Risk Of Bias In Included Studies
The three included studies were placebo controlled trials with blinding of participants and clinical staff. None of the studies provided information on how the randomisation sequence was generated. The sample sizes in the three studies were small, ranging from 30 to 156. One of the studies was carried out almost 50 years ago and examined a treatment rarely used nowadays.
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.
Keep Your Head Elevated While Resting
If you want to know how to get rid of acid reflux fast while pregnant, youve got to follow this tip.
Lying flat spurs the acid into the food pipe. This causes heartburn.
So, use recliner chairs to rest or lie with your head at an elevated surface. This helps you avoid acid reflux without any extra effort.
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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.
Do Not Eat/drink Before You Lie Down
Lying down can exacerbate heartburn symptoms. You want to use gravity to your advantage to help keep things in your stomach, where they should be.
Try not eat for about two hours before you plan to go to sleep. Walking before bedtime/after dinner can help prevent heartburn and ease digestion- if you have ever visiting a Mediterranean country you know that taking an after dinner stroll is the norm, for exactly this reason!
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Help Bad Acid Reflux At 38 Weeks Of Pregnancy: Here Is How To Get Relief
Do you have bad acid reflux at 38 weeks of pregnancy? Your Growing uterus is pushing up on your stomach. Here are some remedies that you can try to relieve pain until the baby is ready to come out.
At 38 weeks of pregnancy, the baby is almost ready to enter the world. You might have already checked off things to doin the third trimester and packed your hospital bag. Yet, the slightest change in your body might make you think that labor is about to begin.
But not just yet. You still have to go through the not-so-happy part of being pregnant: Heartburn or Acid reflux.
Heartburn or acid reflux occurs in one-quarter to one-half of pregnant women. It is a very common pregnancy symptom and can occur throughout the pregnancy, starting in the first trimester and getting worst in the third trimester.
If you are experiencing sudden bad acid reflux at 38 weeks, you are not alone. Many pregnant women experience severe acid reflux or heartburn around 36 to 38 weeks of pregnancy.
At 38 weeks of pregnancy, bad acid reflux is mainly due to your growing uterus pushing up on your stomach, causing stomach acid to enter the esophagus. Certain lifestyle changes and home remedies can temporarily relieve acid reflux symptoms at 38 weeks of pregnancy.
This article talks about what causes Bad acid reflux at 38 weeks of pregnancy and what you can do to relieve the pain until you go into labor.
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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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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Medications To Treat Gerd During Pregnancy
Beyond the dietary and lifestyle measures listed above, safe antacids are the next step in treating GERD during pregnancy. The first-line medications that are safe to use during pregnancy include:
Dr. Ross explains that these medications help coat the esophagus, minimizing the burning sensation. They also help neutralize stomach acid. These medications should be taken 30 minutes before each meal and before bedtime for optimal results, or they can simply be taken on an as-needed basis.
If you find that you are taking large and frequent doses of the above medications to treat your GERD symptoms, you may need an acid reducing medication, such as the following treatments are also safe during pregnancy:
- Zantac *Though ranitidine was previously recalled, Zantac is back on the market with the same active ingredient as Pepcid.
These are considered second-line medications. Antacids work more quickly and are less expensive. Many women with mild symptoms wont need to try Pepcid or Tagamet.
According to Dr. Garza, it is best to avoid sodium bicarbonate or aspirin containing antacids during pregnancy. For severe reflux cases requiring care beyond the safer medications listed above, it is best to talk with your healthcare professional. He or she may prescribe proton pump inhibitors if the medications above dont work. These popular medications, like Prilosec and Nexium , are also generally considered to be safe during pregnancy.
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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.
When Is Medication Necessary For Heartburn During Pregnancy:
The first step is to try over-the-counter medications .
The second step is prescription medications. OTC and prescription medications should be taken under the supervision of your prenatal care provider.
In all instances, it is best to avoid medications during early fetal development . If mediation is needed very early in your pregnancy, discuss which medications to take with your provider based on your medical history.
- Rolaids: calcium carbonate/magnesium hydroxide, considered safe during pregnancy take no more than 12 in a 24 hour period
- Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac: are safe during pregnancy Category B
- Nexium: Works by reducing acid production in the stomach and is a Category B medication.
*Category B Medications: Either animal-reproduction studies have not demonstrated a fetal risk but there are no controlled studies in pregnant women or animal-reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect that was not confirmed in controlled studies in women in the first trimester . Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation Briggs et.al. 4th edition
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Eat Smaller Meals Throughout The Day
Gastric emptying is also slowed by the progesterone hormone. Eating a large meal will stay in your stomach longer and allow more time for acid reflux to occur.
Try to eat 5 or 6 small meals a day. Do not overload your stomach when you eat. Avoid greasy, fatty, and fried foods whenever possible.
Due to a simple lack of space in your stomach, as you progress into your third trimester, your stomach will be compressed and not be able to hold as much.
Coupled with the slower emptying time and progesterone effects mentioned above, eating a large meal might not only cause you painful indigestion, it may not even stay down!
This is the same advice we give if you are fighting morning sickness. Eating small meals reduces your chances of reflux and nausea during pregnancy.
Your Hormones May Be The Reason For Newfound Heartburn Symptoms
Many women experience heartburn for the first time while pregnant. In fact, 40 to 80 percent of all pregnant women will have heartburn.1 You should speak to your doctor if you are experiencing heartburn and ask for guidance on how to manage and treat it.
There can be two main reasons why being pregnant can cause heartburn. The first has to do with the body’s increasing hormone levels. These hormones act as a muscle relaxant that helps prepare your body for childbirth. The downside? An increase in hormones may also relax the lower esophageal sphincter the valve responsible for keeping stomach acid from moving up into the esophagus where it doesn’t belong. If the LES is relaxed, the acid in your stomach can push up into your esophagus. This acid may irritate your esophagus, causing heartburn.2
The second cause of heartburn in pregnant women develops as the pregnancy progresses. Babies grow at an incredible rate, and as they do, their increasing size can put pressure on your stomach. Often, this increased pressure can push the acid in your stomach up past the LES and back into your esophagus, causing heartburn.3
While your heartburn will likely stop after giving birth, if you breast-feed, your hormones may change again to trigger heartburn. Additionally, women who experience heartburn while pregnant have an increased risk for developing heartburn or GERD later in life.
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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.
Add Fiber To Your Diet
Adding fiber-rich foods is an essential part of treating and avoiding heartburn. The recommended amount of fiber in an adult diet is 25-35 grams per day.
If you are pregnant, you might benefit from adding another 15% per day.
Foods that are rich in fiber include whole grains, popcorn, and raw vegetables. Fiber supplements can also be added to your diet but be sure that they do not contain laxative chemicals.
A regular exercise routine can be very helpful in preventing heartburn after meals.
Activities such as walking, swimming, and cycling can help speed up gastric emptying.
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When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider About Heartburn During Pregnancy
If heartburn isnt going away, talk to your provider. They can prescribe medications that are safe to take while pregnant.
You should also call your provider if you:
- Have heartburn that wakes you up at night.
- Have trouble swallowing.
- Have black poop.
- Are losing weight.
Heartburn can have similar symptoms to a heart attack. If youve never had heartburn before and youre having chest pains, call your provider or head to the nearest ER.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Heartburn during pregnancy is a common pregnancy symptom, especially in the third trimester. You can prevent or get relief from heartburn during pregnancy by making a few changes to your diet, like eating more frequent but smaller meals and avoiding spicy or fried foods. Some yogurt or milk may also help relieve symptoms. Before you take antacids, be sure to check with your provider for the safest option to take during pregnancy.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/29/2021.
Eat Smaller More Frequent Meals
Most pregnant women get accustomed to doing this anyway, especially as the pregnancy continues and the baby crowds your abdominal organs.
Eating smaller meals will allow your body to digest your food easier and should result in less heartburn. Make sure to chew each mouthful slowly and dont gulp down your food.
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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.
Pregnancy Itself Ups Your Risk Of Heartburn
Normally, there are certain factors like your weight, whether you smoke, and your genes that can increase your likelihood of heartburn. But when youâre pregnant, itâs the pregnancy itself that makes you more susceptible.
âThere are two main factors,â says Renee Wellenstein, DO, who is a double board-certified OB-GYN. One thatâs hormonal and one thatâs physical.
Heartburn is caused by acid reflux, when food and digestive fluids, which contain acids, back up in your esophagus and create that uncomfortable burn. That backup can happen when youâre pregnant because you have higher-than-usual progesterone levels, which can one slow digestion and two relax the muscle, called the esophageal sphincter, that separates your esophagus and stomach.
Combined, these two factors create the perfect storm for heartburn because the slow digestion can lead to more backup in your esophagus and the relaxed muscle makes it easier for acid to creep through.
âThe other factor is the growing uterus that physically pushes up on the stomach as it grows,â says Wellenstein.
As a result, heartburn does tend to get worse throughout pregnancy. Fortunately, all those changes to your body that cause heartburn during pregnancy quickly disappear after you give birth. So, at least thatâs something you can look forward to leaving behind at the hospital when you bring your newborn home.
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