Natural Heartburn Relief During Pregnancy
If youre pregnant and have told anyone you have heartburn, youve heard the old wives tale that your baby will have a head full of hair. Not the most useful comment when youre chest is on fire due to the joys of pregnancy. A lot of moms-to-be dont want to take medication while pregnant if they can avoid it, so give these tips a try. Of course, this is not medical advice if you are in pain and these natural remedies dont work for you, please consult with your doctor.
What Causes Heartburn In Pregnancy
Heartburn is caused by the valve between your stomach and the tube leading to it relaxing during pregnancy due to hormonal changes . This means stomach acid can pass into the tube and cause the burning feeling.
In later stages of pregnancy, your growing uterus can press on your stomach and make the problem worse.
How Do You Treat Heartburn During Pregnancy
Besides taking Gaviscon, Pepcid, or some other over-the-counter concoction that may or may not be suitable for pregnant women, there are quite a few natural, organic remedies that you can use to quell the burning sensation. Chewing on sugarless gum is a surefire way to increase saliva production, which can neutralize excess acid in your esophagus. Note that sugarless gum does contain artificial sweeteners, but it is usually fine in moderation. Also note that mint can often exacerbate heartburn in some people, so opt for a non-minty flavor if it happens to affect you.
There are several foods you can eat that make things easier on your tummy as well. Almonds also help neutralize stomach acids and are a good source of protein. They also make a great snack. Almond milk will work for this too, as will cow’s milk, warmed up with a spoonful a liquid sweetener. These base liquids will also help neutralize the discordant acids of the stomach. Papaya is high in vitamins A and C, and has been known to calm sour stomachs for years. Try it fresh, dried, or freeze-dried all of them will do the trick.
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How To Stop Heartburn And Indigestion
Try the following as your first port of call.
- Avoid large meals and eat smaller ones more often about every three hours.
- No midnight feasts. Dont eat late at night or three hours before bedtime.
- Avoid triggers like fatty and spicy foods, chocolate, caffeine and fizzy drinks or fruit juice. Keep a food diary to identify triggers
- Raise the head of your bed by 10 cm to 15 cm, or sleep propped up on lots of pillows.
- Avoid medication that may cause or worsen symptoms, if appropriate. Discuss it with your doctor before stopping any prescribed medications
- Stop smoking.
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.
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Ways You Can Relieve Heartburn
- Eat smaller meals your digestion has slowed down so eating smaller meals more frequently may help along with drinking fluids between meals rather than during them.
- Wait at least 3 hours before lying down Giving your body time to digest food before laying down may cut down on your heartburn.
- Avoid acidic foods some food causes heartburn such as tomatoes, chocolate, citrus fruits, spicy food, and even carbonated drinks and caffeine.
- Drink Milk by drinking milk or having some dairy it will help neutralize the acidity in your stomach, I used to drink a gallon of milk a day when I was pregnant to help calm the heartburn.
- Wear comfortable loose clothing if your clothes are to tight it will put pressure on your stomach and make your heartburn worse, especially a tight bra .
- Tea drinking chamomile tea with some honey may help calm your heartburn. My favorite is thisPink Storkheartburn lemon mint tea.
- Sleep on the left side when trying to sleep at night, lay on your left side this helps so that your stomach is lower than your esophagus. For more information on pregnancy sleep, you may want to read this article on how to sleep while pregnant.
- Eat slower allow your body to digest the food by not scarfing it down but rather chewing every bite slowly so your stomach isnt overloaded with food all at once.
- Elevate Body have a pillow or something behind you to elevate your body at night.
- Avoid Fatty Foods these are known to flair up stomach acid and cause heartburn.
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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Avoid Big Meals At Night Or Late Night Eating
Make sure to have your last meal of the day at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. This would reduce stomach acid while allowing the stomach to partially empty the contents before sleeping. Large meals can put pressure on the stomach. Therefore, try to take 5-6 small meals a day rather than three big meals. Also avoid heavy meals post evening.
What Are The Symptoms Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
The top way to identify heartburn during pregnancy is that burning sensation in your chest, thanks to the acid backup. But Dr. Gray says thats not the only sign of acid reflux.5 You could also experience:
- An acidic taste in your mouth or the back of your throat
- Slight cough or hoarseness due to acid affecting your vocal cords
- Worsening symptoms of burning or pain when lying down or bending over
- Painful or difficulty swallowing
Many pregnant people also report feeling nauseous, Dr. Gray adds, and some may even vomit as a result. Thats why heartburn can sometimes be mistaken for morning sickness, particularly in the first trimester.
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What Can You Do About It
The following strategies from Wellenstein, Sridhar and experts at the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology can help:
Other non-medicinal methods which people have tried include:
- Acupuncture: Though the research regarding acupuncture and pregnant women is very limited a small trial published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine in 2009 discovered that adding acupuncture to a treatment plan of antacids and dietary adjustments made the plan more effective in relieving pregnant women’s heartburn symptoms.
- Drink fluids between meals rather than with meals: Adding fluid to a regular meal increases the number of contents in your stomach. Instead, some women have found it more comfortable to slowly drink fluids between meals.
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.
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When To Talk To Your Doctor About Heartburn During Pregnancy
Thankfully, if heartburn wasnt an issue for you before pregnancy, it tends to resolve after childbirth. But even so, that doesnt mean you need to ride it out until delivery.
Even if your heartburn is simply annoying and not intense, dont hesitate to tell your doctor about it, says Dr. Gray. Thats because it can become more serious if its left untreated, so what starts as mildly uncomfortable pain might cause you to eventually avoid eating enough because you dont want to deal with the heartburn, she notes. Thats not great for you or for your baby.
I wish women would stop struggling at home and saying they dont want to bug their doctors or midwives with something minor like this, she says. Were here to help. More than that, its easier to treat heartburn when its not much of a problem than it is when it becomes severe. So bring it up and get some relief.
Why Treat Heartburn And Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
Heartburn and acid reflux are traditionally considered innocuous because they are common in pregnancy and are usually self-limiting. However, a recent study suggests that GERD is associated with an increase in the severity of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy , which can have serious negative effects on a womans quality of life. In a prospective cohort study conducted by the Motherisk Program, 194 pregnant women with NVP and heartburn or acid reflux were compared with 188 pregnant women with NVP who did not have heartburn or acid reflux. The 2 groups were assessed for severity of NVP with the pregnancy-unique quantification of emesis and nausea score, which is a validated scoring tool based on frequency and duration of nausea, vomiting, and retching in the past 24 hours, with a high score indicating more severe NVP. Quality of life was measured by the well-being score, with 0 being the worst and 10 being the best. Forty-eight percent of women in the control group had severe NVP according to the PUQE, compared with 75% in the group with heartburn and acid reflux. The mean well-being score in the control group was significantly higher than that in the group with heartburn and acid reflux .
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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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Heartburn Or Acid Reflux
Heartburn feels like a strong burning sensation in the chest and can be extremely uncomfortable. It is also known as acid reflux and indigestion .
Heartburn can show itself as a discomfort , bloating, wind, burping and nausea. Youll be able to compare notes with a lot of other mum friends as up to eight out of ten pregnant women get heartburn .
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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.
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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How To Get Rid Of Heartburn While Pregnant
Here are some easy tips you can try at home to get rid of heartburn and indigestion:
Well, the nights are difficult for new mums. From the acid flux sensation to the tiredness of the day, nights are no longer rest time.
So, we gathered some changes you could incorporate into your routine.
Right below, we explore how to get rid of acid reflux while pregnant.
First on the list is the best way to get rid of heartburn at night while pregnant.
Heartburn And Indigestion In Pregnancy
Heartburn causes a burning feeling in the chest or throat. Its uncomfortable, but is not usually harmful to pregnant women or their babies.
8 out of 10 pregnant women experience heartburn. You’re most likely to get heartburn in the third trimester of your pregnancy.
The symptoms of heartburn include:
- a burning feeling in your chest or throat
- acid coming up into your mouth
- feeling sick
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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!!
Ways To Avoid Heartburn During Pregnancy
Heartburn is a painful burning sensation experienced in the chest or upper stomach due to the reflux of acid from the stomach to the oesophagus.
All these common phenomena and sometimes a particular disease trigger the relaxation of the lower oesophageal sphincter muscle which opens up the way for acid to flow up.
Though heartburn is a common disorder and can be treated easily by using simple medications and natural therapies, its negligence can lead to a complex and more problematic ailment called Gastro oesophageal reflux disease .
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