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What Can I Do To Relieve Heartburn During Pregnancy

What Causes Heartburn During Pregnancy

How can I ease 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.

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.

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.

Read Also: How Does One Get Heartburn

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

Does Pregnancy Cause Heartburn

Natural Relief for Constipation &  Heartburn During Pregnancy

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.

Recommended Reading: Why Does Everything I Eat Give Me Heartburn

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:

When To Get Medical Help

See your midwife or GP if you need help managing your symptoms or if changes to your diet and lifestyle do not work. They may recommend medicine to ease your symptoms.

You should also see your midwife or GP if you have any of the following:

  • difficulty eating or keeping food down
  • weight loss
  • stomach pains

Your midwife or GP may ask about your symptoms and examine you by pressing gently on different areas of your chest and stomach to see whether it’s painful.

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Ways To Relieve Indigestion During Pregnancy

It is a commonly asked question that is it normal to have Indigestion during pregnancy? There are so many changes occur to a woman during pregnancy, than one can fully document. If one can tell how your body changes day by day during pregnancy exactly life would have been easier, right? But that can possibly never happen because no pregnancy is the same.

It is not about two different individuals even the same person is likely to have two different experiences in two different pregnancies! However, there are some common problems that most pregnant women face, and indigestion during pregnancy is one of them You Can Read More Here

Drink Apple Cider Vinegar

What can I do about acid reflux during pregnancy?

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!!

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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.

How To Relieve Heartburn During Pregnancy

Heartburn often appears during the second trimester, and it can get worse as your belly grows. Learn more about what causes heartburn during pregnancy, with five expert tips for relieving the pain.

Like the name implies, heartburn is a burning sensation in your chest but it has nothing to do with your heart. It happens when the lower esophageal sphincter , a muscle responsible for keeping stomach contents in their place, begins to relax or leak. This allows stomach acids to flow upward into the esophagus, explains Suzanne Trupin, M.D., CEO of Women’s Health Practice of Champaign, Ill.

Unfortunately, “most women will experience some acid reflux , especially in the second half of their pregnancy,” says Shari Brasner, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York City. The uncomfortable sensation tends to get worse as your baby grows.

Heartburn usually appears after meals or at bedtime, and it can range from uncomfortable to agonizing. Understanding the causes and prevention strategies can provide relief to expectant moms. Heres what you need to know about heartburn in pregnancy.

Read Also: What To Eat When You Have Severe Heartburn

How Can I Prevent 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:

Natural Remedies For Pregnancy Heartburn

6 Tips To Relieve Acid Reflux While Pregnant â Penlights ...

Diet and lifestyle modifications are the primarytreatments for GERD during pregnancy. Try the following steps to manage acid reflux during pregnancy:

  • Eat frequent, small meals instead of large meals.
  • Wait three hours after eating before lying down.
  • Limit weight gain to therecommended amount for your pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
  • Elevate the head of your bed about 8 inches. This can be done with a wedge pillow or blocks under the headboard posts.
  • Avoid bending over or stooping as much as possible, especially on a full stomach.
  • Avoid foods that relax the lower esophageal sphincter, such as caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, and fatty foods.
  • Avoid spicy foods and instead eat bland foods, like yogurt, to help with GERD. Just make sure to consume low- or nonfat dairy to avoid triggering symptoms.
  • Try chewing gum. It can stimulate the salivary glands and clear acid buildup in the esophagus.
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    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:

    • Oatmeal
    • A teabag of your favorite heartburn-relieving herbal tea
    • Milk.

    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.

    Learn What Causes Heartburn For Youthen Avoid It

    Fat, caffeine, chocolate, citruspregnant women with heartburn have been advised to avoid all of the above at one time or another. But what causes reflux in one woman might not be a trigger for another.

    Rather than tell his pregnant patients to avoid a specific food, Dr. Richter says he advises them to stay away from foods that specifically aggravate them. Everybody’s different, Dr. Richter says. Some pregnant women can chow down on spicy Mexican food or a plate of spaghetti and meatballs with no ill effects.

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    Risk Of Bias In Included Studies

    The three included studies were placebo controlled trials with blinding of participants and clinical staff. None of the studies provided information on how the randomisation sequence was generated. The sample sizes in the three studies were small, ranging from 30 to 156. One of the studies was carried out almost 50 years ago and examined a treatment rarely used nowadays.

    Can Acid Reflux During Pregnancy Hurt My Unborn Baby

    Heartburn during pregnancy

    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.

    Recommended Reading: What Helps Heartburn Besides Medicine

    How Can I Deal With Heartburn During Pregnancy

    I’m in my second trimester. No matter what I eat, I get heartburn. Is this normal? If so, what can I do to feel better? Cari

    Heartburn, despite its name, has nothing to do with the heart. It’s a burning feeling in the throat and chest when the stomach’s contents move back up into the esophagus .

    Heartburn is common during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones can make the valve at the entrance to the stomach relax so that it doesn’t close as it should. This lets acidic stomach contents move up into the esophagus, a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux , or acid reflux. It can get worse later in pregnancy when the growing uterus presses up on the stomach.

    To help ease heartburn pain:

    • Skip foods and drinks that can make it worse, such as citrus spicy, fatty foods caffeine and carbonated drinks.
    • Eat several small meals throughout the day.
    • Take your time when eating.
    • Drink liquids between not during meals.
    • Avoid eating or drinking for 3 hours before bedtime.
    • Resist the urge to lie down after meals.
    • Raise your head when you sleep.
    • Talk to your doctor about medicines that are safe to take for heartburn during pregnancy.

    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 You Should See A Doctor For Heartburn

    Wellenstein tells Insider that heartburn is “rarely a cause for major concern in pregnancy, especially if a woman didn’t have an issue with it prior to pregnancy.”

    However, if symptoms become more frequent or severe despite lifestyle and dietary attempts, or “if she develops nausea and vomiting due to the severity of the heartburn, she should promptly alert her doctor. And it is a medical emergency if she begins vomiting blood, since this may indicate a more serious condition related to heartburn,” Wellenstein says.

    Why Is Gerd Common During Pregnancy

    Heartburn During Pregnancy, Causes and Treatments

    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.

    Recommended Reading: Is Baking Powder Good For Heartburn

    Appendix G Economic Evidence Study Selection

    Economic evidence study selection for review question: What interventions are effective in treating heartburn during pregnancy?

    A single economic search was undertaken for all topics included in the scope of this guideline. No economic studies were identified which were applicable to this review question. See for details.

    When Should I Talk To My Doctor

    If you have heartburn that often wakes you up at night, returns as soon as your antacid wears off, or creates other symptoms , you may have a more serious problem that requires attention.

    Your doctor may diagnose you with GERD. This means that your heartburn needs to be controlled to protect you from complications such as damage to the esophagus.

    Your doctor may prescribe certain acid-reducing medications to reduce your symptoms. Research indicates that medications called H2 blockers, which help block the production of acid, appear to be safe.

    Another type of medication, called proton pump inhibitors, is used for people with heartburn that doesnt respond to other treatments.

    If youre concerned about the effects of medications, be sure to talk to your doctor. Doctors can help you control your symptoms while keeping your unborn child safe.

    Recommended Reading: How Do You Get Rid Of Heartburn During Pregnancy

    Avoiding Indigestion And Heartburn

    If your symptoms are mild, it’s possible that changes to your diet or lifestyle may help prevent indigestion and heartburn. You could try:

    • eating smaller meals, more often
    • avoiding eating just before bed
    • avoiding foods and drinks that you suspect give you heartburn
    • not drinking a lot of coffee at the end of the day
    • avoiding eating and drinking at the same time, which can make your stomach more full
    • sitting up straight while eating, and not lying down after a meal
    • chewing gum, which may cause you to produce more saliva to help neutralise the acid
    • stop smoking
    • raise the head of your bed by 10 to 15cm
    • sleep on your left side

    If your indigestion is not helped by diet and lifestyle changes, or your symptoms are more severe, your doctor or midwife may suggest that you take a medicine for indigestion that is safe to use during pregnancy. Medicines can neutralise the acid in your stomach, reduce the amount of acid produced by your stomach and stop the acid rising into your oesophagus.

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