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:
Slippery Elm Bark And Marshmallow Root
Some mamas find relief from mucilaginous herbs like slippery elm bark and marshmallow root. Due to their gummy consistency, they coat the intestines and soothe digestion. Be sure to use under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner and away from food and supplementsthey can interfere with nutrient absorption.
How To Get Rid Of Heartburn While Pregnant
Here are some easy tips you can try at home to get rid of heartburn and indigestion:
Well, the nights are difficult for new mums. From the acid flux sensation to the tiredness of the day, nights are no longer rest time.
So, we gathered some changes you could incorporate into your routine.
Right below, we explore how to get rid of acid reflux while pregnant.
First on the list is the best way to get rid of heartburn at night while pregnant.
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Antacids You Shouldnt Take
You should always read the labels and ask your doctor before using OTC medicines, herbs, or home remedies while youre pregnant. Even though it may seem like something should be safe, it isnt always. Some conventional treatments for heartburn that you shouldnt use during pregnancy are:
- Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate
- Bicarbonate of soda
- Products containing aspirin
Chew Gum To Get Rid Of Heartburn
A research shows that people with gastroesophageal reflux disease got relief when they were asked to chew sugar-free gum for about half an hour after a meal. When you chew gum, it stimulates your salivary glands to increase the flow of saliva. This saliva washes away or neutralizes your stomach acid giving you instant relief from heartburn.
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Ways To Get Rid Of Heartburn During Pregnancy Fast
When you are pregnant the hormone progesterone which is a muscle relaxant will increase in your body. The hormone is responsible in relaxing all muscles in the body as a way of preparing for child birth. Remember during pregnancy the uterus muscles will relax for easy child birth.
The esophagus muscles can as well relax this makes it easy for food to escape back hence causing heartburn. As the baby develops, he will occupy more space which will push the stomach upwards hence increasing chances of heartburn. Heartburn is felt as burning sensations just behind the breastbone.
When To See Your Doctor
If you are suffering from persistent heartburn that isn’t relieved by any of the natural methods above, you may need to take medication. However, before taking any tablets during pregnancy, it’s advisable to speak to your midwife, GP or a pharmacist for advice. Whilst the right antacid may ease symptoms, some may interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients such as iron, or interact with other medications.
Doctors also recommend avoiding antacids that contain magnesium during the third trimester of pregnancy, as this mineral may interfere with contractions.
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Other Method Of Getting Rid Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
- Increase your intake of low fat milk and other dairy products
- Eat ice creams
- Increase your intake of whole grain foods
- Drink a lot of water and other fluids regularly
- Avoid wearing skin tight clothes which will exert pressure on the stomach
- Chew gum after food to increase saliva flow to the stomach
- Eat food steadily and slowly when pregnant
- Avoid smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol
- Try to reduce the amount of baking soda in your diet
- Try to bend at the knees level instead of bending at the waist level
- Try to avoid stress to improve your health as well as health of your baby
- Try to keep your weight at check. Maintaining the right weight will improve your health as well as the death of your baby.
Why Is It Worse During Pregnancy
Normally weight and genetic makeup factors predispose people to heartburn. But despite never previously being at high risk for heartburn, just the fact that you are now pregnant will increase your risks. Pregnant women who have never had heartburn before have complained about having severe bouts of it during pregnancy. And unfortunately, having experienced the discomfort of heartburn outside of pregnancy, makes you more prone to developing it during the gestation period.
Heartburn, known officially as gastroesophageal reflux, and also commonly known as acid indigestion or reflux, occurs when our acidic stomach juices, sometimes accompanied by partially digested food, backs up into the esophagus the muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. Dr. Renee Wellenstein, double board-certified OG-GYN, says “there are two main factors” which contribute to pregnancy heartburn.
Though inconclusive as to the exact reasons why pregnancy exacerbates heartburn, experts blame the pregnancy hormone, progesterone. During pregnancy, hormones help to relax your bodys muscles, which help your bodys organs contour to make room for the baby. Unfortunately, the hormones are not discriminatory and relax all the muscles in the body. The sphincter muscles, which act like a one-way valve between the esophagus and stomach, are among those muscles. When relaxed, they allow stomach fluids to flow in the opposite direction, up the esophagus, causing heartburn.
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Pregnancy Sign: Sore Breasts
Before you start cursing your bra for suddenly feeling more like a contraption from the hardware store than the lacy lingerie that took a serious chunk out of your paycheque, consider that your newly sore boobs could be a sign that youre pregnant. Breast tenderness is another common early pregnancy sign, according to Nordahl. For many women, what can make this symptom particularly confusing is that breast soreness is also a very common sign of your period. But early on in your pregnancy, your breasts may hurt because theyre expanding in preparation for producing milk.
What Is Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
People use the terms heartburn and acid reflux to mean the same thing. But they have different definitions:
- Acid reflux refers to the LES not tightening as it should. This allows the stomach acid to travel from your stomach up to your esophagus.
- Heartburn, the feeling of pain or burning in your chest, is a symptom of acid reflux.
Women may have acid reflux during pregnancy and experience heartburn due to changing hormone levels and the baby growing.
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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.
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:
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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.
Pregnant Women And Heartburn
Pregnant women are more likely to get heartburn for a number of reasons.
First, during pregnancy, the hormone progesterone is secreted in higher amounts to support the pregnancy. Progesterone causes the valve that separates the food pipe from the stomach to relax, causing heartburn.
In addition, the growing uterus starts to put pressure on the stomach and other internal organs in later pregnancy. That pressure can also push food and stomach acid back into the food pipe.
Indigestion and heartburn are more likely in women who had heartburn before pregnancy and in those who have been pregnant before.
Preventing heartburn is the best way to manage it. Certain foods or beverages tend to trigger the symptoms. Avoiding those foods can help to prevent the discomfort associated with heartburn. Foods that tend to trigger heartburn include:
- Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, and pineapple
As well as avoiding these foods, it can be helpful to eat smaller meals more often. Instead of three big meals per day, five or six smaller meals may be better.
Staying upright for at least 20 to 30 minutes after eating can prevent the stomach contents from backing up into the food pipe.
At night, it is better not to eat within 3 hours of going to bed. Propping up the head of the bed or using extra pillows to keep the head elevated can help prevent heartburn that occurs at night.
Anyone who finds it difficult to quit should speak with a doctor.
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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!
Ways To Avoid Heartburn During Pregnancy
Heartburn is a painful burning sensation experienced in the chest or upper stomach due to the reflux of acid from the stomach to the oesophagus.
All these common phenomena and sometimes a particular disease trigger the relaxation of the lower oesophageal sphincter muscle which opens up the way for acid to flow up.
Though heartburn is a common disorder and can be treated easily by using simple medications and natural therapies, its negligence can lead to a complex and more problematic ailment called Gastro oesophageal reflux disease .
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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.
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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Early Pregnancy Signs: Heartburn Gas Tender Breasts And More
Think you might be pregnant? Here are the most common pregnancy signs in the first month.
When youre hoping to be pregnant and you havent missed your period yetor its a day or two lateits pretty easy to interpret nearly any physical symptom as a sign of pregnancy. Its not uncommon to feel symptoms in the first week or two of your pregnancyor even earlier. Some women experience pregnancy symptoms from the moment of conception, says Karen Nordahl, a general practitioner and obstetrician in Vancouver and co-author of Fit to Deliver. Usually, this is second- or third-time moms who remember a particular sensation, such as increased gas. But many first-time moms miss these early pregnancy signs because the very first symptoms arent necessarily the ones we associate with having a baby on the way. So, yes, while some women experience nausea or hypersensitivity to smells, these seven symptoms are among the most common during the first few weeks of pregnancy.
What Can You Do About It
The following strategies from Wellenstein, Sridhar and experts at the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology can help:
Other non-medicinal methods which people have tried include:
- Acupuncture: Though the research regarding acupuncture and pregnant women is very limited a small trial published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine in 2009 discovered that adding acupuncture to a treatment plan of antacids and dietary adjustments made the plan more effective in relieving pregnant women’s heartburn symptoms.
- Drink fluids between meals rather than with meals: Adding fluid to a regular meal increases the number of contents in your stomach. Instead, some women have found it more comfortable to slowly drink fluids between meals.
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