When Can I Expect The Heartburn To End During Pregnancy
Unfortunately, heartburn is a symptom you’re likely to experience throughout your entire pregnancy if you have it at all.
In fact, even if you escaped indigestion early on in your pregnancy, there’s a good chance you’ll have a surge starting around the second or third trimesters, when your uterus takes over your abdominal cavity and forces your stomach upwards.
Fortunately, the burn should clear up as soon as you give birth.
Does Pregnancy Cause 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:
What Makes It Better
For most women, things that help reduce acid production or prevent reux are helpful in avoiding the discomfort of heartburn. Here are tips that may help:
Avoid classic spicy foods, as well as those with lots of fat or grease. Many people recommend avoiding citrus and chocolate, as well.
Eat multiple, small meals spread throughout the day, much like grazing, instead of three big meals.
Try elevating the head of your bed by several inches, and wait a while after eating before going to bed or lying down.
Some women find that its better to drink fluids between meals, rather than with a meal. This can increase the amount of contents in the stomach.
If your symptoms do not improve after the above recommended diet and lifestyle changes are in place, talk with your healthcare provider about over-the-counter medicines. Antacids are available as chewable tablets and liquids. They work by coating the lining of the esophagus and stomach and neutralizing stomach acid. Heartburn medicines called H2-blockers work by reducing the amount of acid made by your stomach. Although most of these are considered safe in pregnancy, as with all medicines, these should be avoided in the first trimester.
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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.
Drink Some Lukewarm Ginger Tea
Hot tea is going to make your heartburn worse. One of the most popular herbal remedies for heartburn is lukewarm ginger tea. The ginger will help to settle the acid and re-balance the body, while the lukewarm water helps to counter against the heat of the heartburn. Get some GingerTea from here best for pregnancy.
Youll also find that the ginger tea balances an upset stomach. Its perfect throughout pregnancy, but do avoid drinking too much. There are concerns that too much can cause a miscarriage, but there are still studies looking into this.
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Look Out For Medication With Magnesium Oxide
The heartburn medicines that include magnesium oxide are good for pregnancy. They will increase the amount of magnesium in your system to help limit the production of stomach acid and reduce the flare up of your heartburn.
Look out for those in tablet form and use as little water as possible. When you swallow any type of liquid, you will start the acid production in your stomach. By keeping the water to as little as possible, the tablets can just get to work on your system.
Antacids with magnesium in it will neutralize the acidic effects. It doesnt affect any other part of your body, so your baby isnt going to be affected.
Who Needs Heartburn Relievers
Who needs to get their hands on the best heartburn relief? If you are pregnant and have been suffering from heartburn from time to time, taking a heartburn relief medication can soothe the pain away. This is because the medicine will help prevent the gas from building up in your stomach then cause the acid to come up all the way back to your esophagus. You wont have to worry about that burning sensation slowly moving up your throat because of this medication.
You can also use the best heartburn relief if you are prone to indigestion when eating. There are some individuals who tend to experience indigestion during meal times so taking medications for it can help relieve the build-up of gas and acid in the stomach. It is important that the medication is taken prior to eating so that it can do its work in helping keep the stomach and digestive system working efficiently.
If you have acid reflux, the best heartburn relief can be a huge help in keeping gas, bloat, and acid from forming too much in your stomach to the point that it will go back up your throat. Acid reflux can be painful at times especially after eating or when lying down but with a medication that provides relief, you will be able to go on normally without having to worry about a distended belly because of the gas present and the acid that gradually slides back up the throat.
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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.
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:
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Why Are Experts Concerned About Ndma
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NDMA can be particularly harmful to the liver. When administered to lab animals, either through food, water or the air they breathed, the animals have developed conditions including liver disease, liver cancer and lung cancer.
And while NDMA has not been shown to cause cancer in humans, it is reasonable to expect that it could, according to the C.D.C.
This is not the first time NDMA has been found in a popular drug. Last year, the discovery of NDMA in some versions of valsartan, a blood-pressure drug that goes by the brand name Diovan, led to several recalls.
What Are The Benefits Of Heartburn Relievers For Pregnant Women
Youre probably wondering why you need to get your hands on the best heartburn relief when you are pregnant. Well, heartburn relievers are perfect for those moments when gas starts to build up in your stomach during pregnancy. As the baby grows inside of you, it is putting pressure on your stomach which can lead to gas build up. This causes the stomach acid to go up your esophagus which is why you end up with the taste of bile at the back of your throat. A heartburn reliever can provide you with these benefits.
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Ask Your Doctor About Prevacid
Prevacid is one of the recommended longer term options for heartburn/ heartburn medicine. It blocks the production of acid, but it doesnt offer the immediate relief. This is often recommended for those who suffer heartburn regularly, such as more than two days a week.
It is a category B heartburn medicine / medication, which means there are no known risks to a baby. Your doctor may not recommend it if you have liver disease or are deficient in magnesium. You will be recommended some of the above options.
Why Exactly Does Pregnancy Cause Heartburn
Heartburn during pregnancy will plague most moms-to-be at some point because progesterone, the hormone that relaxes muscles in pregnancy, also relaxes the stomach valve that keeps acid out of the esophagus. In addition, the growing uterus crowds the stomach, forcing acid into the esophagus.
But there are safe, effective ways to stop it. “Pregnant women really don’t need to suffer with heartburn anymore,” says Adrienne Einarson, RN, assistant director of clinical services at Motherisk, a Toronto-based program that investigates the effects of prenatal exposures on maternal and fetal health. Here, experts recommend 12 different ways to soothe heartburn during pregnancy.
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Why Is Heartburn Worse During Pregnancy
When you’re pregnant, you have higher-than-normal amounts the hormone progesterone. Progesterone is a big factor in helping the placenta function correctly during pregnancy. But, it also causes the valve at the bottom of the esophagus to relax, making it possible for acid to travel back up the tube, according to the American Pregnancy Association .
Another cause of heartburn in pregnancy is the baby’s size. As you get into your third trimester, the baby is big enough to put pressure on your stomach, which can force acid back up the esophagus. This is why heartburn symptoms often increase once you enter the third trimester.
Discuss H2 Blockers With Your Doctor
If an antacid isn’t working, it may be time to consider stronger medications.
Your first option will likely be an H2 blocker like Tagamet or Zantac. These drugs suppress stomach-acid production. All four H2 inhibitors on the market are now available without a prescription and considered to be safe during pregnancy. But talk to your doctor before taking them.
“They really work,” says Einarson. “You only have to take one or two a day.”
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Navigate Your Way Around Pregnancy Medications
Its difficult to know what you can and cant take during pregnancy. Not all medications are completely off limits, but there are a few that are questionable. When it comes to antacids and other heartburn relief remedies, you want to watch out for anything that includes aspirin or baking soda. They can be dangerous to your baby.
Natural remedies are by far the best types of medications you can take. They are safe and can be used with each other. If you are still struggling, look for those that give you immediate relief and always follow the directions. However, your doctor will be able to prescribe or recommend longer term options if your heartburn has manifested into GERD due to your pregnancy.
Clinical Presentation During Pregnancy
The symptoms of heartburn during pregnancy do not differ from the classical presentation in the general adult population. Heartburn is the predominate symptom and worsens as pregnancy advances. Regurgitation occurs in about the same frequency as heartburn. The majority of patients report exacerbation of symptoms with eating and at bedtime. Some patients will eat only one meal a day because of intense postprandial symptoms and others will need to sleep upright in a chair. Complications of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease during pregnancy, especially oesophagitis and stricture formation, are rare. This observation should not be surprising since the reflux of pregnancy is generally of short duration without a background of chronic GERD.
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Top Medications To Avoid
Before we get into the exact medications to try, lets focus on the ones that you need to avoid. Read the labels to find out if the medications contain:
- Bicarbonate soda/baking soda
These three are effective heartburn medicine for relieving heartburn, but they can put your unborn baby and your health at risk. They think the blood and can make you a higher risk of miscarriage. Bicarbonate soda is high in sodium, which will cause water retention, raise your bodys sodium levels, and cause other health problems.
Reading the labels will also help you look out for not safe for pregnancy, do not use during pregnancy, or suitable for pregnancy labels.
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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Heartburn Medications That Are Safe For Pregnancy
13 June, 2017
Some women have never experienced heartburn until they became pregnant, and others have had it for years before becoming pregnant. Regardless, pregnancy can increase the likelihood of heartburn for several reasons including hormones, extra weight and pressure from the baby.
Heartburn prevention methods, such as eating several small meals throughout the day and avoiding certain trigger foods, are the first line of treatment during pregnancy. When the issue does not improve, a doctor may recommend over-the-counter or prescription medicines.
Diagnosis In The Pregnant Patient
As in the non-pregnant patient, the initial diagnosis of GERD in pregnancy can reliably be made based on symptoms alone. Barium radiographs are not necessary and should be avoided because of radiation exposure to the fetus. Oesophageal manometry and pH studies are rarely necessary during pregnancy but can be performed safely. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is the procedure of choice to evaluate intractable reflux symptoms or complications. This procedure can be safely performed without harm to the mother or fetus by carefully monitoring blood pressure and oxygen and judicious use of conscious sedation and fetal monitoring., , Midazolam and diazepam are category D, fentanyl is category C and meperidine and propofol are category B drugs during pregnancy . Although not approved by the FDA for these indications during pregnancy, clinical experience suggests that these medications are safe with appropriate monitoring, particularly after the first trimester.,
|Contraindicated in pregnancy, fetal abnormalities in animals or humans. Risks outweigh benefits|
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How Do I Treat Heartburn During Pregnancy
When youre growing a human being, you dont have time for that yucky acid reflux. But your usual go-to methods for treating it may not be safe for your unborn baby.
Instead, here are some of the safest and best ways to get rid of heartburn when youre pregnant: