Does Heartburn During Pregnancy Mean My Baby Will Be Born With Hair
Suffering from severe heartburn? You may want to stock up on baby shampoo. Research has backed up the superstition that, on average, the more heartburn you have during pregnancy, the more likely your baby will be born with a full head of hair.
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
Why Does It Happen In Pregnancy
Many women who have heartburn during pregnancy have never had that problem before. Unfortunately, if you had heartburn before becoming pregnant, youre more likely to have symptoms while you are pregnant. Although the exact reasons arent clear, most experts believe that pregnancy hormones, particularly progesterone, play a role. Hormones cause relaxation of the esophageal sphincter. This is a tight circular band of muscle at the top of the stomach. This allows partially digested food and stomach acids to backflow, or reflux, into the esophagus. In addition, progesterone also slows the digestive process. This keeps food in the stomach longer. The pregnancy itself the upward pressure of the growing uterus also may play a role.
How Can Heartburn In Pregnancy Be Relieved
Although heartburn can last for the entire pregnancy, there are some things you can do to relieve the feelings.
Some suggestions are:
- Eat a high fiber diet
- Dont eat late at night
- Dont eat and then lie down
- Sleep propped up, not completely horizontal
- Eat a diet low in acidic and fatty foods.
Its best to try to treat heartburn during pregnancy naturally.
Although its unpleasant, heartburn isnt usually serious enough to take stronger measures.
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Don’t Eat Right Before Bed
Having a hearty meal and then heading to bed is a recipe for heartburn, warns Joel Richter, MD, director of the division of gastroenterology and nutrition and the esophageal diseases center at the University of South Florida, in Tampa, who has studied heartburn during pregnancy. He recommends trying not to eat for at least three hours before you go to sleep. You should also try to avoid liquids starting a few hours before bedtime.
Causes Of Indigestion In Pregnancy
Symptoms of indigestion come when the acid in your stomach irritates your stomach lining or your gullet. This causes pain and a burning feeling.
When you’re pregnant, you’re more likely to have indigestion because of:
- hormonal changes
- the growing baby pressing on your stomach
- the muscles between your stomach and gullet relaxing, allowing stomach acid to come back up
You may be more likely to get indigestion in pregnancy if:
- you had indigestion before you were pregnant
- you’ve been pregnant before
- you’re in the later stages of pregnancy
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How To Relieve Pregnancy Heartburn
When youre experiencing heartburn, a handful of raw almonds can help you feel better, as can ginger or ginger tea. Also, try snacking on pineapple, which can act as a digestive enzyme. After dinner, we know its tempting to lie on the couch and watch Netflix, but try going on a walk to ease your heartburn. In terms of medications, its considered safe to take Tums, Gaviscon or Ranitidine , but its a good idea to talk to your health care provider before taking any medication.
Symptoms Of Indigestion And Heartburn
Symptoms of indigestion and heartburn include:
- a burning sensation or pain in the chest
- feeling full, heavy or bloated
- burping or belching
- feeling or being sick
- bringing up food
Symptoms usually come on soon after eating or drinking, but there can sometimes be a delay between eating and developing indigestion.
You can get symptoms at any point during your pregnancy, but they are more common from 27 weeks onwards.
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Recently I’ve Felt A Terrible Burning Sensation After Eating Is It Heartburn
- An increase in the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the smooth muscles of the uterus . Experts believe this hormone relaxes the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach, allowing gastric acids to seep back up the pipe, which causes the uncomfortable sensation of heartburn.
- Progesterone also slows down the wave-like contractions of the stomach, making digestion sluggish.
- In later pregnancy, your growing baby crowds your abdominal cavity, slowing elimination and pushing stomach acids up from the stomach into the esophagus.
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.
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If You’re Taking Prescription Medicines
Speak to your GP if you’re taking medicine for another condition, such as antidepressants, and you think it may be making your indigestion worse. They may be able to prescribe an alternative medicine.
Never stop taking a prescribed medicine unless you’re advised to do so by your GP or another qualified healthcare professional who’s responsible for your care.
Suffering From Pregnancy Heartburn 5 Top Tips To Relieve Heartburn During Pregnancy
If you are having pregnancy heartburn, you are definitely not alone! In fact, pregnancy heartburn affects 8/10 women at some point during their 9 months and – as you probably know by now – can be pretty unpleasant. Its been found that around 1/4 of women experience heartburn during pregnancy in their first trimester, 1/3 of women in their second trimester and 3/4 of women in their third trimester. So, whilst some things get better as your pregnancy progresses, pregnancy heartburn, although harmless is unfortunately, likely to get worse.
Thankfully there are some solutions and pregnancy heartburn remedies that have been tried and tested. To help you find pregnancy heartburn relief and put your mind at ease, weve put together a brief insight into what pregnancy heartburn actually is and some of the best ways to manage it.
What is pregnancy heartburn?
All heartburn, including heartburn during pregnancy, is caused by acid reflux: Acid from your stomach rises up through your food pipe , irritating it. This happens when a small muscle, located where the food pipe meets the stomach, is weak or too relaxed. Its job is to let food into the stomach and to stop food and acids from coming back out, but if it is weak, the stomachs contents are able to flow upwards. It can leave you with pain or a burning feeling in your chest and/or throat. It can also cause a hoarse voice, sickness, bloating, an unpleasant taste in your mouth and bad breath not fun!
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Medications For Heartburn During Pregnancy
Are there any safe medications one can take for heartburn during pregnancy? Yes, over-the-counter medications such as Tums. According to studies, tums are safe, and they offer relief for heartburn during pregnancy. Additionally, they have calcium components which are essential in the body. At average, pregnant women need 1200mg of calcium daily. Other medications can help manage heartburn while pregnant besides tums they include Rolaids and Maalox.
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Sleep On Your Left Side
Whether it is during pregnancy or any other time, health experts recommend sleeping on your left side.
Lying on your left side at night may decrease acid reflux, as it is more difficult for acid to flow into the esophagus while youre in this position.
In pregnant women, a left-sided sleeping position will also prevent the liver from putting pressure on the uterus and also promote blood flow to the fetus.
Plus, it may help relieve back pain and help you enjoy much-needed sleep.
A 2000 study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology reports that increased esophageal acid exposure can be seen in the right recumbent position relative to the left recumbent position .
Drink Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is so popular right now for treating common ailments, cleaning around the home, even for pets!
And, mama, it might also help relieve your heartburn during pregnancy.
Mama Natural recommends starting with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water. Sip throughout the day.
Apple cider vinegar might just be your new GBB!!
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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.
- Dont 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.
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What Does Heartburn Feel Like
Heartburn typically feels like a burning in the center of your chest, behind your breastbone. When you have heartburn, you may also feel symptoms like:
- A burning feeling in your chest that can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours.
- Pain in your chest when you bend over or lay down.
- A burning feeling in your throat.
- A hot, sour, acidic or salty taste in the back of your throat.
- Difficulty swallowing.
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Heartburn During Pregnancy Remedies
Preventing heartburn is the best way to deal with it! Here are some helpful tips for avoiding heartburn:
- Eat five to six smaller meals throughout the day rather than three large meals
- Wait an hour after eating to lie down
- Avoid spicy, greasy, and fatty foods
If you are experiencing heartburn, there are a few natural ways to relieve the symptoms:
- Eat yogurt or drink a glass of milk
- Try a tablespoon of honey in a glass of warm milk
Over-the-counter antacids may prove helpful in relieving your heartburn, but do not take antacids without speaking to your healthcare provider. Some antacids contain high levels of sodium, which can cause fluid buildup in body tissues. Some also contain aluminum, which is not considered safe for pregnancy.
If your heartburn is severe, your healthcare provider may prescribe medication for you.
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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 To Avoid Heartburn During Pregnancy
Heartburn or indigestion may not be new for you. You may have had it during your first trimester and then it went away. But now, its back. And youre likely wondering why.
Many pregnant women have heartburn at some point. The hormone progesterone relaxes the ring-like sphincter at the base of your esophagus. This normally closes off entry to the stomach. When it doesnt close, food mixed with digestive enzymes can back up into your esophagus. The result: irritation and a burning sensation in your chest. And in the third trimester, you can also feel full because your growing uterus is putting pressure on your stomach.
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Why Does It Happen What Makes It Better Or Worse A Doctor Answers Indegestion Questions
Chances are good that youre one of many pregnant women who experience the churning and burning of heartburn or acid indigestion. It typically hits somewhere in the second or third trimester, and it can be miserable. Heartburn doesnt really mean your heart is burning, but its a good description of the discomfort that begins behind the breastbone. It then moves upward to the neck and throat. Officially, heartburn is known as gastroesophageal reflux, when acidic stomach juices or food and fluids back up into the esophagus. This is a hollow muscular tube between your mouth and your stomach.
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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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:
How To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Even though heartburn is common during pregnancy, there are some steps that can help relieve this problem, such as:
- Avoid hard to digest foods such as mustard, mayonnaise, pepper, coffee, chocolate, soda, alcoholic drinks or industrialized juices
- Avoid drinking liquids during meals
- Eat fruits like pears, apples, mangoes, ripe peaches, papaya, banana and grapes regularly
- Chew all your food very well, to ease digestion
- Avoid lying down for at least 30 minutes after eating
- Do not wear clothes that are very tight on the tummy and bump
- Eat small portions at a time
- Avoid smoking or exposing yourself to cigarette smoke
- Avoid eating 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.
Heartburn usually goes away after labor because the stomach has more space to expand in the abdomen and the hormonal levels go back to normal. However, women who gained a lot of weight during pregnancy can still have persistent heartburn for up to one year after labor. Additionally, heartburn can be a symptom of reflux that should be identified and treated in accordance to doctor recommendations.
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When Does Heartburn In Pregnancy Start
Heartburn can and often does start during the first trimester, says Dr. Camille Thélin, MD, MS, a clinical assistant professor and Womens Digestive Health Program Director, Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, University of South Floridas Morsani College of Medicine.
Thats when those pregnancy hormones start surging through your body. They seem to decrease the pressure in the valve that separates the stomach from the esophagus. This valve is actually a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter. Think of it like a door between the esophagus and the stomach, suggests Dr. Thélin. And when the pressure decreases, it doesnt do its job quite as effectively.
That allows the strong digestive acids in the stomach to creep back up into the esophagus toward your throat. That acid is what causes the burning sensation and possibly a sour taste in the back of your mouth.
However, if youre one of the lucky ones who make it through the first trimester heartburn-free, dont get too comfortable just yet: Heartburn can also develop during second or third trimester, too.