Tips For How To Get Rid Of Pregnancy Heartburn
For most women, heartburn and pregnancy go hand in hand. Pregnancy hormones are notorious for causing your lower esophageal sphincter – the valve that separates your stomach and your esophagus to weaken. As your precious little one starts to grow your abdominal cavity begins to get crowded, causing stomach acid to be pushed up through the newly weakened LES and into your esophagus.
The good news about pregnancy heartburn is that, for most women, your symptoms will go away as soon as your baby is born! With that being said, we recognize that pregnancy heartburn can be incredibly uncomfortable, and 9 months is a long time to deal with that agonizing burn. Thankfully there are a few things you can do to decrease your chances of pregnancy heartburn and better manage your symptoms!
Here are six of our top tips for reducing heartburn while pregnant.
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:
When Can I Expect Heartburn To End
Someday, scientists may very well invent a miracle medication that promises permanent pregnancy heartburn relief. Unfortunately, that hasnt happened yet.
So, if youre wondering how long you can expect to deal with heartburn while youre pregnant, it will probably be throughout your entire pregnancy.
However, just because theres no cure, that doesnt mean you cant find some relief in the meantime.
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Try Slippery Elm To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Slippery elm has been traditionally used by Native Americans for treating various conditions including wounds, boils, ulcers, burns, skin inflammation as well as coughs, sore throats, diarrhea, and stomach problems. The herb has mucilage, a component that converts into a slick gel when it is mixed with water. It gives slippery elm its demulcent property due to which it coats and soothes the area where it is directed. In case of heartburn, it coats the layer of mucous that lines your stomach and thus creates a barrier against acid that could not find its way up to your esophagus.
- Add the slippery elm powder to water or milk whatever you are comfortable with.
- Stir it well to mix the powder completely into the water.
- You may have it 1-3 times a day depending upon the severity of your heartburn.
- Have this herbal drink after your meals and at bedtime.
S To Relieve Heartburn Fast
Now that we have gone through some of the key habit changes that you will need to apply, its time to mention a few fast methods that might relieve the burning sensation that you are feeling.
Firstly, you should try standing and sitting up straight. By keeping your head up high, you will encourage esophageal muscle contractions and thus help the acid to go back into the stomach area. Keeping your head and upper body elevated are great short-term heartburn solutions.
Along with that, chewing gum can do wonders if you suffer from acute heartburn. This is recommended for both regular heartburn sufferers and pregnant women, as sugarless chewing gum can help dilute acid and thus relieve the burning sensation.
If you are not a fan of sugarless gums, you can go for those with low-sugar content, but be sure that the flavor is not mint or eucalyptus. As we have mentioned above, spicy and acidic compounds are no good when it comes to coping with heartburn.
Additionally, if none of those methods mentioned above work and you have made changes to your daily routine including removing alcohol and cigarettes and correcting your diet, you can go ahead and take your chances with certain over-the-counter medicines.
Here we are talking about proton pump inhibitors as well as H2 blockers that both work their way through into your stomach, reducing the amount of acid that is secreted. Also, antacids prove to be efficient in terms of neutralizing stomach acid and thus relieving heartburn.
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Use Fennel And Its Seeds For Heartburn Cure
Fennel has a pH of 6.9 and thus is included in effective foods for heartburn relief. In fact, this herb is good not only for heartburn but many other diseases or conditions related to stomach problems such as indigestion, constipation, flatulence and bloating. Fennel has a volatile oil made up of such components as fenchone, trans-anethole, limonene and a-pinene. All these substances have a carminative effect that provides soothing relief to your stomach and prevents all kinds of digestive disorders including heartburn. The crunchy vegetables as well as the seeds of fennel, both are effective for heartburn.
Ways to Use Fennel for Heartburn
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.
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What Causes Heartburn During Pregnancy
Heartburn occurs when the valve between the stomach and the esophagus are unable to prevent stomach acid from passing back into the esophagus. During pregnancy, the hormone progesterone causes the valve to relax, which can increase the frequency of heartburn. This allows stomach acid to pass into the esophagus and irritate the lining.Heartburn and indigestion are more common during the third trimester because the growing uterus puts pressure on the intestines and the stomach. The pressure on the stomach may also push contents back up into the esophagus.
How Do You Get Rid Of Heartburn
Studies show that reducing overall body weight has a positive impact on reducing heartburn symptoms. Eating a diet full of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and vegetables can help lower your overall body mass. Exercising regularly, even just taking a walk around your neighborhood, can also help you lower body weight, and help you sleep . Cutting back on smoking, caffeine intake, and alcohol consumption significantly reduces heartburn attacks and also promotes better sleep.
Antacids, an over-the-counter medication, can manage mild heartburn symptoms by neutralizing the acid in your stomach. They are effective in reducing symptoms but require frequent administering and should not be taken longer than a few days.
Check with your doctor before starting any medication. If over-the-counter medication does not help, your doctor may be able to prescribe additional medication.
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Natural Remedies For Pregnancy Heartburn
Diet and lifestyle modifications are the primarytreatments for GERD during pregnancy. Try the following steps to manage acid reflux during pregnancy:
Acid Reflux During Pregnancy Third Trimester
So acid reflux is whats physically and mechanically happening when acid from your stomach is going back up going up into your esophagus which is the tube that connects from your throat down through your diaphragm to your stomach.
The primary symptom of acid reflux is the experience of heartburn. So often people use them interchangeably, but thats the difference between the two. One is the condition and the other is a symptom of that condition.
If youre suffering from it right now, you probably could not care less but now you know. So what causes acid reflux and therefore that burning sensation in the chest that we call heartburn although it has nothing to do with your heart, is primarily that the valve thats supposed to be preventing the acid from going up into your esophagus is not doing its job. This is called the cardiac sphincter, its also called the lower esophageal sphincter.
During pregnancy, the hormone progesterone causes that valve that sphincter to relax so that in itself may cause the reflux and the heartburn even early in pregnancy. Especially if thats something you are already kind of prone to. And then later in pregnancy, this gets seriously exacerbated by the increasing pressure in the developing baby below.
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Ways To Relieve Acid Reflux Without Medication
A few lifestyle changes are worth trying before resorting to drugs for controlling gastroesophageal reflux.
If you are sounding a little hoarse and have a sore throat, you may be bracing for a cold or a bout of the flu. But if youve had these symptoms for a while, they might be caused not by a virus but by a valveyour lower esophageal sphincter. Thats the muscle that controls the passage between the esophagus and stomach, and when it doesnt close completely, stomach acid and food flow back into the esophagus. The medical term for this process is gastroesophageal reflux the backward flow of acid is called acid reflux.
Acid reflux can cause sore throats and hoarseness and may literally leave a bad taste in your mouth. When acid reflux produces chronic symptoms, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disorder, or GERD. The most common symptom of GERD is heartburnpain in the upper abdomen and chest that sometimes feel like youre having a heart attack.
Three conditionspoor clearance of food or acid from the esophagus, too much acid in the stomach, and delayed stomach emptyingcontribute to acid reflux, says Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, a gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of A Womans Guide to a Healthy Stomach: Taking Control of Your Digestive Health.
If youve been having repeated episodes of heartburnor any other symptoms of acid refluxyou might try the following:
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What Are Some Ways To Sleep Better With Heartburn
Creating a sleep hygiene routine that is easy and comfortable to follow may also help improve your sleep. Taking steps such as setting a sleep schedule, creating a quiet, dark bedroom environment, and avoiding eating in the hours before you go to sleep might help. Choose pajamas that are loose around the waist to prevent any restriction around the stomach that could impact your heartburn symptoms.
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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Apple Cider Vinegar For Heartburn
It seems counterintuitive that something acidic like vinegar could help treat heartburn, but heres a twist: Sometimes, the painful sensation occurs if your stomach doesnt have enough acid to help digest the food, says Brenda Rea, M.D., R.D., a professor of medicine at Loma Linda University in California. The longer food sits in your stomach before being broken down, the greater the risk that it will cause indigestion and heartburn. A teaspoon of diluted unprocessed apple cider may provide your stomach with the acid it needs to digest the food. Its worth noting that there is no scientific proof that the vinegar trick works , and it could make your heartburn worse, so proceed with caution.
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What Does Heartburn Feel Like
Heartburn typically feels like a burning in the center of your chest, behind your breastbone. When you have heartburn, you may also feel symptoms like:
- A burning feeling in your chest that can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours.
- Pain in your chest when you bend over or lay down.
- A burning feeling in your throat.
- A hot, sour, acidic or salty taste in the back of your throat.
- Difficulty swallowing.
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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.