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.
Home Remedies For Heartburn That Bring Relief During Pregnancy
When you are pregnant there are many things you have to stay away from because they arent good for you or the baby, so what is the best thing to take for heartburn while pregnant. Lets take a look and see why you get heartburn and what options you have.
According to healthline.com the reason that you get heartburn in the first place is due to the relaxing of your esophagus muscles allowing acid to rise up your throat, this can be especially painful when lying down or right after eating.
As your uterus grows to accommodate your sweet baby it puts more pressure on your stomach which can cause acid being pushed up your esophagus and give you terrible acid reflux. So what can be done about this?
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How To Ease Pregnancy Heartburn
Undoubtedly, there are few difficulties we have to go through the pregnancy days. But we cant stop all these natural happenings of pregnancy.
So, what can we do to prevent it?
Ones diet and lifestyle plays a major role in any health-related issues.
Before pregnancy, I go out to eat more often in almost all the lip smacking fast food restaurants in my city. I am just wondering how I made all the difference in my food habits during pregnancy and after that.
I can tell, pregnancy is like a magical spell that instilled healthy eating habits in me. While there are many ways to ease heartburn during pregnancy- here is my top tip.
Graze like a cow and chew like a cow.
Eat smaller meals all throughout the day. We often leave out chewing foods properly. At least during your pregnancy period, take more time to chew your food and dont ever swallow it. In this way, you are helping your stomach for easier digestion. Enjoy it now- once the baby comes, you wont have the time or energy to chew. .
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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.
Other Causes Of Heartburn During Pregnancy:
- Fatty foods, due to increased acid production
- Spicy foods
- Pre-existing medical conditions
- Multiple pregnancies
- H. Pylori is a bacteria that has been associated with stomach ulcers. This is mentioned here more for information purposes for individuals who have had stomach ulcers associated acid reflux. This is not a routine test done for heartburn, though it may be of interest to individuals who have had chronic stomach pain/ulcers.
Since the hormonal and anatomic causes of heartburn during pregnancy cannot be avoided, the management of heartburn during pregnancy is by practicing prevention.
Reducting esophageal sphincter relaxation and decreasing intrabdominal pressure.
2. Decreasing intrabdominal pressure during pregnancy is easier said than done. Here are some suggestions:
- Dont lie flat during pregnancy, especially after eating.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects or any activity that will strain your abdominal muscles. This increases the pressure in your abdomen and will cause gastric contents to reflux up into your esophagus.
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What Does Gerd Feel Like During Pregnancy
GERD can wear many hats and feel different in each individual, says Dr. Garza. Some may experience an intense burning sensation in the chest and throat, while for others it is a sharp pain just below and slightly to the left of the sternum. Some will have a sour taste or frequent regurgitation or burping. Often, symptoms are worse after meals, and this may make eating challenging, notes Dr. Ross.
Because the symptoms can be wide-ranging and different for each person, it is important to know what symptoms are concerning. Rarely, GERD can cause severe esophageal irritation that leads to pain or difficulty with swallowing, or even bleeding. Passing dark or black stool would be concerning for the development of bleeding and should prompt an immediate discussion with your physician/obstetrician, says Dr. Garza. He also cautions that GERD does not typically cause shortness of breath, pain with breathing, nor chest pain with exertion. Any of these symptoms could be signs of a more worrisome complication of pregnancy, especially the development of a blood clot, and would indicate that medical advice is necessary.
Symptoms Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
So what does heartburn feel like in pregnancy? Heartburn happens when acid bubbles up from your gut and irritates your esophageal lining, causing discomfort or pain. Youll have a burning feeling in your chest, behind your breastbone. The sensation might start in your stomach and work its way up. It also might get worse when you lie down or bend over.
Heartburn is usually diagnosed based on your symptoms. If its severe or chronic, your doctor may want to see if you have GERD .
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Appendix G Economic Evidence Study Selection
Economic evidence study selection for review question: What interventions are effective in treating heartburn during pregnancy?
A single economic search was undertaken for all topics included in the scope of this guideline. No economic studies were identified which were applicable to this review question. See for details.
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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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.
Does Pregnancy Cause Heartburn
Pregnancy increases your risk of heartburn or acid reflux. During the first trimester, muscles in your esophagus push food more slowly into the stomach and your stomach takes longer to empty.
This gives your body more time to absorb nutrients for the fetus, but it can also result in heartburn.
During the third trimester, the growth of your baby can push your stomach out of its normal position, which can lead to heartburn.
However, each woman is different. Being pregnant doesnt necessarily mean youll have heartburn. It depends on many factors, including your physiology, diet, daily habits, and your pregnancy.
Relieving heartburn during pregnancy typically involves some trial and error. Lifestyle habits that can reduce heartburn are often the safest methods for mother and baby. The following tips may help relieve your heartburn:
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Does Apple Cider Vinegar Help With Heartburn During Pregnancy
When someone gets pregnant there are so many beautiful and miraculous things the body will experience. Youre growing a human, and its truly incredible to see what your body is capable of. But there are also numerous challenges you have to deal with. One of the most common, and unfortunately, uncomfortable challenges pregnant women experience is heartburn during pregnancy.
This is a common symptom due to changes in hormones and increased pressure on your stomach caused by your growing baby. Stomach acids are being pushed back up the esophagus during pregnancy so a lot is going on that isnt necessarily due to what youre eating or drinking. During the first trimester, it is more likely caused by hormonal changes. Whereas during the third trimester the baby growing bigger every day can be the cause.
Heartburn during pregnancy appears as a burning sensation in the stomach and esophagus that moves all the way up to the chest. The pain associated with heartburn is pain coming from behind the breastbone. However, even if the feeling is annoying, its best to try natural remedies first instead of over-the-counter medications.
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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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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:
Natural Ways To Relieve Pregnancy Heartburn
There isnt much that can be done about preventing the organic causes of heartburn during pregnancyhormones and babys growth are natural and wanted aspects of pregnancy. So what can you do?
First, its important to avoid over-the-counter options, like Zantac. Although some practitioners will tell you these conventional medications are safe during pregnancy, new research suggests they arent safe during pregnancy or ever. In fact, many big name storesCVS, Walmart, and Walgreens, to name a fewrecently pulled these drugs from their shelves over concerns that they contain cancer-causing agents.
The good news is most women with healthy, normal pregnancies will find easy, convenient, and effective measures to relieve heartburn discomfort naturally, including:
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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.”
How To Get Rid Of Heartburn During Pregnancy Fast
You never know when or where heartburn may strike. Its a good idea to keep some emergency heartburn-relief remedies in your handbag in case youre caught off guard.
Keep a small stash of the following items on you at all times:
- A teabag of your favorite heartburn-relieving herbal tea
Calcium-containing antacids such as Tums or Rolaids .
During pregnancy, the stomach has prolonged gastric emptying times and the gastroesophageal sphincter has decreased tone. Together, these changes lead to reflux and possibly combine with decreased esophageal tone to cause ptyalism, or spitting, during pregnancy as well as reflux and heartburn.
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What Medications Are Safe To Take During Pregnancy
However, it may be best to avoid magnesium during the last trimester of pregnancy. Magnesium could interfere with contractions during labor.
Most doctors recommend avoiding antacids that contain high levels of sodium. These antacids can lead to a buildup of fluid in the tissues.
You should also avoid any antacids that list aluminum on the label, as in aluminum hydroxide or aluminum carbonate. These antacids can lead to constipation.
Finally, stay away from medications like Alka-Seltzer that may contain aspirin.
Ask your doctor for the best option. If you find yourself downing bottles of antacids, your heartburn may have progressed to gastroesophageal acid reflux disease . In that case, you may need a stronger treatment.
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.
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How To Naturally Ease Heartburn In Pregnancy
- Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day this is easier on your digestion than eating one big meal at a time. Larger meals cause more stomach distension, which can increase heartburn symptoms.
- When you eat, slow down and make a conscious effort to thoroughly chew each bite of food. It seems simple, but this will take some of the burden off of your stomach and will allow food to digest more efficiently.
- Avoid foods that are heartburn triggers. This can include spicy food, fatty foods, tomatoes, caffeine, chocolate, and citrus fruit. Find your own triggers by keeping a food journal so that you can identify which foods arent working for you and remove them from your diet.
- Ginger is generally soothing on the digestive tract and may help reduce symptoms of heartburn. Try making ginger tea with fresh grated ginger and honey, and sip this approximately 20-30 minutes after meals.
- Try to leave 2-3 hours between your last meal of the day and when you go to bed. If you need a snack before bed , then try to keep it small and free from any specific food triggers.
- Make a point of sitting upright after meals instead of lying down so that gravity is working in your favour. This will help food and digestive juices move down your digestive system as they should, instead of coming back up.
- Try using extra pillows at night to prop yourself up so that your head is a bit more elevated than the rest of your body.
Change Your Eating Habits
Heartburn is one of the common complications caused during pregnancy and a few dietary changes like the timing of meals, frequency and portion sizes can help ease the symptoms.
According Mayo Clinic, small meals throughout the day instead of three big meals, meals before three hours of sleeping, and brisk walk after meals can help reduce the pain and uneasiness caused by heartburn.
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