Adopt Healthy Eating Habits
Eating too much during pregnancy is a common mistake that can lead to acid reflux and heartburn. Forget the common misconception that you should be eating for two, and instead make sure you take care of your health by eating just enough.
Moreover, if your stomach suddenly becomes too full, heartburn is more likely to occur. Control your indigestion during pregnancy with smaller meals consumed more often throughout the day. Avoid big meals, and especially do not eat too much before going to bed.
Heartburn During Pregnancy: Causes And How To Treat
Hey mama! If youre pregnant, we all know what that means… you may really be feeling the burn! And its not from that tough workout or from sitting under the sun for too long Its a much more unfriendly kind of burn that you feel from pregnancy heartburn.
You commonly hear people talking about the struggle of having heartburn, but no one feels this as much as pregnant women do. Unfortunately, heartburn is a common discomfort that pregnant women feel during the first, second, and third trimester of their pregnancy.
Heres some information about heartburn and what you can do about it!
What Are The Symptoms Of Heartburn Or Acid Reflux
Heartburn feels like a strong burning sensation in the chest and can be extremely uncomfortable. It is also known as acid reflux and indigestion .
Heartburn can show itself as a discomfort , bloating, wind, burping and nausea. Youll be able to compare notes with a lot of other mum friends as up to eight out of ten pregnant women get heartburn .
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Heartburn Medication To Avoid During Pregnancy
Talk to your doctor before taking any antacids. Some contain ingredients that may harm you or your baby. Be sure to not to take these medications:
Ranitidine. In 2020, the FDA stopped sales of an H2 blocker called ranitidine because it was contaminated with a cancer-causing agent. If you take OTC ranitidine, stop your use. If you have a prescription for ranitidine, talk to your doctor about other options before you stop your medication.
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.
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.
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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What Makes It Worse
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.
Use A Pregnancy Pillow
With a growing bump, finding comfortable sleeping positions can get significantly challenging. Furthermore, for pregnant women who seasoned back sleepers and stomach sleepers, adhering to the recommended side sleeping position can prove to be an even more impossible challenge.
Here, a pregnancy pillow can come in quite handy. Pregnancy pillows like the Slumbar Bump pregnancy pillow provide extra cushioning that can significantly increase your comfort level and ease your transition to side sleeping.
The right pregnancy pillow should provide the extra support you need around your belly, knees, and ankles, ensuring you get the best sleep possible.
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Why Is Heartburn During Pregnancy A Common Problem
Dont worry if you get heartburn or indigestion during your pregnancy, youre not alone. In fact, up to 80% of your fellow mums-to-be are also similarly suffering, especially in the last three months of your pregnancy.1
If you feel a burning sensation or discomfort in the centre of your chest towards the lower end of your breastbone, thats heartburn .1,2 But what is it about being pregnant that triggers your heartburn symptoms?
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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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.
When Does Heartburn Start In Pregnancy
Initial symptoms of heartburn can appear quite early in pregnancy, even around the second month. As such, heartburn can be an early sign of pregnancy in many women.
However, the symptoms can worsen later in pregnancy, especially when you reach the third trimester. The reason for this is the growing uterus that puts more pressure on your stomach and organs.
As described earlier in the article, this can result in the stomach contents spilling out and up into the food pipe, and causing that unpleasant burning sensation.
Since almost a half of all pregnant women experience heartburn, which often lasts throughout the whole pregnancy, this unpleasant phenomenon is not only one of the earliest signs of pregnancy but also one of the most common.
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Quit Smoking And Alcohol
It goes without saying that smoking and alcohol are bad for the foetus for many different reasons. One of them is the increased likelihood of experiencing acid reflux in pregnancy, as drinking alcohol and inhaling the chemicals in smoke can contribute to indigestion. Both work towards relaxing the lower oesophageal valve, which lets the acid escape from your stomach and go up into your throat.
Is Heartburn A Sign Of Pregnancy
If youve never experienced heartburn before, or are feeling this strange sensation more frequently than usual, you could first try to minimise your intake of acidic, salty and spicy foods. For more ideas on how to deal with this issue, check out the rest of this article.
In case this does not alleviate your problems, its probably time to take a pregnancy test and visit your physician as soon as possible to check what is causing you this discomfort.
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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.
Why Exactly Does Pregnancy Cause Heartburn
Heartburn during pregnancy will plague most moms-to-be at some point because progesterone, the hormone that relaxes muscles in pregnancy, also relaxes the stomach valve that keeps acid out of the esophagus. In addition, the growing uterus crowds the stomach, forcing acid into the esophagus.
But there are safe, effective ways to stop it. “Pregnant women really don’t need to suffer with heartburn anymore,” says Adrienne Einarson, RN, assistant director of clinical services at Motherisk, a Toronto-based program that investigates the effects of prenatal exposures on maternal and fetal health. Here, experts recommend 12 different ways to soothe heartburn during pregnancy.
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Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Whether you are pregnant or not, a good sleep routine is a must-have as it helps prevent complications like heartburn, while providing myriads of other health benefits.
Furthermore, the faster you fall asleep, the lower your chances of suffering heartburn, as deep sleep helps to inhibit the mechanism that triggers acid reflux. Hence, optimizing for faster and deeper sleep is an effective sleep solution for pregnancy heartburn relief.
Some effective habits to implement to increase your chances of falling asleep quicker and staying in a deep sleep for longer include:
- use comfortable pillows and mattress
- establish a steady sleep schedule
- exercise daily
Read More: 8 Useful Tips: How to Reset Sleep Schedule?
Was It Something I Ate
You expected the swollen ankles, the morning sickness, and the burgeoning breasts. But this burning indigestion? Whered that come from?
As the name implies, heartburn feels like a fiery churning that starts behind your breastbone and travels up your esophagus, a tube connecting your throat to your stomach. These acids can even make it all the way up your throat.
In addition to feeling a burning sensation which can last several minutes to several hours you may also:
- feel bloated
- have a sour taste in your mouth
- have a sore throat
- cough frequently
While the burrito you ate for dinner probably didnt help matters , the burning feeling you have has more to do with hormones than jalapenos.
45 percent of moms-to-be experience heartburn. And if you had heartburn before pregnancy, youre even more likely to have it during.
Heartburn can fire up, so to speak, at any point in pregnancy, but its most common during the second and third trimesters. Experts arent exactly sure what causes the smoldering, but they suspect its a three-pronged problem.
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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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Or Inquire About Proton Pump Inhibitors
If other medications don’t help, there are also proton pump inhibitors , such as Prevacid. These have a more powerful acid-suppressing effect than H2 blockers, and most are available over the counter.
Although PPIs are, in general, safe for pregnant women, animal studies have raised concerns that omeprazole could harm a developing fetus, Dr. Richter says. “My recommendation to patients would be to avoid that one because there are about five or six out there on the market, with the H2 blockers,” he says. “All of them look to be safe during pregnancy.”
Be sure to discuss any medications with your doctor.
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What Is Heartburn And What Are The Symptoms
If youâve never had heartburn before, you might think it has something to do with your heart. Actually, it has nothing to do with the heart! Heartburn happens when the contents of your stomach flow backward up into your esophagus . Sometimes heartburn is referred to as acid reflux.Because the acids from your stomach irritate your esophagus, when you have heartburn you feel a burning sensation in your throat and chest at the heart level, hence the name.More than 50 percent of moms-to-be experience heartburn at some point during pregnancy. For some of them, it can be the first time they experience heartburn, which can be startling and even worrisome.
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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Prevention Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
Some tips that may help you cut down on heartburn during your pregnancy include:
- Eat several small meals each day instead of three large ones.
- Eat slowly.
- Avoid fried, spicy, or rich foods or any foods that seem to cause relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter and increase the risk of heartburn.
- Donât smoke tobacco or drink alcohol, which can make heartburn symptoms worse.
- Drink less while eating. Drinking large amounts while eating may increase the risk of acid reflux and heartburn.
- Don’t lie down directly after eating.
- Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of your bed. Or place pillows under your shoulders to help prevent stomach acids from rising into your esophagus.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing. Tight-fitting clothes can increase the pressure on your stomach and abdomen.
- Try to avoid constipation.
Home Remedies To Manage Pregnancy Heartburn
Easy to follow home remedies that can help prevent heartburn during pregnancy.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, heartburn is a common complaint during pregnancy and there may be various underlying causes of the condition. Heartburn has nothing to do with the heart, but it is a burning sensation at the centre of the chest that is quite uncomfortable to live with.
Here are a few home remedies you can use to get rid of heartburn during pregnancy.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Heartburn In Pregnancy
How you can tell if youre suffering from heartburn and how can you ease your pain?
For most pregnant women, the symptoms of heartburn and indigestion include:1, 4
- A burning feeling in your chest or throat, most often after eating
- Acid coming up into your mouth, causing a sour taste
- Feeling full and bloated
- Feeling sick or even vomiting.