What Can I Eat That Wont Give Me Heartburn While Pregnant
The good news is you can eat a lot of things that wont cause heartburn symptoms while pregnant. The important question really is, says Dr. Johnson, what should you not eat if you have GERD? There is actually a relatively short list of foods to avoid, including alcohol, chocolate, citrus juices, tomato-based products, peppermint, coffee, and fatty foods.
How Can I Prevent Heartburn During Pregnancy
They say prevention is the best medicine, so knowing common heartburn triggers can help you keep the acid at bay.
Of course, pregnancy itself is a major trigger for heartburn. As your growing uterus puts pressure on your stomach, this pushes stomach acid up your throat.
Those lovely hormones are no help either. They tend to relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus, which makes it easier for acid to make its way upward.
While theres nothing you can do to stop this entirely, there are a few things that can help prevent heartburn from flaring up during pregnancy:
How To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Unfortunately, no matter what you do, youll probably still feel the burn sometimes. Talk to your OB about what medications you can safely take for relief .
You can reduce the risk and severity of heartburn by avoiding triggers like chocolate, coffee, tea, citrus, tomato sauces, spicy stuff and fried foods. It also helps to sleep with your head slightly elevated and to consume minimal fluids with mealsjust be sure to drink plenty of water an hour before and an hour after meals so you dont get dehydrated.
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What Are The Causes Of Heartburn In Pregnancy
In early stages of pregnancy, the body starts producing big quantities of progesterone which has a relaxing effect on muscles, which enables better absorption of nutrients that feed the baby. However, progesterone can also loosen the lower esophageal sphincter which separates the stomach from esophagus. However, if it is too relaxed, stomach acid might go back from the stomach into the esophagus which might cause a very uncomfortable burning sensation around the heart .
Heartburn In Pregnancy: Acid Reflux Or Gerd
The terms heartburn, acid reflux and GERD are often used interchangeably, even though they actually mean different things.
Acid reflux is quite a common medical condition that comes with symptoms varying from mild to more serious. When acid reflux appears chronically and in a more severe form, we are talking about GERD. Heartburn is a symptom of both acid reflux as well as GERD.
This article focuses on heartburn during pregnancy and its various causes, which can be connected to both GERD and acid reflux.
Every woman is different, so its difficult to define all the early signs of pregnancy. However, heartburn is one of the common signs that something special is going on in your body in early pregnancy, especially if you cant think of any other triggering factors.
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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.
Why Do Pregnant Women Get Heartburn
When a woman becomes pregnant, the levels of progesterone in her body rise and remain elevated for the duration. These increased levels of progesterone result in the relaxing of the stomach valve leading back to the esophagus, allowing an increased amount of stomach acid to enter the throat and thus causing that burning sensation we all associate with acid reflux.
These additional hormones due to pregnancy also cause a womans digestion to slow to allow her body and the babys to absorb more nutrients. This can also result in food lingering in the stomach longer than normal, causing increased stomach agitation and heartburn, a symptom that is only exacerbated by the growing womb crowding the abdomen.
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Myths About Heartburn During Early Pregnancy
MYTH 1: Heartburn in early pregnancy determines gender
More heartburns mean a sign of a male child in the womb but there is no evidence of this.
MYTH 2: Heartburn during pregnancy determines hair quantity
It is a myth that if you suffer from heartburn during pregnancy, your baby will be born with a lot of hair.
But the fact is that heartburn is a common problem among pregnant women and has nothing to do with the amount of hair for your child.
MYTH 3: Is heartburn early in pregnancy a sign of twins?
Pregnant mothers with twins complain of more heartburn due to the increased pressure of babies pushing against their stomachs than mothers who do.
But it is difficult to distinguish the severity of heartburn between the two conditions.
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Foods That Cause Heartburn During Pregnancy
Certain foods can also trigger heartburn.
In the book, The Whole 9 Months, author Jennifer Lang, M.D. states that although pregnancy heartburn, gassiness, indigestion, constipation, and other bothersome symptoms start from weight gain and as the belly grows:
I strongly believe that all of these symptoms are worsened by eating a lot of animal products. Meats will sit in your digestive system longer, causing increased heartburn, constipation, and hemorrhoids.
Additionally, spicy foods, greasy foods, processed meats, foods high in fat, foods that have caffeine , and citrus foods can trigger 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.
Avoid Big Meals At Night Or Late Night Eating
Make sure to have your last meal of the day at least 2-3 hours before bedtime. This would reduce stomach acid while allowing the stomach to partially empty the contents before sleeping. Large meals can put pressure on the stomach. Therefore, try to take 5-6 small meals a day rather than three big meals. Also avoid heavy meals post evening.
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Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix 1 teaspoon of vinegar with approximately 8 ounces of water sip throughout the day and an hour before meals.
It seems strange to think about drinking vinegar when your chest is burning, but low stomach acid actually creates heartburn. This works because it increases the acids, resulting in relief. Make sure the vinegar is raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. Bonus points for an amber bottle.
Medicines For Indigestion And Heartburn
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:
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Wear Loose Fitting Clothes
Have you been putting off buying maternity clothes?
Are you still squeezing yourself into your pre-pregnancy clothes?
Mama, it might be time to think again!
This dietician says avoiding those tight fitting clothes can help relieve heartburn.
So if youre looking for some comfortable tops, check out these fun maternity shirts.
Babys Growth In The First Trimester
During the first 13 weeks, your baby changes from a fertilized egg into a fully-formed fetus. All the major organs and systems are taking shape. That means your baby could be harmed if you use street drugs, have an illness, or get exposed to radiation. Heres whats happening:
The fertilized egg becomes a cluster of rapidly dividing cells that implants in your uterus. The placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic sac all start to grow.
Your babys nervous system changes from an open neural tube to a brain and spinal cord. Nerves and muscles start working together. Your baby can move on its own, but its too soon for you to feel it.
The heart takes shape and begins to beat. You can hear it on ultrasound as early as week 6. It beats 120 to 160 times per minute. Red blood cells are forming.
Your baby develops a digestive system, including intestines and kidneys.
They have lungs and other major organs, but theyre not fully developed.
A soft skeleton is starting to grow.
Your baby starts to look like a baby, with arms, legs, fingers, and toes. Their face gets eyes, ears, a nose, and mouth. A tongue and tooth buds grow. Eyelids cover your babys eyes, and by the end of the trimester, they even have fingernails.
Genitals start to grow, but its too early to tell by ultrasound whether youre having a girl or a boy.
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What To Do If You Have Heartburn During Pregnancy
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.
How Does Heartburn Feel
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.
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Opt For Natural Remedies To Avoid Heartburn During Pregnancy
As youve seen, there are natural remedies to combat the discomfort caused by heartburn during pregnancy.
If youre unable to find relief, its best to consult your obstetrician to evaluate the need to incorporate any medication.
Either way, always keep in mind that establishing healthy lifestyle habits is positive in all stages of life. Not only should you eat well, but also exercise frequently and get a good nights sleep.
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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Why Treat Heartburn And Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
Heartburn and acid reflux are traditionally considered innocuous because they are common in pregnancy and are usually self-limiting. However, a recent study suggests that GERD is associated with an increase in the severity of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy , which can have serious negative effects on a womans quality of life. In a prospective cohort study conducted by the Motherisk Program, 194 pregnant women with NVP and heartburn or acid reflux were compared with 188 pregnant women with NVP who did not have heartburn or acid reflux. The 2 groups were assessed for severity of NVP with the pregnancy-unique quantification of emesis and nausea score, which is a validated scoring tool based on frequency and duration of nausea, vomiting, and retching in the past 24 hours, with a high score indicating more severe NVP. Quality of life was measured by the well-being score, with 0 being the worst and 10 being the best. Forty-eight percent of women in the control group had severe NVP according to the PUQE, compared with 75% in the group with heartburn and acid reflux. The mean well-being score in the control group was significantly higher than that in the group with heartburn and acid reflux .
Heartburn During Pregnancy: What Really Helps
Almost half of all women suffer from heartburn during pregnancy. But why, how can I avoid it and what home remedies help against heartburn during pregnancy?
Heartburn during pregnancy is particularly common in the second and last trimesters. The burning sensation in the esophagus is unpleasant, but mostly harmless to the pregnant woman and the baby. We will tell you why heartburn occurs, how you can prevent the symptoms, and what home remedies really help against heartburn during pregnancy.
Belly after birth this is what it really looks like and this is how it recedes faster
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Should I Be Worried About Heartburn During Pregnancy
While heartburn isnt fun, it generally isnt a serious problem. However, pain in the abdomen or shoulder, which is sometimes mistaken for heartburn, can be a sign of preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication where the woman develops high blood pressure and signs of damage to the liver or kidneys, usually after 20 weeks. If your heartburn is sudden, doesnt go away, accompanies pain in the abdomen and up the back, and is really intense with severe pain, contact your health care provider or go to the hospital for emergency assessment, says Martin.
Heartburn Acid Reflux And Gerd During Pregnancy
Its called heartburn, although that burning feeling in your chest has nothing to do with the heart. Uncomfortable and frustrating, it bothers many women, particularly during pregnancy.
The first question you may have is how to make it stop. You may also wonder if treatments are safe for your baby. Learn what causes heartburn during pregnancy and what you can do about it.
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Does Water Help Heartburn
Drinking water during the later stages of digestion can reduce acidity and GERD symptoms. Often, there are pockets of high acidity, between a pH or 1 and 2, just below the esophagus. By drinking tap or filtered water a little while after a meal, you can dilute the acid there, which can result in less heartburn.
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.
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Can Heartburn Be An Early Sign Of Pregnancy
Another early pregnancy symptom of pregnancy may be a change in your digestion, like heartburn. If you start feeling heartburn or a burning sensation in your chest after eating lunch at your favorite deli, it might not be that they changed up their recipe. It could be heartburn that is pregnancy -related.
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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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Why Is Gerd Common During Pregnancy
GERD is practically a hallmark of pregnancy because changing hormone levels can affect the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. The hormone progesterone, producedin large amounts by the placenta, is a smooth muscle relaxant, according toHeather Johnson, MD, an OB-GYN at Reiter, Hill and Johnson of Advantia Health in the Washington, D.C. area. The relaxation of muscles in the digestive system also causes the lower esophageal sphincter muscles to relax. This allows stomach acid to more easily make its way into the esophagus. This, combined with the increasing size of the uterus in the second and third trimesters, pushes the stomach upward and intensifies uncomfortable symptoms. Hence, symptoms tend to worsen as the pregnancy progresses, Dr. Johnson notes.
Heartburn And Indigestion In Pregnancy
Heartburn causes a burning feeling in the chest or throat. Its uncomfortable, but is not usually harmful to pregnant women or their babies.
8 out of 10 pregnant women experience heartburn. You’re most likely to get heartburn in the third trimester of your pregnancy.
The symptoms of heartburn include:
- a burning feeling in your chest or throat
- acid coming up into your mouth
- feeling sick
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