Symptoms Of Indigestion And Heartburn
Symptoms of indigestion and heartburn include:
- a burning sensation or pain in the chest
- feeling full, heavy or bloated
- burping or belching
- feeling or being sick
- bringing up food
Symptoms usually come on soon after eating or drinking, but there can sometimes be a delay between eating and developing indigestion.
You can get symptoms at any point during your pregnancy, but they are more common from 27 weeks onwards.
Herbal Supplements And Vitamins
Some alternative therapies have been found to safely and effectively alleviate some of the uncomfortable side effects of pregnancy but natural doesnt always mean these herbal supplements are safe. As with any over the counter medication, its important to talk with your doctor about every supplement or vitamin you take while pregnant.
Prenatal vitamins are also an important part of a healthy pregnancy. Multivitamins that include folic acid are safe and important before and during the first few weeks of pregnancy because they can help prevent some birth defects. Your doctor or midwife can advise you about which type of multivitamin with folic acid you should take. Medical providers sometimes prescribe extra folic acid or iron supplements, depending on your specific situation.
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.
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Reasons To Avoid Antacids During Pregnancy
Though not serious or rampant, antacids could lead to the below problems during pregnancy.
An antacid is not the only remedy for heartburn and acidity. You may try some safe natural remedies too.
Are Tums And Other Antacids Safe During Pregnancy
As a bonus, calcium carbonate antacids also add extra calcium to your diet. This may help you meet your higher calcium goal of about 1,000 mg to 1,300 mg per day.
But what about other OTC antacids? If you see ingredients other than calcium carbonate listed on the bottle of an antacid, you should talk to your healthcare provider before taking it. There are differing opinions among healthcare providers about how much of some antacids are OK to take during pregnancy. And there are some antacids that should be avoided altogether.
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How Is Heartburn Treated
Treatment for pregnant women with heartburn focuses first on making lifestyle changes. These are things like changing what and how you eat. It also focuses on taking nonprescription antacids.
Some doctors may recommend the prescription drug sucralfate, along with lifestyle changes and nonprescription medicines.
The medicines listed below are generally safe during pregnancy. But talk to your doctor before you use them.
- H2 blockers. Examples are cimetidine and famotidine .
- Proton pump inhibitors. Examples are omeprazole and lansoprazole .
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.
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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:
What Can You Do To Feel Better
Heartburn is very common during pregnancy. Here are some things that can help.
- Eat small meals.
Try 4 to 5 smaller meals instead of 2 or 3 large ones.
- Cut back on drinks with caffeine.
These include coffee, tea, and some sodas.
- Avoid foods that have a lot of acid.
These include tomatoes and oranges.
- Cut out chocolate, peppermint, and spicy foods.
- Stay upright after meals.
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Antacids You Shouldnt Take
You should always read the labels and ask your doctor before using OTC medicines, herbs, or home remedies while youre pregnant. Even though it may seem like something should be safe, it isnt always. Some conventional treatments for heartburn that you shouldnt use during pregnancy are:
- Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate
- Bicarbonate of soda
- Products containing aspirin
What Does Gerd Feel Like During Pregnancy
GERD can wear many hats and feel different in each individual, says Dr. Garza. Some may experience an intense burning sensation in the chest and throat, while for others it is a sharp pain just below and slightly to the left of the sternum. Some will have a sour taste or frequent regurgitation or burping. Often, symptoms are worse after meals, and this may make eating challenging, notes Dr. Ross.
Because the symptoms can be wide-ranging and different for each person, it is important to know what symptoms are concerning. Rarely, GERD can cause severe esophageal irritation that leads to pain or difficulty with swallowing, or even bleeding. Passing dark or black stool would be concerning for the development of bleeding and should prompt an immediate discussion with your physician/obstetrician, says Dr. Garza. He also cautions that GERD does not typically cause shortness of breath, pain with breathing, nor chest pain with exertion. Any of these symptoms could be signs of a more worrisome complication of pregnancy, especially the development of a blood clot, and would indicate that medical advice is necessary.
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What Pregnant Women Can Take For Pre
Safe to take: It’s best to consult your doc if you’re on a prescription for a pre-existing health issue, but you’ll most likely need to continue taking life-saving meds during your pregnancy.
The goal is always to give the minimum dosage necessary to keep your symptoms under control, because there may be greater risks if you’re affected by say, asthma or seizures, than by the effects of taking those meds on the baby. “And even though we don’t recommend regular, prolonged exposure to anxiety drugs such as Zanax, Ativan, and valium because they’re addictive substances and the baby could have withdrawal symptoms at birth, we do prescribe them in rare occasions because you have to have a healthy, happy, functioning mom in order to have a healthy pregnancy,” says Dr. Park.
High blood pressure can be treated with methyldopa or a number of other medications. But it’s best to avoid a group of drugs called ACE inhibitors, commonly used to treat high blood pressure. These drugs can damage fetal kidneys after the first trimester. While most asthma medications are considered safe, , less is known about sprays containing salmeterol, so consult your doctor before use.
What Can I Eat That Wont Give Me Heartburn While Pregnant
The good news is you can eat a lot of things that wont cause heartburn symptoms while pregnant. The important question really is, says Dr. Johnson, what should you not eat if you have GERD? There is actually a relatively short list of foods to avoid, including alcohol, chocolate, citrus juices, tomato-based products, peppermint, coffee, and fatty foods.
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Try Out Pepcid For Your Heartburn
One of the branded medications that you can take is Pepcid. This medication is commonly used for treating ulcers in the stomach, and it helps to balance out the amount of acid within the stomach and in the food pipe. It is very commonly recommended to those with GERD, which can flare up during pregnancy.
Since it doesnt cause other effects on your body, it is safe during pregnancy. In fact, doctors recommend it in many heartburn meddicine cases.
There are both liquid and tablet forms. Liquids tend to be the most favored and they may feel like they soothe on the way down. If you want to eliminate the problem completed, consider the above advice of taking a tablet with little water.
Natural Alternatives To Antacids
Natural measures could help treat and prevent indigestion and heartburn effectively. Here are some alternatives you may try:
- Skimmed milk, yogurt, and soft cheeses
- Fermented vegetables including sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, and miso
- Apple cider vinegar . Drizzle a few drops over a salad or mix a couple of drops in a glass of water.
In addition to using natural remedies, you may take some care while eating food:
Have you taken antacids while pregnant? Share your experience with us in the comment section below.
What Are The Safest Ways To Deal With Heartburn And Reflux During Pregnancy
The best way to treat pregnancy heartburn is to prevent it. Here are some tips to help you avoid it:
Avoid common triggers like caffeine, spicy foods, and greasy foods
Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones
Avoid acidic foods like citrus juices and tomatoes
Wait at least 3 hours after eating before you go to bed
Wear clothing that fits loosely to help relieve pressure on your stomach
Raise the head of your bed by about 4 to 6 inches to help acid better stay in your stomach
There are also some natural ways to treat heartburn symptoms. Eating yogurt or drinking milk can help relieve the burning sensation. You can also try mixing about a tablespoon of honey with a glass of warm milk.
Try Chamomile Tea Instead
If the ginger tea isnt working or you want something else to work with it, chamomile tea is the option to go for. Again, opt for lukewarm water if the hot water is making your heartburn worse.
Chamomile is excellent for calming your whole system. If youre struggling to sleep because of the pregnancy symptoms, chamomile tea is highly recommended. Youll also find that it can settle your upset stomach if you suffer from morning sickness.
Can You Take Heartburn Medicine While Pregnant
Tums and Alka Seltzer are two brand-name, over-the-counter medicines frequently used to treat heartburn. Can you take Tums while pregnant? Can you take Alka Seltzer while pregnant? What should pregnant women know about heartburn and the medicines used to treat it? First and foremost, more than half of all pregnant women say they have symptoms of severe heartburn. Heartburn causes a burning pain in the chest and upper abdomen, and it can be a symptom of whats called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Heartburn seems to be most common during the second and third trimesters. Heartburn is a burning sensation which is caused by contents of the stomach that moves back upward. Severe heartburn can be incredibly uncomfortable and can create complications in severe circumstances. Medical professionals and researchers believe that heartburn is so common during pregnancy because of the changes in hormones that occur. Hormonal changes can affect digestive tract muscles and also food tolerance. Its also possible that hormones related to pregnancy can cause part of the stomach muscles to relax which allows more stomach acids to move into the esophagus. An enlarged uterus may also play a role by pushing stomach acids upward.
Do you or someone you love have questions or concerns about a pregnancy and dont know where to turn for help? Get support and answers at the American Pregnancy Association at 1-800-672-2296.
What Pregnant Women Can Take For Pain
Safe to take: Regular and extra-strength Tylenol
A cold compress and rest can help alleviate muscle pain and headaches during pregnancy, but if you need additional relief, your doctor may recommend acetaminophen . Follow the dosage on the bottle you’ll be okay taking Tylenol while pregnant. Other types of pain relieverssuch as ibuprofen and naproxen can trigger a decrease in amniotic fluid levels in third trimester , says Dr. Park. Advil may also make a certain vessel in the baby’s heart close prematurely and cause developmental issues in later stages of pregnancy. What’s more, some studies suggest that taking aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs medications near conception or in early pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage and birth defects.
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Common Uses For Pepcid During Pregnancy
Pepcid is often a go-to OTC drug for those who have heartburn and indigestion during pregnancy.
There are many people who experience acid reflux in pregnancy due to high levels of progesterone and the increasing size of the uterus, says Rachel Gerber, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist and board certified OB-GYN at Reproductive Medicine Associates.
Pregnancy hormones slow down the muscles of the digestive tract, which causes food to move more slowly, leaving you with a sluggish digestive system.
You may also experience indigestion and heartburn when hormones relax the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach, causing the food and acids to come back up from the stomach to the esophagus. This process is responsible for the burning feeling that comes with heartburn.
When lifestyle and dietary changes dont help relieve heartburn in pregnancy, Ross says you can take Pepcid AC by mouth once or twice a day with or without food. As always, discuss taking any new medication with your doctor during pregnancy.
Are Other Heartburn Medicines Safe During Pregnancy
Talk with your healthcare provider before taking other types of OTC medications to treat heartburn. Some OTC options can go through the placenta and reach the baby. Other medications dont have as many studies backing up their safety in pregnancy.
Antacids should usually be tried first before moving on to stronger medications. But if you do need something stronger, your healthcare provider can help you weigh the risks and benefits. Studies suggest that histamine-2 antagonists and proton pump inhibitors can be used safely with guidance from a healthcare provider.
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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.