnant women have said that theyre arent as effective as Pepcid during the third trimester.
TUMS is useful when you need on-the-spot treatment, but Pepcid will last longer. There is also the downside of sugar in TUMS, which should normally be managed but especially during pregnancy to avoid gestational diabetes.
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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.
Manage Acid Production With Prilosec
This one is debated among doctors, but some do prescribe Prilosec for those who are struggling to manage their heartburn. Instead of balancing out and neutralizing the acid, this medication helps to keep the stomach acid to a minimum. It blocks some of the production.
There are downsides to this. Since there will be less stomach acid, it will be harder for the food to break down in the body. This is already difficult when it comes to pregnancy since there is less space in your abdominal cavity.
You dont get the immediate relief from heartburn with this. Its a long-term option, and TUMS is still recommended for the more immediate effects.
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Lower Fetal Heart Rate
Is there any connection between your babys heart rate and the baby gender?
In accordance with the old wives tales, the lower fetal heart rate means you will conceive a baby boy. Meanwhile, you will have a girl if the heart rate beats faster.
A scientific study has shown that the heartbeat of a male fetus is quite fast, but its only by about 3 beats per minute.
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Real Stories: Pregnancy & Heartburn
Throughout pregnancy, there are a lot of changes happening in your body both visible and not visible. What foods you used to love may now make you feel nauseous and what activities you used to find fun may now feel impossible.
Heartburn and indigestion is something many pregnant women suffer with so we asked four women what they found hardest when they were pregnant when it came to unruly stomach acid.
Heartburn and acid reflux is definitely not one of the fun and beautiful things that happen to your body while pregnant. Your uterus gets bigger and squashes your stomach so your stomach acid is actually pushed upwards.
I had heartburn throughout both of my pregnancies and the first time I went to my doctor about it and actually just ended up sleeping upright for the last month and a half of my pregnancy.
If you are pregnant and suffering from heartburn then dont let it get you down and ruin this time for you. There are plenty of ways to help combat it and many over the counter medications are safe for pregnant women.
- Catherine Mum of Two 35
I dont want to tell people what they should and shouldnt eat when they are pregnant and suffering from heartburn or indigestion but what helped for me was avoiding the following:
- Tea & Coffee
- Tomatoes & Mustard
- Citrus Fruits & Drinks
- Patricia Mum of Two 33
Consider over-the-counter medication
* This article is intended for educational purposes. All information presented is not intended to diagnose or prescribe.
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Safe Medications During Pregnancy
Theres no doubt that along with the joys of pregnancy, women can and do experience uncomfortable side effects. If youre feeling under the weather, you may be wondering if over-the-counter remedies are safe for you and your baby. In most cases, its best to avoid OTC medications particularly in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. While some medications are safe to use in limited quantities, other medicines are known to increase the chance of birth defects or other problems.
If you have questions or are considering a medication thats not listed below, please reach out to your doctor for additional safety information. You should also call your doctor if you have a fever 100.4 F or greater, or if symptoms persist or worsen. The obstetrics specialists at Northeast Georgia Physicians Group are here to help you weigh the risks and benefits of prescription and over-the-counter medications that are safe to take during pregnancy.
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.
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Be Careful What You Drink
Alcohol, coffee and whole milk can all lead to heartburn, as can peppermint tea. Sodas and carbonated drinks may relax the LES and make your stomach acid more acidic, increasing your risk of heartburn. Highly acidic citrus juices such as orange and grapefruit can also cause acid reflux and heartburn in some people.xiii
How To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Unfortunately, no matter what you do, youll probably still feel the burn sometimes. Talk to your OB about what medications you can safely take for relief .
You can reduce the risk and severity of heartburn by avoiding triggers like chocolate, coffee, tea, citrus, tomato sauces, spicy stuff and fried foods. It also helps to sleep with your head slightly elevated and to consume minimal fluids with mealsjust be sure to drink plenty of water an hour before and an hour after meals so you dont get dehydrated.
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Sour Or Metallic Taste
Forum mum sealeyB says she had a really metallic taste in her mouth very soon after ovulation and it didnt go for 2 weeks. And shes definitely not alone in experiencing this early pregnancy symptom.
Experiencing strange tastes, known as dysgeusia, is one of the lesser-known but actually quite common early pregnancy signs, says Dr. Amin Gorgy. And, once again, pregnancy hormones are the culprit.
The metallic taste symptom can vary in its intensity but its definitely sour. Its as if I have sucked 2p pieces! says forum mum-to-be Deli3.
Try Out Tagamet For Longer Term Relief
Another option for longer term relief is a medication called Tagamet. This works in the same way as Zantac 75 and Pepcid, by blocking some acid production but mostly neutralizing the acid that is in the stomach. It is a longer term relief than the likes of TUMS and Maalox.
The benefit is that Tagamet as a category B rating. This is important for doctors as it means that it hasnt shown any signs of causing an unborn baby problems. It is more favorable than Prilosec, which has a category C rating.
How Can You Ease Your Symptoms
Although it is usually harmless to you and your baby, heartburn can be painful and uncomfortable for you.1 There are two simple things worth trying straight away:4
- Adopting a healthy diet rich, fatty or spicy foods can trigger heartburn, as can eating large meals. Instead avoid eating foods that can trigger your heartburn, switch to eating smaller meals several times a day and dont eat in the 34 hours before you go to bed
- Sitting and sleeping in a more upright position putting a wooden block under the head of your bed to raise it up can help if you get heartburn at night.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about Gaviscon. Many Gaviscon products are suitable for use during pregnancy to give you effective relief of heartburn and indigestion symptoms.
Urge To Sleep Differently
Its like our bodies know to sleep differently with a little one now growing! Women also said that all of a sudden, with no known reason they wanted to sleep a completely different way than normal!
We all know we have an exact way we like to sleep for me it was on my stomach with my arms tucked under, so pregnancy kind of kicked that to the curb! To all of a sudden have an urge to sleep different, whether its all of a sudden on your back, side or tummy when that is NOT the norm, could be a super early pregnancy sign!
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What Is The First Trimester Of Pregnancy
The first trimester is the earliest phase of pregnancy. It starts on the first day of your last period before youre even actually pregnant and lasts until the end of the 13th week. Its a time of great anticipation and of rapid changes for both you and your baby. Knowing what to expect will help you get ready for the months ahead.