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.
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.
Talk To Your Doctor About Alginates
Antacids are the most commonly bought heartburn medicine/ medications, but you can get some that also have alginates. These medications help to line the esophagus to eliminate the pain and discomfort that you feel, giving you immediate relief.
At the same time, they create a barrier over the top of your stomach acid. This foamy barrier stops the acid from getting through, preventing the reason for the heartburn in the first place. Its a long-term option.
If you suffer from bad acid reflux during the night, you will want to discuss these as an option during pregnancy with your doctor. They can give the lining throughout the night to help you sleep and then you stick to immediate or other options during the day.
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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 To See A Doctor
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.
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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.
When To Take Gaviscon
If you get occasional mild heartburn or indigestion, only take Gaviscon when you need it.
If you often have heartburn or indigestion, take Gaviscon regularly after meals and at bedtime, up to 4 times a day, whether or not you have symptoms.
If you’ve been taking Gaviscon for more than 7 days and you’re still feeling uncomfortable or in pain, talk to your doctor.
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Can I Take Over
Nonprescription heartburn relievers, such as Tums® or Maalox®, can help you feel better. But talk to your healthcare provider before taking antacids. They may contain high sodium levels, which can cause you to retain water. Some also have aluminum in them, which isnt safe to consume during pregnancy. Your provider can recommend an antacid thats safe during pregnancy.
What Causes Heartburn During Pregnancy
During normal digestion, food travels down the esophagus , through a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter , and into the stomach.
The LES is part of the doorway between your esophagus and your stomach. It opens to allow food through and closes to stop stomach acids from coming back up.
When you have heartburn, or acid reflux, the LES relaxes enough to allow stomach acid to rise up into the esophagus. This can cause pain and burning in the chest area.
During pregnancy, hormone changes can allow the muscles in the esophagus, including the LES, to relax more frequently. The result is that more acids may seep back up, particularly when youre lying down or after youve eaten a large meal.
In addition, as your fetus grows during the second and third trimesters and your uterus expands to accommodate that growth, your stomach is under more pressure. This can also result in food and acid being pushed back up into your esophagus.
Heartburn is a common occurrence for most people at one time or another, but it doesnt necessarily mean youre pregnant. However, if you also experience other symptoms, such as a missed period or nausea, these could be signs that you need to take a pregnancy test.
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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.
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.
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How Can Heartburn During Pregnancy Be Prevented
You can take steps to reduce heartburn symptoms without hurting your baby.
- 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.
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.
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Heartburn Medication To Avoid During Pregnancy
Talk to your doctor before taking any antacids. Some contain ingredients that may harm you or your baby. Be sure to not to take these medications:
Ranitidine. In 2020, the FDA stopped sales of an H2 blocker called ranitidine because it was contaminated with a cancer-causing agent. If you take OTC ranitidine, stop your use. If you have a prescription for ranitidine, talk to your doctor about other options before you stop your medication.
Common Questions About Gaviscon
Gaviscon is a type of medicine called a reflux suppressant.
Reflux is when stomach acid travels up your food pipe and gives you a burning feeling in your chest.
Reflux suppressants like Gaviscon contain alginic acid which is made from seaweed. Alginic acid makes a protective foam layer that floats on top of the contents of your stomach. This stops stomach acid escaping into your food pipe.
Gaviscon also contains an antacid that neutralises stomach acid and reduces pain and discomfort.
You should start to feel better soon after taking a dose of Gaviscon. The effect of 1 dose should last for around 4 hours.
If you buy Gaviscon, rather than having it prescribed by a doctor, and you do not feel better after taking it for 7 days, tell your doctor. They may want to do tests or try a different medicine.
Gaviscon does not usually cause problems when you take it for a long time. Tell your doctor if you need to take it regularly for more than a week.
Yes, Acidex and Peptac are similar to Gaviscon.
These medicines are reflux suppressants. They work in the same way as Gaviscon, by reducing acid in your stomach and preventing excess acid escaping into your food pipe. They generally work as well as Gaviscon and have similar side effects. However, they may be given in different doses to Gaviscon.
Doctors can only prescribe some kinds of Gaviscon, not the full range available from pharmacies and supermarkets.
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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.
Or Inquire About Proton Pump Inhibitors
If other medications don’t help, there are also proton pump inhibitors , such as Prevacid. These have a more powerful acid-suppressing effect than H2 blockers, and most are available over the counter.
Although PPIs are, in general, safe for pregnant women, animal studies have raised concerns that omeprazole could harm a developing fetus, Dr. Richter says. “My recommendation to patients would be to avoid that one because there are about five or six out there on the market, with the H2 blockers,” he says. “All of them look to be safe during pregnancy.”
Be sure to discuss any medications with your doctor.
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Which Medicines Can I Take
If lifestyle changes don’t provide you with relief, you may want to consider taking a medicine to help with your heartburn. It’s always important to check with your pharmacist or GP before taking any medicines during pregnancy.
Some types of antacids can be taken in pregnancy. These help neutralise excess acid, relieving symptoms. You can find antacids as chewable tablets or in liquid form. Check with your pharmacist which antacids are most suitable to be used in pregnancy.
If you’re still getting symptoms, or you’re vomiting frequently because of heartburn, it’s best to speak with your midwife or GP who will be able to offer you further advice.
Why It Heartburn Happens
Heartburn is common in pregnancy due to the hormonal changes that happen during this period, as well as being caused by the baby’s development, which can cause stomach compression, which can make the contents of the stomach to go back up the esophagus towards the mouth, leading to heartburn symptoms.
In addition, heartburn during pregnancy can also be caused by your diet. Thus, it is recommend to avoid eating fatty foods, foods with caffeine, and avoid taking in liquids during meals. In some cases, the doctor may also recommend some type of medication, such as Dimethicone to help with digestion.
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How And When To Take Gaviscon
You’ll usually take Gaviscon tablets and liquid up to 4 times a day. It’s best to take it after meals and at bedtime. This is usually when the pain and discomfort is at its worst. But if your doctor has prescribed Gaviscon, take it when they tell you to.
Chew the tablets, do not swallow them whole. It’s best to have a drink afterwards.
Mix Gaviscon powder with cool, boiled water or formula milk.
Our Choice For The Best Heartburn Reliever For Pregnant Women
Its understandable that you will feel a bit lost when it comes to choosing the best heartburn relief as there are countless options to consider. But if you want to get your heartburn to disappear fast, you should start with Pink Stork Pro: Pregnancy Probiotic Dietary Supplement.
This probiotic supplement can help bring balance to your stomach so that there will be less digestive problems for you to worry about. This includes heartburn, indigestion, gas, and even bloating just to name a few. You will find that the probiotics are safe in your gut even when you are pregnant so you and your little one will be completely safe. There are preservatives, GMO, and other ingredients that can be harmful to your health. This product works fast so you will feel better in no time.
When it comes to heartburn when you are pregnant, you need to be careful what you take as there is a risk that you might cause harm to your little one. Fortunately, there are medications that are specially formulated for pregnant women so that you will be able to get relief from your heartburn safely. You will be surprised at how easy to deal with your pregnancy because there are no heartburns to worry about.
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How To Get Rid Of Heartburn Naturally While Pregnant
How to get rid of heartburn with diet?
We already know acid reflux recurs most at night.
The relaxation after a hard day needs anything but the best. But, unfortunately, heartburns occur most when you try to rest at night.
So, the best way to get rid of heartburn when pregnant naturally might include some of these:
The highly rich whole-meal food is laced with zinc, manganese, and magnesium.
Oatmeal is not only easy to prepare but also easy to digest.
Moreover, oatmeal can be made as a part of a meal or dessert.
Regardless, it will boost metabolism whenever you decide to have a bowl. It also supports better intestinal health.
Pregnant women can eat it in smaller portions.
Its one of the most filling foods to get rid of heartburn while pregnant.
So, these were some of the foods that wont cause heartburn during pregnancy and can help avoid terrible acid refluxes.
Clearly, there are easy-to-get solutions with natural as well as medicinal options.
Now, let us look at the causes of heartburn during pregnancy.
If You’re Taking Prescription Medicines
Speak to your GP if you’re taking medicine for another condition, such as antidepressants, and you think it may be making your indigestion worse. They may be able to prescribe an alternative medicine.
Never stop taking a prescribed medicine unless you’re advised to do so by your GP or another qualified healthcare professional who’s responsible for your care.
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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.