When To Speak To A Doctor
Pregnancy heartburn is really common and not easily avoidable. But sometimes, it may be cause for concern. If you have heartburn that prevents you from sleeping, comes back as soon as your antacid wears off or doesn’t respond to OTC meds or remedies, or creates other symptoms like weight loss, difficult swallowing, coughing, or black stool, call your doctor. Those could be signs of;gastroesophageal acid reflux disease, or GERD, and left untreated could cause damage to your esophagus. Also, if your heartburn is greatly affecting your quality of life, let your doctor know. There are stronger medications they can prescribe that may offer some relief .
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.
How Do I Know If My Pregnancy Is Healthy
The first way to make sure that your pregnancy is healthy is by keeping your blood pressure and blood sugar levels in check. In fact, the decision to get pregnant should be immediately followed by checking your blood pressure and the levels of sugar in your blood. You should follow up on these in all the trimesters.
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How Can You Ease Your Symptoms
Although it is usually harmless to you and your baby, heartburn can be painful and uncomfortable for you.1 There are two simple things worth trying straight away:4;
- Adopting a healthy diet rich, fatty or spicy foods can trigger heartburn, as can eating large meals. Instead avoid eating foods that can trigger your heartburn, switch to eating smaller meals several times a day and dont eat in the 34 hours before you go to bed
- Sitting and sleeping in a more upright position putting a wooden block under the head of your bed to raise it up can help if you get heartburn at night.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about Gaviscon. Many Gaviscon products are suitable for use during pregnancy to give you effective relief of heartburn and indigestion symptoms.
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.
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Why Do You Get Heartburn In First Trimester
During pregnancy, your body produces more of the progesterone hormone which relaxes smooth muscles including the ring of muscle in your lower esophagus that normally keeps food and acids down in your stomach. This muscle relaxation can lead to acid reflux, otherwise known as heartburn.
What Can I Eat That Wont Give Me Heartburn While Pregnant
Soups, smoothies, yogurt, milkshakes, protein shakes, and puddings are good choices. Look for liquids that offer plenty of protein, such as milk and drinkable yogurt, and aim to make solids a little less so: chew solid foods slowly and extremely well, until theyre almost liquefied, Brandeis adds.
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How To Stop Heartburn And Indigestion
Try the following as your first port of call.
- Avoid large meals and eat smaller ones more often about every three hours.
- No midnight feasts. Dont eat late at night or three hours before bedtime.
- Avoid triggers like fatty and spicy foods, chocolate, caffeine and fizzy drinks or fruit juice. Keep a food diary to identify triggers
- Raise the head of your bed by 10 cm to 15 cm, or sleep propped up on lots of pillows.
- Avoid medication that may cause or worsen symptoms, if appropriate. Discuss it with your doctor before stopping any prescribed medications
- Stop smoking.
Avoiding Indigestion And Heartburn
If your symptoms are mild, it’s possible that changes to your diet or lifestyle may help prevent indigestion and heartburn. You could try:
- eating smaller meals, more often
- avoiding eating just before bed
- avoiding foods and drinks that you suspect give you heartburn
- not drinking a lot of coffee at the end of the day
- avoiding eating and drinking at the same time, which can make your stomach more full
- sitting up straight while eating, and not lying down after a meal
- chewing gum, which may cause you to produce more saliva to help neutralise the acid
- stop smoking
- raise the head of your bed by 10 to 15cm
- sleep on your left side
If your indigestion is not helped by diet and lifestyle changes, or your symptoms are more severe, your doctor or midwife may suggest that you take a medicine for indigestion that is safe to use during pregnancy. Medicines can neutralise the acid in your stomach, reduce the amount of acid produced by your stomach and stop the acid rising into your oesophagus.
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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.
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.
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Reasons Youre Still Having Heartburn After Pregnancy
You thought your pregnancy heartburn would stop after you gave birth, but your kid is now a toddlerand heartburn is still causing you pain. Here are some reasons why the condition may be persisting, and what you can do to fix it.
Nearly all moms know about pregnancy heartburn. But now that babys walking, talkingand maybe already in school!youre still battling the burn. What gives? As it turns out, some common habits of motherhood can lead to acid reflux or even make those symptoms worse. Read on to learn whats behind that burning feeling in your chest, and what you can do to put out the flame.;
1. It takes a large coffee or tea to get through the day. Some experts think that the caffeine in that cup of joe relaxes the muscle at the top of the stomach, which allows acid to wash back up, causing heartburn. However, other research has been inconclusive. If you want to play it safe, try an all-natural perk-me-up instead of coffee: Hit the stairs. One study of people who regularly didnt get enough sleep found that that subjects who climbed stairs for just a couple of minutes had the same energy boost as if theyd chugged a cup of coffee. ;;
4. Youre overweight. Carrying even a few extra pounds can worsen heartburn, even if youre at a normal weight, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Being overweight or obese means that youre up to three times more likely to have frequent symptoms. Shedding that extra weight may help provide relief. ;;
When Can I Expect The Heartburn To End During Pregnancy
Unfortunately, heartburn is a symptom you’re likely to experience throughout your entire pregnancy if you have it at all.
In fact, even if you escaped indigestion early on in your pregnancy, there’s a good chance you’ll have a surge starting around the second or third trimesters, when your uterus;takes over your abdominal cavity and forces your stomach upwards.
Fortunately, the burn should clear up as soon as you give birth.
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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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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? ;
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Discuss H2 Blockers With Your Doctor
If an antacid isn’t working, it may be time to consider stronger medications.
Your first option will likely be an H2 blocker like Tagamet or Zantac. These drugs suppress stomach-acid production. All four H2 inhibitors on the market are now available without a prescription and considered to be safe during pregnancy. But talk to your doctor before taking them.
“They really work,” says Einarson. “You only have to take one or two a day.”
Does Drinking 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. via
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The Two Most Common Causes Of Heartburn During Pregnancy Are: 3
- A progesterone surge Increased levels of the hormone progesterone cause your muscles to relax. This includes the ring of muscle at the junction between your oesophagus and your stomach. Usually this muscle also known as your lower oesophageal sphincter stops your stomach contents from escaping into your oesophagus. So when this relaxes, stomach acids can;easily travel back up into your oesophagus, causing heartburn symptoms to appear.
- Pressure from your baby– During the later stages of your pregnancy as your baby gets bigger, this puts extra pressure on your stomach, also causing heartburn.
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
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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.
How Do You Self Check Your Stomach For Pregnancy
Walk your fingers up the side of her abdomen until you feel the top of her abdomen under the skin. It will feel like a hard ball. You can feel the top by curving your fingers gently into the abdomen. Figure 10.1 With the woman lying on her back, begin by finding the top of the uterus with your fingers.
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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.;
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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Talk To Your Doctor About Heartburn Medications
This includes over-the-counter ones some are safe to take during pregnancy.
Antacids help neutralize the acid in your stomach and quell that burning sensation. The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health says OTC antacids containing calcium carbonate are safe to use.
If you havent been able to quiet your heartburn with lifestyle changes, your doctor may suggest heartburn drugs like Tagamet and Prilosec, which are generally considered safe during pregnancy. While these drugs are available OTC, you might receive a prescription for a stronger dose if your doctor thinks its warranted.
When youre pregnant, you have to think about the safety of everything you put into and on your body. Some heartburn medications that might be OK for your nonpregnant sister but not for you include:
- Antacids containing sodium bicarbonate, which can increase swelling.
- Antacids containing aspirin, which can be toxic to your baby. Aspirin use during pregnancy has been associated with pregnancy loss, heart defects, and bleeding on the brain in premature infants.
- Antacids containing magnesium trisilicate, which havent been proven safe to use in pregnancy.
How Do I Know Am One Week Pregnant
Pregnancy symptoms in week 1
According to the Office on Womens Health, the most common first sign of pregnancy is a missed menstrual period. Other early pregnancy symptoms include: nausea with or without vomiting. breast changes including tenderness, swelling, or tingling feeling, or noticeable blue veins.
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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.