HomeNewsWhat Is Heartburn During Pregnancy

What Is Heartburn During Pregnancy

What Are Signs That You Are Pregnant

How can I ease heartburn during pregnancy?

The most common early signs and symptoms of pregnancy might include: Missed period. If youre in your childbearing years and a week or more has passed without the start of an expected menstrual cycle, you might be pregnant. Tender, swollen breasts. Nausea with or without vomiting. Increased urination. Fatigue.

What Helps Against Heartburn During Pregnancy

Prevention is good and sensible, but unfortunately measures dont always work. So if you suffer from acute heartburn during pregnancy, here are some simple home remedies that will help you quickly.

Biscuits, rice cakes or dry bread: Dry foods, when chewed slowly, bind to acid and produce saliva, which in turn neutralizes stomach acid.

A ripe banana: The fruit stimulates the production of mucus in the stomach and thus protects the stomach lining. Bananas also stimulate digestion and therefore reduce acid release. But beware, this only applies to ripe bananas. Green bananas can further promote heartburn.

Still water: Drunk in small sips, the still water flushes stomach acid through the esophagus back into the stomach and relieves the annoying and painful burning sensation.

Different herbal teas: Fennel, anise, caraway or chamomile soothe irritated mucous membranes. Fruit teas, on the other hand, are unsuitable, highly acidic, and can make heartburn worse.

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Binders such as oatmeal, almonds, hazelnuts, boiled potatoes, or raw carrots: Like biscuits and dry bread, these foods bind to acid. Again, it is important to eat slowly and chew well.

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Safer Options For Pregnancy Reflux

The safest option for pregnancy is to not use any medication at all but instead manage the reflux and heartburn conservatively through dietary and lifestyle measures. However, this is not always practical or desirable. When medication is to be used, pregnant women may want to consider raft-forming agents first since most of the ingredients are not absorbed into the bloodstream. Therefore it would not have any effect on the growing fetus. When these drugs are not sufficient then antacids may be tried. Proton pump inhibitors and H2-blockers should be considered as the last option. It is always advisable to first consult with a doctor before starting any of this medication in pregnancy.

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Pregnancy Itself Ups Your Risk Of Heartburn

Normally, there are certain factors like your weight, whether you smoke, and your genes that can increase your likelihood of heartburn. But when youre pregnant, its the pregnancy itself that makes you more susceptible.

There are two main factors, says Renee Wellenstein, DO, who is a double board-certified OB-GYN. One thats hormonal and one thats physical.

Heartburn is caused by acid reflux, when food and digestive fluids, which contain acids, back up in your esophagus and create that uncomfortable burn. That backup can happen when youre pregnant because you have higher-than-usual progesterone levels, which can one slow digestion and two relax the muscle, called the esophageal sphincter, that separates your esophagus and stomach.

Combined, these two factors create the perfect storm for heartburn because the slow digestion can lead to more backup in your esophagus and the relaxed muscle makes it easier for acid to creep through.

The other factor is the growing uterus that physically pushes up on the stomach as it grows, says Wellenstein.

As a result, heartburn does tend to get worse throughout pregnancy. Fortunately, all those changes to your body that cause heartburn during pregnancy quickly disappear after you give birth. So, at least thats something you can look forward to leaving behind at the hospital when you bring your newborn home.

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Possible Causes Of Heartburn

Certain types of foods, most notably of the spicy variety, can contribute to heartburn. However, even foods like tomato products, peppermint, and chocolate can trigger these symptoms.2 Heartburn may also be caused by daily habits and lifestyle choices, such as exercise routines and the type of clothes worn 4, 5

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Does Water Help With Heartburn

Drinking water during the later stages of digestion can reduce acidity and GERD symptoms. Often, there are pockets of high acidity, between a pH or 1 and 2, just below the esophagus. By drinking tap or filtered water a little while after a meal, you can dilute the acid there, which can result in less heartburn.

What Is Heartburn In Early Pregnancy

Indigestion, also called heartburn or acid reflux, is common in pregnancy. It can be caused by hormonal changes and the growing baby pressing against your stomach. You can help ease indigestion and heartburn by making changes to your diet and lifestyle, and there are medicines that are safe to take in pregnancy.

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Heartburn During Pregnancy Donts

  • When all of the above measures fail to give relief from heartburn then over- the â counter medication such as chewable antacids one can take during pregnancy. But before taking any medicine please consult with your doctor.

Please note, all over- the- counter medicine is not safe to take during pregnancy . So you should always consult with your doctor before taking any medicine.

  • Acupuncture is not recommended to get relief from heartburn during pregnancy. It has a potential risk of miscarriage or premature delivery.

After the delivery, heartburn usually goes away on its own. So it is not a matter of concern. But if it becomes severe during pregnancy then a medical consultation is needed.

Why Is Heartburn Worse During Pregnancy

Heartburn during pregnancy

When youre 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 babys 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.

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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.

References

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.

Also Check: How To Treat Chronic Heartburn Naturally

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.

Boy: You Had A Dream About Having A Girl

Many people love to analyze dreams and believe that they predict or explain events in life, either past or present. Some believe that we dream about the opposite of what is going to happen. For instance, if we dream of death, there may be a birth in our lives.

Similarly, some say that if mom-to-be dreams of having a baby girl they will actually be having a girl, and vice versa.

Dreams are certainly more vivid in pregnancy and this is believed to be because of deeper sleep and also because of worries and concerns about the impending birth.

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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:

Why Does It Happen In Pregnancy

Many women who have heartburn during pregnancy have never had problems before. Unfortunately, if you had heartburn before becoming pregnant, youre more likely to have symptoms while you are pregnant. Although the exact reasons arent clear, most experts believe that pregnancy hormones, particularly progesterone, play a role. Hormones cause relaxation of the esophageal sphincter. This is a tight circular band of muscle at the top of the stomach. This allows partially digested food and stomach acids to backflow, or reflux, into the esophagus. In addition, progesterone also slows the digestive process. This keeps food in the stomach longer. The pregnancy itselfthe upward pressure of the growing uterusalso may play a role.

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Estimation Of Due Date

Due date estimation basically follows two steps:

  • Determination of which time point is to be used as origin for gestational age, as described in the section above.
  • Adding the estimated gestational age at childbirth to the above time point. Childbirth on average occurs at a gestational age of 280 days , which is therefore often used as a standard estimation for individual pregnancies. However, alternative durations as well as more individualized methods have also been suggested.

Naegeles rule is a standard way of calculating the due date for a pregnancy when assuming a gestational age of 280 days at childbirth. The rule estimates the expected date of delivery by adding a year, subtracting three months, and adding seven days to the origin of gestational age. Alternatively there are mobile apps, which essentially always give consistent estimations compared to each other and correct for leap year, while pregnancy wheels made of paper can differ from each other by 7 days and generally do not correct for leap year.

Furthermore, actual childbirth has only a certain probability of occurring within the limits of the estimated due date. A study of singleton live births came to the result that childbirth has a standard deviation of 14 days when gestational age is estimated by first trimester ultrasound, and 16 days when estimated directly by last menstrual period.

Navigate Your Way Around Pregnancy Medications

How can I ease heartburn during pregnancy? – Reston Hospital Center

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.

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Pregnancy Sign: Sore Breasts

Before you start cursing your bra for suddenly feeling more like a contraption from the hardware store than the lacy lingerie that took a serious chunk out of your paycheque, consider that your newly sore boobs could be a sign that youre pregnant. Breast tenderness is another common early pregnancy sign, according to Nordahl. For many women, what can make this symptom particularly confusing is that breast soreness is also a very common sign of your period. But early on in your pregnancy, your breasts may hurt because theyre expanding in preparation for producing milk.

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:

  • Dip into some yogurt. Its probiotics and soothing texture make yogurt a great option for extinguishing heartburn or at least dousing the flames a little.
  • Drink milk with honey. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a tablespoon of honey mixed in a glass of warm milk may be just what you need to neutralize heartburn-causing acid.
  • Snack on almonds. Munching on a handful of almonds may provide heartburn relief since these nuts have a lower acidity level than others.
  • Eat pineapple or papaya. For some women, the digestive enzymes in pineapple and papaya have helped ease symptoms. Eating these fruits after your meals can aid digestion and reduce your chances of heartburn.
  • Try a little ginger. You probably knew ginger was a good remedy for an upset stomach. Well, that makes it a helpful candidate for fighting off heartburn, too. Among gingers many benefits, it can reduce inflammation and prevent stomach acid from traveling up the esophagus.
  • Chew sugar-free gum. Another effective method for taming the burn is to chew some sugar-free gum. One study found that chewing sugar-free gum for 30 minutes after a meal can reduce acid reflux.
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    When To Call The Doctor

    If heartburn symptoms are associated withheadaches or swelling of the hands and face, talk with your provider beforetrying these remedies, especially if the symptoms are new and present in thelast trimester of pregnancy.

    Heartburn-like paincan be a symptom of preeclampsia, or dangerously high bloodpressure during pregnancy. Preeclampsia puts mothers and babies at risk, andfurther evaluation may be necessary.

    As mentioned,heartburn is very common in pregnancy. If your symptoms dont resolve with dietchanges or medication, let your provider know so you can find an effectivetreatment.

    Treatment Of Heartburn During Pregnancy

    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.

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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.

    Hormones Are Another Cause Of Heartburn

    When a woman is pregnant, her body secretes a series of hormones. These substances mediate various physiological processes in the body and relax the muscles of the digestive system. The esophagus valve is a part of it. Progesterone is the hormone thats most involved in heartburn.

    For this reason, stomach acids are more likely to move up into the esophagus and cause this problem. This situation aggravates when the pregnant woman is in a horizontal position. As we mentioned above, heartburn usually appears in the second or third trimester. This is when the uterus begins to press on the stomach.

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