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What Is Heartburn In Pregnancy

How To Stop Heartburn And Indigestion

Is heartburn normal during pregnancy? What remedies are there?

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.

What Makes It Worse

Most spicy, greasy, fatty foods known for causing heartburn are also likely to cause problems for pregnant women. Food doesnt digest as well or move as quickly during pregnancy. So, eating large meals or overeating in general can also increase the risk for heartburn. Eating right before bedtime can cause problems, too. Smoking makes heartburn worse and is another reason to quit, especially while pregnant.

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.

Also Check: What Does It Feel Like When You Have Heartburn

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.”

What Is Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

What Is The Best Heartburn Medicine To Take While Pregnant ...

People use the terms heartburn and acid reflux to mean the same thing. But they have different definitions:

  • Acid reflux refers to the LES not tightening as it should. This allows the stomach acid to travel from your stomach up to your esophagus.
  • Heartburn, the feeling of pain or burning in your chest, is a symptom of acid reflux.

Women may have acid reflux during pregnancy and experience heartburn due to changing hormone levels and the baby growing.

Read Also: What’s The Best Heartburn Medication

What Is Heartburn During Pregnancy

Heartburn is a common issue for pregnant women which involves acidic stomach contents being regurgitated back up the individuals oesophagus, which can cause burning in the throat and chest. Symptoms are often worse immediately after eating or while lying down.

The reasons for the increase in heartburn in pregnancy are complicated and not completely understood, with multiple factors potentially at play:

  • It has been thought that the expanding uterus places pressure on the lower oesophageal sphincter , causing it to relax and allow stomach contents to flow up into it
  • The surge in the pregnancy hormones oestrogen and progesterone may affect the pattern of relaxation on the lower oesophageal sphincter, allowing acid reflux
  • Delayed emptying of the stomach may also play a role in acid reflux
  • How Can Heartburn During Pregnancy Be Prevented

    You can take steps to reduce heartburn symptoms without hurting your baby.

    Dietary changes:

    • Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones.
    • Eat slowly.
    • Drink between your meals, but not with meals.
    • Avoid fried, spicy or fatty foods.
    • Avoid citrus fruits and juices.
    • Limit caffeine.
    • Dont smoke and avoid alcohol. Besides causing heartburn, smoking and drinking during pregnancy can cause health problems for the baby.

    Other tips to avoid heartburn during pregnancy:

    • Sit up straight when you eat.
    • Dont eat late at night.
    • Dont lie down right after eating.
    • Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of the bed. Or try placing pillows under your shoulders. Doing so helps prevent stomach acids from rising into your chest.

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    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.

    What Does Heartburn Pregnancy Feel Like

    What Causes Heartburn in Pregnancy

    As the food breakdown slows down, your body releases stomach acids that irritate the sensitive esophageal lining which causes a burning sensation right around where the heart is located hence the term heartburn.

    Pregnancy Heartburn, to say the least, will feel uncomfortable. However, for some relief, it must be known that heartburn is actually good for your baby. It is so because the digestive slowdown enables better absorption of nutrients into your bloodstream and also, hence, through the placenta and into your baby.

    Pregnancy Heartburn occurs when the ring of muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach relaxes , allowing food and harsh digestive juices to back up from the stomach to the esophagus.

    Read Also: Is Lemon Juice Good For Heartburn

    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.

    Read Also: I Get Heartburn From Everything

    How To Lower Your Risk Of Heartburn During Pregnancy

    For some women, diet and lifestyle changes during pregnancy can lessen the likelihood of heartburn. Suggestions from OB/GYNs include: monitoring overall food consumption, eating smaller meals throughout the day, and reducing caffeine intake.2 Avoid eating or drinking too close to bedtime and stay away from spicy and fatty foods to lower your risk of occasional heartburn after dinner and at night.2 As far as specific items are concerned, citrus fruits and chocolate have been linked to trigger heartburn during pregnancy.6

    Recommended Reading: Fast Ways To Get Rid Of Heartburn While Pregnant

    Slippery Elm Bark And Marshmallow Root

    Some mamas find relief from mucilaginous herbs like slippery elm bark and marshmallow root. Due to their gummy consistency, they coat the intestines and soothe digestion. Be sure to use under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner and away from food and supplementsthey can interfere with nutrient absorption.

    How To Help Alleviate Heartburn In Pregnancy

    What Is Acid Indigestion In Pregnancy

    The first line of management of heartburn is lifestyle changes. Eating smaller meals, not eating at night and raising your bedhead are all key steps to take.

    In cases of more troublesome symptoms, or if symptoms persist despite lifestyle changes, you may wish to discuss medications with your doctor. There are a variety of such medications, for example, antacids are a fast and effective means to alleviate your heartburn symptoms may be due to their rapid symptom relief. It is important to discuss the most appropriate management of heartburn and any other symptoms with your health care professional.

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    Natural Ways To Relieve Pregnancy Heartburn

    There isnt much that can be done about preventing the organic causes of heartburn during pregnancyhormones and babys growth are natural and wanted aspects of pregnancy. So what can you do?

    First, its important to avoid over-the-counter options, like Zantac. Although some practitioners will tell you these conventional medications are safe during pregnancy, new research suggests they arent safe during pregnancy or ever. In fact, many big name storesCVS, Walmart, and Walgreens, to name a fewrecently pulled these drugs from their shelves over concerns that they contain cancer-causing agents.

    The good news is most women with healthy, normal pregnancies will find easy, convenient, and effective measures to relieve heartburn discomfort naturally, including:

    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.

    Also Check: No Matter What I Eat I Get 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 See A Doctor

    What Is Heartburn?

    You should call your healthcare provider if you:

    • Experience heartburn that doesnt go away
    • Have heartburn that wakes you up at night
    • Have trouble swallowing
    • Have black poop
    • Are losing weight

    If you have chest pain but never had heartburn before, you should see your doctor or seek emergency medical attention right away. It could be a sign of a heart attack.

    Also Check: What Is Severe Heartburn A Symptom Of

    Feeling The Burn Tips To Manage Heartburn Gerd In Pregnancy

      Heartburn is common in adults especiallyduring pregnancy. While some research suggests women who have moderateheartburn during pregnancy give birth to babies with fullerheads of hair, having symptoms more than twice a week might be asign of gastroesophageal reflux disease , or recurrent heartburn.

      According to a study of 510 pregnant women, approximately 26% have GERD symptomsduring the first trimester. The rate jumps to 36% in the second trimester and51% during the third trimester. Thats substantial compared with the 20% of adults in the U.S. who experienceheartburn.

      Why the increase in symptoms during pregnancy? Progesterone, a hormone that increases early in pregnancy, relaxessmooth muscle in the body. It helps your uterus stretch to accommodate thegrowing fetus, but also reduces the reliability of the esophageal sphincter aring-like structure that seals off stomach contents from the throat.

      Increased pressure placed on the stomachexternally from the growing uterus, especially in the third trimester, can alsoworsen heartburn symptoms such as:

      • Burning pain in the center of thechest, especially after eating
      • Sour or bitter taste in the mouth
      • Sore throat or cough

      Thankfully, thereare several pregnancy-safe ways to deal with acute heartburn and ongoing casesof GERD.

      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: Foods That Help Stop Heartburn

      Be Aware Of Your Triggers

      Citrus, fat, chocolate or caffeine these are all things that expecting mothers who experience heartburn have been recommended not to consume them. But leads to acid reflux in a certain woman may not be a triggering cause for another woman.

      Related: Feeling Tired And Sleepy All The Time! Am I Pregnant?

      Rather than tell their patients to avoid a particular type of food, some doctors advise them to stay from some foods which tend to worsen them in particular. We are all different from one another. If some of the pregnant women out there are able to chow down when it comes to spaghetti or Mexican food, other ones cannot.

      How To Relieve Pregnancy Heartburn

      Let

      Combined with all the other discomforts of pregnancy, that burning sensation can be really unpleasant. The good news is that there are ways to help stop heartburn quickly. Research shows that drinking milk and eating yogurt may help as well as over-the-counter antacids, like TUMS.3 The antacid relieves the stomach and esophagus, neutralizing stomach acid and providing reliable relief.6 Be sure to talk to your doctor about the heartburn treatment options that are right for you.

      References

      Recommended Reading: Old Fashioned Remedies For Heartburn

      Heartburn During Pregnancy: Causes Symptoms & Remedies

        Heartburns are a common symptom of pregnancy and if you are a woman suffering heartburn during your term, do not worry, you are not alone!

        Heartburn Pregnancy and the kind of discomfort it comes with cannot be understood by anyone better than a pregnant woman. A very uncomfortable situation to be in, pregnant women typically suffer from multiple heartburns during all three trimesters of pregnancy and this guide here will answer every question you might have around pregnancy heartburn.

        Causes Of Heartburn While Pregnant

        Sadly, it is very common to have this physical sensation while pregnant. And although morning sickness seems to have all the attention, lots of women look at heartburn as to an uncomfortable pregnancy sign.

        During early stages of pregnancy, heartburn is the result of progesterone, one of the pregnancy symptoms that women experience at this point, which will relax the muscles of the uterus in order to fit the developing baby. It relaxes the valve between the valve between the gut and esophagus as well.

        In the last pregnancy stages, the baby will squash the digestive organs and this may lead to heartburn. However, the great news is that this will not affect the little one.

        Also Check: Quick Home Remedy For Heartburn

        What Medications Can I Take For Heartburn During Pregnancy

        Its important to be extremely careful about the medications you take when pregnant.

        For heartburn relief, over-the-counter antacids are all considered safe medications to use during pregnancy.

        As always, consult with your provider about any medications youre taking even if theyre considered safe.

        If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking an over-the-counter medication, call your doctor immediately.

        When Can I Expect The Heartburn To End During Pregnancy

        Heartburn Pregnancy รข Top 10 Heartburn During Pregnancy Remedies | Treatment and Exercise

        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 Make Heartburn Go Away Without Medicine

        What Are Signs That You Are Pregnant

        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.

        Is Heartburn An Early Sign Of Pregnancy

        The pregnancy symptoms are highly unpredictable from woman to woman. Out of the avalanche of discomforts, gaining weight, digestive differences like heartburn are a few. And so if your question is whether heartburn is an early sign of pregnancy, then yes it is.

        If you are also facing heartburn in the early stages of pregnancy, here are a few ways to ease the discomfort.

        Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Way To Treat Heartburn

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