What Lifestyle Changes Relieve Heartburn
There are several ways to treat and avoid heartburn with lifestyle changes .
Lose weight and maintain your ideal weight. Excess weight increases the pressure on the stomach, increasing the chance of acid reflux into the esophagus.
Avoid foods that aggravate heartburn and replace them with healthy foods. Avoid foods that trigger heartburn . Consider keeping a food journal to alert you to foods that make your heartburn worse. Decrease the amount of food you eat.
Elevate the head of the bed: If you are experiencing heartburn at night, elevating the head of the bed will decrease reflux.
Learn What Causes Heartburn For Youthen Avoid It
Fat, caffeine, chocolate, citruspregnant women with heartburn have been advised to avoid all of the above at one time or another. But what causes reflux in one woman might not be a trigger for another.
Rather than tell his pregnant patients to avoid a specific food, Dr. Richter says he advises them to stay away from foods that specifically aggravate them. Everybody’s different, Dr. Richter says. Some pregnant women can chow down on spicy Mexican food or a plate of spaghetti and meatballs with no ill effects.
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.
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Does Water Help With Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
Water can be a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to affecting GERD symptoms in pregnancy. Dr. Johnson notes that some women find that drinking water after a meal helps. It is thought that it may reduce the level of acidity in the stomach. However, Dr. Ross suggests saving the water for non-meal times, as drinking large amounts while eating may fill up the stomach and increase the risk of acid reflux and heartburn.
Because stomach volume is reduced due to the growing uterus, consuming too much water can provoke GERD symptoms. Any extra water you drink can overwhelm the lower esophageal sphincter, causing uncomfortable symptoms. In other words, drink water in moderation, preferably after or between meals, to avoid provoking symptoms.
How To Relieve Pregnancy Heartburn
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.
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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.
What Foods And Drinks Cause Heartburn
- Alcohol: Alcohol can relax the lower esophageal sphincter.
- Coffee and orange or other acidic juices are some of the beverages that can worse or trigger heartburn.
- Fatty foods, fried foods, and some acidic foods as well as spicy foods can cause heartburn.
- Additional foods that make heartburn worse.
Every person reacts somewhat differently to specific food groups. To track what foods worsen your symptoms, keep a food journal. In this journal, you should keep track of what you eat, the time you ate, any activity that worsened or made the heartburn better, and indicate which days you have heartburn symptoms. Over time, you will be able to correlate the offending foods with heartburn events. Print this and take this with you to your next doctor’s appointment to discuss possible causes of heartburn you may be experiencing.
Pregnancy tends to aggravate heartburn because the lower esophageal sphincter is weakened during pregnancy. This weakened resolves after delivery of the baby. Pregnancy also distorts the organs in the abdomen and the increased abdominal pressure from the growing fetus causes heartburn. These changes promote the reflux of acid and heartburn.
Approximately 17% to 45% of women who become pregnant will suffer from heartburn.
Management of heartburn during pregnancy consists of many of the same home remedies and lifestyle changes for a person with heartburn who is not pregnant .
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Heartburn During Pregnancy And Your Babys Hair
If you heard that heartburn during pregnancy means your baby will be born with a full head of hair, you may have wondered if its true or its simply an old wives tale.
Of 28 pregnant women in the study, 23 who had moderate or severe heartburn gave birth to babies with average or above average amounts of hair.
Whats more, 10 out of 12 of the women who had no heartburn during pregnancy had babies with less than average or no hair at all.
Whether heartburn has something to do with the amount of hair your baby will have or not doesnt really matter but its still fun to imagine what your baby will look like when you finally get to meet him.
Who Needs Heartburn Relievers
Who needs to get their hands on the best heartburn relief? If you are pregnant and have been suffering from heartburn from time to time, taking a heartburn relief medication can soothe the pain away. This is because the medicine will help prevent the gas from building up in your stomach then cause the acid to come up all the way back to your esophagus. You wont have to worry about that burning sensation slowly moving up your throat because of this medication.
You can also use the best heartburn relief if you are prone to indigestion when eating. There are some individuals who tend to experience indigestion during meal times so taking medications for it can help relieve the build-up of gas and acid in the stomach. It is important that the medication is taken prior to eating so that it can do its work in helping keep the stomach and digestive system working efficiently.
If you have acid reflux, the best heartburn relief can be a huge help in keeping gas, bloat, and acid from forming too much in your stomach to the point that it will go back up your throat. Acid reflux can be painful at times especially after eating or when lying down but with a medication that provides relief, you will be able to go on normally without having to worry about a distended belly because of the gas present and the acid that gradually slides back up the throat.
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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 To Treat Heartburn During Pregnancy
For many people, pregnancy can cause different problems and heartburn is one of them.
Uncomfortable and frustrating, heartburn can make you forget about the pleasure of being pregnant as your mind becomes occupied by the pain and burning sensation in your chest.
There are two main causes of heartburn during pregnancy the ongoing hormonal changes in the body and the increasing pressure on the stomach from the growing womb.
The hormonal changes in the body can cause the muscles in the esophagus to relax more frequently. This allows stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus, especially when youre lying down to take a nap or after youve eaten a large meal.
With each passing day, your uterus expands to accommodate the growth of your baby. This means your stomach is under more pressure, which also results in food and acid being pushed back up into your esophagus.
Its common to have heartburn during the first and third trimesters, but it doesnt mean you have to just bear with it throughout your pregnancy.
While medicines are not recommended for pregnancy-related heartburn as they can have lasting effects on the unborn baby, there are many simple things that can help you deal with this problem and maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Here are the top 10 ways to treat heartburn during pregnancy.
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How To Get Rid Of Heartburn During Pregnancy Fast
You never know when or where heartburn may strike. Its a good idea to keep some emergency heartburn-relief remedies in your handbag in case youre caught off guard.
Keep a small stash of the following items on you at all times:
- A teabag of your favorite heartburn-relieving herbal tea
Calcium-containing antacids such as Tums or Rolaids .
During pregnancy, the stomach has prolonged gastric emptying times and the gastroesophageal sphincter has decreased tone. Together, these changes lead to reflux and possibly combine with decreased esophageal tone to cause ptyalism, or spitting, during pregnancy as well as reflux and heartburn.
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.
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Indigestion And Heartburn In 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.
Listen To What Your Body Is Telling You
What you can eat during pregnancy is largely dependent on how certain foods make you feel. In your first trimester, you likely had aversions and foods that induced nausea just by looking at them. Now, certain foods may trigger heartburn. Fat, caffeine, chocolate, and citrus fruits are all common foods that cause heartburn during pregnancy. Know your triggers and stay away from them.
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Treatment For Heartburn And Acid Indigestion During Early Pregnancy
Before jumping into the possible treatment options for pesky heartburn, confirm you are indeed pregnant with your trusted health care provider. They can help you better understand how to approach your symptoms and decide next steps.
If you are indeed pregnant and experiencing heartburn, we recommend taking the following measures to keep your heartburn symptoms at bay.3
- Avoid foods that flare up your symptoms. These might include spicy foods, fried foods or meals, caffeine such as coffee or soda. Create a journal of foods that youve noticed might cause upset stomach.
- Stay away from large meals just before bedtime. This can trigger acid reflux due to your sleeping position.
- Sleep with a pillow wedge that raises your head to deter acid reflux.
- Consult with your doctor to determine whether an antacid, like TUMS, would be right for you.
While its no fun to experience heartburn and acid indigestion, talk to your care provider about the many tools and resources to help you manage. Whether together you decide you should use TUMS to help manage your symptoms or find comfort in pairing antacids with other preventative measures, you have options.
What Makes It Better
For most women, things that help reduce acid production or prevent reux are helpful in avoiding the discomfort of heartburn. Here are tips that may help:
Avoid classic spicy foods, as well as those with lots of fat or grease. Many people recommend avoiding citrus and chocolate, as well.
Eat multiple, small meals spread throughout the day, much like grazing, instead of three big meals.
Try elevating the head of your bed by several inches, and wait a while after eating before going to bed or lying down.
Some women find that its better to drink fluids between meals, rather than with a meal. This can increase the amount of contents in the stomach.
If your symptoms do not improve after the above recommended diet and lifestyle changes are in place, talk with your healthcare provider about over-the-counter medicines. Antacids are available as chewable tablets and liquids. They work by coating the lining of the esophagus and stomach and neutralizing stomach acid. Heartburn medicines called H2-blockers work by reducing the amount of acid made by your stomach. Although most of these are considered safe in pregnancy, as with all medicines, these should be avoided in the first trimester.
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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.
Diet Nutrition And Lifestyle
What and how you eat can make all the difference with heartburn during pregnancy.
- Eating smaller meals throughout the day
- Making your main meal at lunchtime, which takes pressure off the digestive tract later in the day when the body is tired or ready for bed
- Avoiding food a couple hours before bed or a nap
- Sitting upright after eatinglying down can push stomach contents back up
- Propping your head up with a couple of pillows while sleeping
- Tight fitting clothes. They put even more pressure on your organs.
- Liquids while you eat. This dilutes your digestive juices, making them less effective.
- Eating the following aggravating acidic foods:
- Caffeinated and sugar beverages, like tea, coffee, soda, etc.
- Spicy, fatty, rich, and fried foods
- Fizzy drinks
- Large quantities of meat in one sittingthe body works harder if overloaded or too rich
Again, adding and subtracting certain foods and behaviors daily will help build a more balanced foundation for your wellness.
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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.
Drink Fluids In Between Meals
Drinking water is one of the best healthy habits to start during pregnancy but it can also aid digestion.
The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine recommend pregnant women drink between 8 to 10 glasses of water a day however, you may find that drinking water in between meals, rather than with your meals, can help fight pregnancy heartburn.
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When Will It End
Heartburn symptoms are usually mild and manageable. Tell your healthcare provider if your heartburn is severe, if you spit up blood, or have dark-colored bowel movements. This is a sign of blood in your digestive tract. Fortunately, heartburn usually ends with the birth of your baby and your body goes back to its nonpregnant state.
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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Safe Medications During Pregnancy
Theres no doubt that along with the joys of pregnancy, women can and do experience uncomfortable side effects. If youre feeling under the weather, you may be wondering if over-the-counter remedies are safe for you and your baby. In most cases, its best to avoid OTC medications particularly in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. While some medications are safe to use in limited quantities, other medicines are known to increase the chance of birth defects or other problems.
If you have questions or are considering a medication thats not listed below, please reach out to your doctor for additional safety information. You should also call your doctor if you have a fever 100.4 F or greater, or if symptoms persist or worsen. The obstetrics specialists at Northeast Georgia Physicians Group are here to help you weigh the risks and benefits of prescription and over-the-counter medications that are safe to take during pregnancy.