Wednesday, August 17, 2022
HomeFactsWhy Do Pregnant Women Have Heartburn

Why Do Pregnant Women Have Heartburn

What Makes It Worse

Tips and Exercises against Heartburn During Pregnancy

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.

How Can You Ease Your Symptoms

Although it is usually harmless to you and your baby, heartburn can be painful and uncomfortable for you.1 There are two simple things worth trying straight away:4

  • Adopting a healthy diet rich, fatty or spicy foods can trigger heartburn, as can eating large meals. Instead avoid eating foods that can trigger your heartburn, switch to eating smaller meals several times a day and dont eat in the 34 hours before you go to bed
  • Sitting and sleeping in a more upright position putting a wooden block under the head of your bed to raise it up can help if you get heartburn at night.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist about Gaviscon. Many Gaviscon products are suitable for use during pregnancy to give you effective relief of heartburn and indigestion symptoms.

What To Drink For Heartburn During Pregnancy

If youre wondering what to drink when expecting a baby and plagued by indigestion, there are many beverages that you can sip on throughout the day for relief.

  • Milk. The alkaline composition of milk including cows milk and nut milks can provide immediate relief from heartburn. Just stay away from milk that is high in fat, as fatty foods can cause even worse heartburn.
  • Coconut water. Coconut water is very high in electrolytes which promote pH balance and help to neutralize stomach acid.
  • Herbal tea. Ginger, fennel, peppermint, and marshmallow root are all heartburn remedies that can be found in tea form. Sip on herbal tea in between meals to prevent or relieve heartburn.
  • Water. Thats right good old water. Sip on it throughout the day to make sure that you stay hydrated so that your digestive system can work as efficiently as possible without any hitches in the form of indigestion.

Avoid beverages that may exacerbate symptoms include caffeinated drinks such as coffee or green, white and black tea, carbonated drinks, and acidic drinks such as orange juice.

Don’t Miss: Headache And Heartburn At The Same Time

How Is Heartburn During Pregnancy Treated

You may incorporate certain lifestyle modifications before choosing medications to treat heartburn in pregnancy. However, if the symptoms are not manageable and become severe, then your doctor may prescribe pharmacologic therapy .

  • Over-the-counter antacids: Antacids are the first line of treatment for heartburn in pregnancy. These acid-suppressing drugs help neutralize the stomach acid, controlling heartburn and providing immediate relief from symptoms. Some studies have shown that high-dose antacids for a long time are not advisable in pregnancy and may pose certain risks to the mother and the baby . Therefore, contact your doctor for recommended dosage of antacids during pregnancy.
  • H2 blockers: H2 blockers or Histamine-2 receptor antagonists are widely used to treat the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux in pregnancy. Studies have demonstrated that these medications do not pose the risk of abortions or preterm birth and are safe to use during pregnancy .
  • Proton pump inhibitors : PPIs are known to cause a prolonged reduction in stomach acid production. Moreover, research studies reveal that these medications are not associated with maternal-fetal risks and are safe to use during pregnancy .
  • When To Speak To A Doctor

    Why Do You Have Heartburn During Pregnancy?

    Pregnancy heartburn is really common and not easily avoidable. But sometimes, it may be cause for concern. If you have heartburn that prevents you from sleeping, comes back as soon as your antacid wears off or doesnt respond to OTC meds or remedies, or creates other symptoms like weight loss, difficult swallowing, coughing, or black stool, call your doctor. Those could be signs of gastroesophageal acid reflux disease, or GERD, and left untreated could cause damage to your esophagus. Also, if your heartburn is greatly affecting your quality of life, let your doctor know. There are stronger medications they can prescribe that may offer some relief .

    You May Like: What Can Heartburn Be A Symptom Of

    Is There Anything I Can Do To Relieve And Prevent Constipation During My Pregnancy

    Constipation is very common in pregnancy. It happens for four reasons:

  • The hormone progesterone increases during pregnancy and this slows digestion
  • More of the water that comes from food and beverages gets absorbed from your intestines
  • As your uterus grows it puts more pressure on your rectum
  • Iron supplements can cause constipation and are often prescribed during pregnancy for anemia
  • To help relieve and prevent constipation you should:

    • Eat plenty of fibre this can be found in vegetables, fruit, whole grains and legumes . The recommendation for fibre during pregnancy is 28 g every day. Most Canadians do not meet their daily fibre requirements
    • Bananas, applesauce and rice may be binding, so you may want to limit these foods if youre constipated
    • Drink plenty of fluids water, milk and soup are all included. Pregnant women should aim to get about 10 cups of fluid every day
    • Be as active as you can, as long as your doctor has not told you to avoid activity
    • If you are still constipated after trying all of these tips, speak to your doctor before trying any laxatives

    What Causes Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

    Acid reflux occurs when some acid leaks up into the gullet . The lining of the oesophagus can cope with a certain amount of acid. However, if more than the usual amount of acid refluxes, it may cause some inflammation on the lining of the oesophagus, which can cause symptoms.

    The sphincter at the bottom of the oesophagus normally prevents acid reflux. It is thought that when you are pregnant:

    • The increased level of certain hormones that occurs has a relaxing effect on the sphincter muscle. That is, the tightness of the sphincter is reduced during pregnancy.
    • The size of the baby in the tummy causes an increased pressure on the stomach.

    One or both of the above increase the chance that acid will reflux into the oesophagus. The dyspepsia usually goes away after the birth of your baby when your hormones change back to their non-pregnant state and the baby is no longer causing increased pressure on your stomach.

    You are more likely to develop dyspepsia in pregnancy if you have previously had gastro-oesophageal reflux before you were pregnant.

    Recommended Reading: What Does It Mean To Have Heartburn All The Time

    Are There Home Remedies For Heartburn During Pregnancy

    Some home remedies might help reduce heartburn during pregnancy .

  • Yogurt: Probiotics such as yogurt may help ease heartburn. You may include a cup of fresh yogurt in your meals.
  • Milk and honey: The American Pregnancy Association recommends having a glass of warm milk with a tablespoon of honey this might neutralize stomach acids .
  • Ginger: Ginger is known to be an effective remedy for an upset stomach it may also reduce inflammation and prevent acid reflux. You may include ginger in your tea.
  • Almonds: Nuts and dry fruits are low in acid levels. You can munch on a handful of almonds. The rich oil content in almonds may control gastric acid production and reduce heartburn.
  • Sugar-free gum: Chewing on sugar-free gums can stimulate the production of saliva, which is known to neutralize stomach acids.
  • Medicines For Indigestion And Heartburn

    True or false? My baby will have a full head of hair if I have heartburn during pregnancy?

    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:

    Also Check: Heartburn Pregnancy Boy Or Girl

    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 Lifestyle Changes Prevent Pregnancy Heartburn

    Heres some good news: Although heartburn is one of the biggest complaints during pregnancy, its also one of the easiest to treat for many people, says Dr. Ruiz.

    Lifestyle changes can make a big difference. For example, eating smaller and more frequent meals may be enough for relief. This helps the stomach expand less, potentially reducing any problematic pressure against the lower esophageal sphincter. As an added bonus, the approach tends to be better for keeping energy levels consistent, Dr. Ruiz says. If heartburn at night is a problemand even if its notits helpful to avoid eating within two to three hours before bed, he adds.

    The kind of advice given to non-pregnant heartburn sufferers about diet applies here, too. That means staying away from highly acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, and onions, as well as spicy choices that may kick off more acid production. Dr. Gray says three options that tend to exacerbate heartburn during pregnancy are chocolate, caffeine, and carbonated beverages.

    Another hack: Sleep with your upper body elevated slightly7, so its at least above the height of your stomach. You can prop up the top of your bed, use an adjustable bed frame, or sleep on a wedge pillow. That may be difficult as your pregnancy progresses and you cant lie on your back, but if youre in the first or second trimester, it may be a way to get relief from nighttime heartburn.

    Also Check: Bicarbonate Of Soda For Heartburn

    Having Severe Morning Sickness

    Because the girl produces more hormones, her mother will suffer from much terrible morning sickness.

    Yes, severe morning sickness is a sign of carrying a baby girl. The truth is that the women can determine the sex of an unborn child based on her illness during pregnancy. According to the 2017 research case, those who get pregnant to a girl experience more inflammation as their immune systems were exposed to bacteria.

    If you carry a girl, you may feel extremely unwell comparing to women conceiving a boy.

    Dont Miss: Is Milk Good For Heartburn

    When Should I Talk To My Doctor

    Heartburn in Pregnancy

    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.

    Recommended Reading: Can You Have Acid Reflux Without Heartburn

    What Safe Lifestyle Changes You Can Make

    There are also lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your acid reflux during pregnancy.

    • Avoid large meals â eating a few smaller meals throughout the day is recommended, especially since progesterone slows your digestion.
    • Reduce your intake of fatty foods, spicy foods, as well as citrus fruits, which tend to instigate acid reflux.
    • Stop eating 2-3 hours before bed, and use a pillow or wedge to prop yourself up â gravity will help keep acid reflux at bay. If you have to sleep on a side, choose the left side, which is known to be better for reducing acid reflux.
    • Chew sugarless gum after meals â itâll activate saliva, which helps neutralize stomach acids.
    • While you canât do anything to alleviate the pressure of your growing baby on your belly, it can help to wear loose-fitting clothes, as pressure on your stomach increases the risk of acid reflux.

    A major pregnancy lifehack is herbal peppermint tea â itâs cooling and helps to ease digestion and any stomach issues you may experience. However, peppermint tea relaxes the muscles of the uterus, which is known to increase the risk of miscarriage. And while peppermint tea hasnât been connected with miscarriages in any scientific study, itâs recommended that women with a history of miscarriages avoid drinking the tea. Regardless, be sure to talk to your doctor about how much is safe to consume, and what the best course of action is for you.

    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.

    Don’t Miss: Quick Ways To Relieve Heartburn

    Which Diet And Lifestyle Changes Relieve Heartburn During Pregnancy

    The management of heartburn during pregnancy involves many of the same principles as management in the non-pregnant state. Lifestyle changes may include:

  • Raise the head of the bed on 6- to 8-inch blocks. Alternatively, a 6- to 8-inch wedge-shaped foam rubber pad could be used to elevate the upper body. It is important the foam is firm enough to truly elevate the upper body. The wedge should also extend all the way to the waist so the entire chest is elevated.
  • Lying on the left side at night may decrease acid reflux just as it does in non-pregnant women with GERD. In this position, it is physically more difficult for acid to reflux into the esophagus.
  • Occasionally, it may be necessary to sleep in a recliner chair at a 45-degree or greater angle.
  • Any specific foods that aggravate heartburn should be avoided
  • Frequent, small meals should be eaten rather than three large meals, and the last meal of the day should be early in the evening.
  • After meals, pregnant women are prone to heartburn should not lie down.
  • After the evening meal, no further liquids should be consumed. The emptier the stomach at bedtime, the less likely there will be reflux of acid.
  • Smoking should be discontinued for numerous reasons during pregnancy, including that it aggravates reflux.
  • How Do I Know Am One Week Pregnant

    Your Hairy Baby is Giving You Heartburn! | Week 9 of Pregnancy

    Pregnancy symptoms in week 1

    According to the Office on Womens Health, the most common first sign of pregnancy is a missed menstrual period. Other early pregnancy symptoms include: nausea with or without vomiting. breast changes including tenderness, swelling, or tingling feeling, or noticeable blue veins.

    Dont Miss: Lettuce Upset Stomach

    Recommended Reading: Is Frequent Heartburn A Sign Of Heart Disease

    Ropes And Nuchal Cords

    In certain cultures, superstition advises pregnant women to avoid stepping over ropes while pregnant, since doing so could result in a nuchal cord, in which the umbilical cord becomes tangled around the babys neck. In the modern era, the myth has been extended to include electrical cords. Myth also recommends against raising the arms above the head while pregnant, as this, too, could result in a nuchal cord. There is no scientific basis for any of those myths.

    Symptoms Of Heartburn During Pregnancy

    Common heartburn symptoms reported by pregnant women include:

    • A burning feeling in the chest just behind the breastbone that occurs after eating and lasts a few minutes to several hours
    • Chest pain, especially after bending over, lying down, or eating
    • Burning in the throat — or hot, sour, or salty-tasting fluid at the back of the throat
    • Belching

    Recommended Reading: How To Ease Heartburn In Pregnancy

    Accurate Symptoms Of Baby Boy During Early Pregnancy

    There are many old wives tales that our ancestors point out towards the gender of the baby. Additionally, the mothers instincts are also added on to the guessing game. However, there are other symptoms that indicate its a baby boy. If you are a curious mom wanting to know, here are some incredible symptoms of baby boy that indicate the gender of the baby.

    Read Also: Natural Ways To Relieve Heartburn

    How Does Heartburn Feel

    How to Get Rid of Heartburn In Pregnancy

    I have heartburn! I heard the prayer many times, but how does it really feel? Generally is for heartburn, a burning pain just behind the breastbone. It is not uncommon for it to be accompanied by bitter burps, accompanied by a reflux of stomach contents into the throat or even the mouth. Heartburn usually occurs when you are lying down.

    Don’t Miss: What To Take To Prevent Heartburn

    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.


    Most Popular