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.
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.
Importance Of Gut Health
Have you ever heard the quote by Hippocrates All disease begins in the gut.?
Hippocrates, a very important figure in the history of medicine, discovered something very important. He found that what we eat, and how our body processes food, links strongly to diseases and our health.
This still holds true today, especially for pregnant women.
But first, lets learn about probiotics.
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Lifestyle Changes To Prevent Heartburns
Boosting Your Immune System
Did you know that 80% of your immune system lives in your gut?
Did you also know that your immune system changes when youre pregnant?
Some parts get a boost, while others get left to the wayside its one of the reasons why your immune system doesnt mistake your implantation embryo as a threat.
If you have a healthy immune system that can help your baby to develop a healthy immune system, too.
Which leads us to
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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:
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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Change Your Eating And Drinking Habits
You may be able to control your indigestion with changes to your eating habits.
It can help to eat small meals often, rather than larger meals 3 times a day, and to not eat within 3 hours of going to bed at night.
Cutting down on drinks containing caffeine, and foods that are rich, spicy or fatty, can also ease symptoms.
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.
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Benefits Of Probiotics During Pregnancy
Oh let me count the ways
There are several big benefits to taking probiotics during pregnancy for both mom and baby. What happens now can have a lifetime impact on your little one.
Pregnancy appears to be the most critical stage for interventions aiming to reduce the risk of non-communicable disease in future generations.
What Is Heartburn And What Are The Symptoms
If youâve never had heartburn before, you might think it has something to do with your heart. Actually, it has nothing to do with the heart! Heartburn happens when the contents of your stomach flow backward up into your esophagus . Sometimes heartburn is referred to as acid reflux.Because the acids from your stomach irritate your esophagus, when you have heartburn you feel a burning sensation in your throat and chest at the heart level, hence the name.More than 50 percent of moms-to-be experience heartburn at some point during pregnancy. For some of them, it can be the first time they experience heartburn, which can be startling and even worrisome.
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Things To Look In A Probiotic Supplement During Pregnancy
- Pregnant women should always consult their doctor or obstetrician and determine the safety of a probiotic supplement before they start taking it. Women suffering from immune deficiency conditions or having any known allergies should avoid probiotic supplements.
- The probiotic strain Saccharomyces has not been studies for its safety during pregnancy, so it is best to avoid a probiotic supplement that includes this strain.
- It is best to choose a probiotic supplement from a reputed brand and purchase it from reliable sources to ensure its quality, purity and originality.
- It is best to opt for a supplement that is hypoallergenic formula, GMO free and doesnt contain any synthetic fillers and additives. Vegetarians can opt for non-gelatin probiotics.
- Opting for a time-release probiotic formula ensures that the microorganisms survive the stomach acids and make it alive to the intestine.
- Majority of pregnant women suffer from morning sickness so, it is best to choose an easy-to-swallow supplement that doesnt have any strong smell or taste.
- A shelf-stable probiotic cuts out the hassles of storing the supplement in the refrigerator after every use. Shelf-stable formulas also work better and have higher level of efficiency.
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:
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Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix 1 teaspoon of vinegar with approximately 8 ounces of water sip throughout the day and an hour before meals.
It seems strange to think about drinking vinegar when your chest is burning, but low stomach acid actually creates heartburn. This works because it increases the acids, resulting in relief. Make sure the vinegar is raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. Bonus points for an amber bottle.
Is It Okay To Take Nexium While Pregnant
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration has categorized Nexium in the pregnancy category B. This category indicates Nexium is generally considered safe to use while pregnant. However, there have been some reports of fetal re-absorption and lethality in the embryo in animal studies. In these studies, animals were given between five to 56 times more Nexium than the average human dose.
Before using Nexium for acid reflux, schedule a meeting with your doctor to determine if using this medication while pregnant is safe for you and the growing fetus.
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Manage Acid Production With Prilosec
This one is debated among doctors, but some do prescribe Prilosec for those who are struggling to manage their heartburn. Instead of balancing out and neutralizing the acid, this medication helps to keep the stomach acid to a minimum. It blocks some of the production.
There are downsides to this. Since there will be less stomach acid, it will be harder for the food to break down in the body. This is already difficult when it comes to pregnancy since there is less space in your abdominal cavity.
You dont get the immediate relief from heartburn with this. Its a long-term option, and TUMS is still recommended for the more immediate effects.
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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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.
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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Why Take Probiotics When Expecting
While probiotics are often touted as miracle supplements for people with digestive disorders or chronic GI distress, Dr. Chang-Jackson says their most common use in pregnancy is actually for maintaining the vaginal flora, not for curing stomach ills.
Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy, as well as constipation, are due to hormonal changes,â she explains. âSo probiotics might not have as much of an effect .
However, pregnant women are more susceptible to vaginal and yeast infections than non-pregnant women. Taking probiotics can help preserve the balance of the vaginal microbiome, may prevent the occurrence of infections, and can reduce the need for prescription medication to treat vaginal infections.
Patients dont usually know much about them, but we do tell ones with recurring vaginal infections that they can add probiotics to their routine, Dr. Chang-Jackson adds.
Benefits Of Taking Probiotics Or Prebiotics During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, the consumption of probiotics and prebiotics can help the pregnant woman in many ways. Some of them are:
- Helps in improving digestion.
- Breaks down food to be entirely utilised by the body.
- Essential for healing infertility.
- Helps in reducing inflammation of the colons lining, and treats inflammatory bowel disease.
- Strengthens the immune system of the mother and the baby.
- Maintains a healthy urinary system.
- Balances the cholesterol level.
These are fairly common foods that are consumed on a regular basis. So if youre pregnant, theres no need to reduce the frequency of eating these.
A healthy pregnancy can be ensured by maintaining a healthy diet. Take time to chart food recipes that integrate probiotics and prebiotics in your daily diet. During pregnancy, cravings can get the better of you but do not miss out on prebiotic-rich food.
You can choose to get your probiotics from supplement capsules, but it is always good to seek advice from your doctor before taking any pills. In case of any allergy, call the doctor immediately. Relying on a healthy lifestyle is the best way to get through pregnancy and will facilitate the healthy development of the baby.
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Is It Safe To Take Tums During Pregnancy
Heartburn is a burning sensation that often extends from the bottom of the breastbone to the lower throat. It is caused by hormonal and physical changes in your body. During pregnancy, the placenta produces the hormone progesterone. Progesterone relaxes the smooth muscles of the uterus, but it also relaxes the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. This allows gastric acids to seep back up, which causes the unpleasant burning sensation.
Most people know antacids can provide fast, safe relief for heartburn. The question you have is whether or not it is safe to take TUMS during pregnancy? TUMS provides safe heartburn relief for women who are pregnant. TUMS also adds calcium to your body. When you are pregnant, your body may need between 1,000 mg and 1,300 mg of elemental calcium per day.
Be sure to take TUMS at a different time than you take iron supplements. It is recommended to space doses of these antacids and iron supplements one to two hours apart, to get the full benefit from each medicine or dietary supplement. You should consult with your healthcare provider before taking any antacids containing sodium bicarbonate.
What Can I Take For Heartburn While Pregnant Besides Tums
- By Maanasi Radhakrishnan
As beautiful the phase of pregnancy is for a woman, it comes with several problems as well. Women often feel uncomfortable due to the occurrence of several complications. These problems are mainly related to the stomach or digestive system in general. Heartburns are a common complaint of pregnant ladies. This happens because the progesterone hormone causes the valve between the stomach and oesophagus to relax. Since this valve is responsible for preventing the acid from the stomach to enter back to the oesophagus, its relaxing leads to heartburns.
It’s important to be cautious during this period. Hence, any problem has to be dealt with the greatest care. For heartburns the most common solution suggested is to use tums. Tums not only provide quick relief from heartburns but also help add calcium to the body. Hence it is quite popular. But the popular question among pregnant women is, what can I take for heartburn besides tums during pregnancy?
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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.