During My Pregnancy Is It Safe For Me To Use
- Gas-X or other anti-gas medications?
- Os-Cal, Caltrate or other calcium supplements?
- Cold and cough medicines?
- Metrogel to treat bacterial vaginosis?
- Lunestra or other sleep medications?
- Folic acid supplements?
- Dental anesthesia?
Answers from Angela Keating, M.D., board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with Providence Women’s Clinic:
It’s good to ask these questions. Many substances taken during pregnancy will reach the fetus via the placenta. The effects of a medication on your developing baby depend on several factors:
- The medication itself
- The amount that you take
- The length of time that you take it
- The stage of your pregnancy when you take it
Of the substances that do reach the fetus through the placenta, scientists have been able to confirm some that are safe for the developing baby and some that pose a health risk. For most substances, however, the level of risk or safety is still unknown.
The Food and Drug Administration classifies the known safety level of drugs for pregnant women using the following lettering system:
In general, if obstetricians can’t say with certainty that a substance is safe for developing babies, we advise pregnant women to avoid taking it, if possible. In each case, however, we weigh the risk to the fetus against the benefits to the mother.
Is It Okay To Take Tums When Pregnant
I am 8 weeks pregnant. I haven’t been feeling much nausea, but I do feel a stomach burning feeling sometimes. I guess it’s heartburn? Is it okay to take Tums when this happens?
yes they are safe I always had a tub in my purse when i was pregnant, heartburn was so bad I would wake up in the middle of the night and have to take it before any meal. Always double check with your doctor to make sure that with your pregnancy it is okay.
Yes it is, Tums provide safe Heartburn relief for those who are pregnant. As well as they add calcium to your body. You have no worries !
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They Need Some Privacy And Space
When kids enter into adolescence, it is developmentally normal for them to desire more privacy, their own space, and independence. It is a natural part of their development as they mature and grow. As parents, we need to recognize these needs. We should allow for some privacy and time alone in their own space so that they feel both respected and comfortable in the home.
However, it does not mean that we need to allow our teens to lock their doors and that we are not allowed to enter their rooms. Parents should have the ability to check in with their kids and know what they are doing in their room. Knocking first is always a good policy, along with respecting their time alone in the bathroom.
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Are Other Heartburn Medicines Safe During Pregnancy
Talk with your healthcare provider before taking other types of OTC medications to treat heartburn. Some OTC options can go through the placenta and reach the baby. Other medications dont have as many studies backing up their safety in pregnancy.
Antacids should usually be tried first before moving on to stronger medications. But if you do need something stronger, your healthcare provider can help you weigh the risks and benefits. Studies suggest that histamine-2 antagonists and proton pump inhibitors can be used safely with guidance from a healthcare provider.
Heartburn Symptoms Common In Pregnant Women
Expecting mothers may have never experienced indigestion or heartburn symptoms before becoming pregnant, yet 70 to 80% of pregnant women eventually do experience these symptoms. This is due to a hormone called progesterone created by the placenta, which relaxes certain uterus muscles that otherwise work to separate the esophagus from the stomach. Gastric acids are eventually freed to work upward causing the heartburn symptoms and discomfort.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
Motherhood is filled with surprises, and heartburn during pregnancy is just one of many of them. In fact, many women experience heartburn for the first time when they are pregnant.1
So how do you know if you have heartburn when youre pregnant? The symptoms of heartburn during pregnancy are the same as for heartburn in general.
The most common symptom is a burning sensation in the centre of the chest.3 This sensation sometimes spreads to the throat, and there may also be a sour, bitter taste in the throat.2,3
While it is certainly very common, its hard to know for sure how many expectant mothers experience heartburn estimates range from 17% to 45%,1,2 and even up to 80% for women in the third trimester.1,3
Milk Of Magnesia Or Other Laxatives
We generally do not recommend laxatives for pregnant women, although providers may recommend them under special circumstances. We are cautious with laxatives because their regular use can make your intestinal system dependent on them. Of special concern during pregnancy, laxatives can cause intestinal cramping that may be hard to differentiate from preterm labor.
That said, you are not alone in dealing with constipation during pregnancy. Many pregnant women have it, to varying degrees, and we have several suggestions that may help relieve the problem. Our first recommendation is to drink more fluidsabout three quarts a day. Most of that should be water. Fiber-rich foods also are good for reducing constipation. Eat more fruits and vegetables, whole-grain bread , brown rice, oat bran, and beans .
If you increase fluids and fiber in your diet and still have problems, then you can try a supplement, such as fiber pills or fiber powders that can be mixed with liquid. These steps will relieve most pregnancy-related constipation.
However, if you still need help after these measures, try a stool softener, such as Colace. Stool softeners are available without a prescription. If that also fails, talk with your provider about laxatives, including Milk of Magnesia. Yes, Milk of Magnesia is safe and will quickly fix the problembut it isn’t the best long-term solution during pregnancy for the reasons we described above. So, we prefer it far down the list of strategies.
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Can You Take Tums While Pregnant
Many individuals take Tums, an over-the-counter calcium-carbonate antacid, to relieve the symptoms of heartburn. G. Thomas Ruiz, MD, OB/GYN Lead at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center, says that Using Tums in pregnancy is something that many OB/GYNs have been prescribing for years.
He also says that for pregnant women, tums provide supplemental calcium for both mom and baby, and tums also treat pregnancy heartburn. Thus taking tums is considered safe during pregnancy- if taken appropriately.
If Youre Taking Prescription Medicines
Speak to your GP if youre 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 youre advised to do so by your GP or another qualified healthcare professional whos responsible for your care.
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Natural Alternatives To Antacids
Natural measures could help treat and prevent indigestion and heartburn effectively. Here are some alternatives you may try:
- Skimmed milk, yogurt, and soft cheeses
- Fermented vegetables including sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, and miso
- Apple cider vinegar . Drizzle a few drops over a salad or mix a couple of drops in a glass of water.
In addition to using natural remedies, you may take some care while eating food:
What If I Think Ive Had Too Many Tums
Though safe to use while pregnant, taking too many Tums is certainly a possibility. After all, pregnancy heartburn can be very intense and its easy to lose track.
While overdoing it on Tums isnt likely to cause any immediate and serious harm, it is best to keep tabs on your body. Excess calcium can lead to kidney stones, GI upset, and in severe cases alterations in heart rhythm or fainting .
If you notice any unusual symptoms, give your medical provider a call and discuss the amount of Tums youve taken, including your best estimate of how many Tums you have had.
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When Should You See A Healthcare Provider About Heartburn Or Reflux During Pregnancy
Check in with your healthcare provider if calcium carbonate antacids dont seem to be helping. You should also reach out to them if you need to use them frequently for more than 2 weeks.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any of these other symptoms with your heartburn:
Pain or cramps in your lower belly, side, or back
Severe diarrhea that doesnt go away
New or worsening nausea or vomiting
Blood in your stool or stools that are very dark
What Can I Take For Heartburn While Pregnant Besides Tums
If TUMS dont work for you, there are other options.
Acid reducers such as Zantac should be safe to use during pregnancy.
Proton pump inhibitors might also be appropriate, particularly if you are suffering from very frequent heartburn.
Its always worth talking to your doctor about which option will be best for you.
Other things that can help with heartburn while youre pregnant?
- Minimize your intake of foods that are high in acid, like citrus fruits and vinegar
- Keep the coffee and chocolate to a minimum
- Try to avoid overly processed, highly seasoned, and very fatty foods
- Ditch the chewing gum, particularly just after eating
- Leave a gap between dinner and bedtime
We hope you get some relief.
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Dosage And Frequency Of Tums While Pregnancy
Dosage and frequency of tums during pregnancy should be prescribed by a doctor, just like any other prescription or over-the-counter medical treatment. However, while using Tums for heartburn during pregnancy, there are some general rules to follow.
According to Kimberly Langdon, MD, OB/GYN, Tums function best when taken often on the order of every 4 hours, because it neutralizes the acid rather than preventing it from being released. Langdon also says that pregnant women can take a maximum of two tablets every 46 hours as required for heartburn. She adds, In general, most women will do fine at this dosage it may only be problematic in women with a history of calcium oxalate kidney stones.
Tums are available in a range of strengths, but most pregnancy recommendations relate to the normal strength, which has the lowest dose of 500 mg. According to the makers of Tums tablets, pregnant women should not take more than 10 normal strength tablets in a 24-hours period or for more than two weeks unless under the supervision of a doctor.
Low Acidity Causes Nutrient Malabsorption
Since an alkaline stomach doesn’t digest food properly, the body doesn’t absorb all of the nutrients in that food. What this means is that your body doesn’t get the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients it needs to function properly. Electrolytes are one of many essential minerals for the proper functioning of the body. Without good electrolyte levels, you may experience heart arrhythmias, dehydration, and other symptoms.
Low acidity also decreases your ability to breakdown and absorb proteins which would normally turn into amino acids. These amino acids are converted into neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine. This leaves your brain prone to mood disorders including depression and anxiety.
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Effects Of Heartburn Medicine On A Fetus
There arent any known risk factors for a fetus if Tums is used during pregnancy. When it comes to heartburn medicine, safe options generally include formulations with calcium carbonate or magnesium. If an antacid contains aluminum, it should be avoided during pregnancy. So what about the effects of Alka Seltzer while pregnant? Many formulations of Alka Seltzer contain aspirin. Aspirin is an NSAID and NSAIDs are not considered safe during pregnancy. If any formulation of Alka Seltzer is used that contains aspirin, it can cause serious effects on a fetus.
The use of NSAIDs during pregnancy can lead to serious heart and lung problems or death. If a form of Alka Seltzer is used with aspirin, it can cause premature closing of a heart passageway in the fetus. Using aspirin while pregnant can also lower the levels of amniotic fluid. The risk of heart problems is more significant if the NSAID is taken after the 30th week of pregnancy. If an NSAID is taken during the early weeks of pregnancy, it can increase the risk of miscarriage. If an Alka Seltzer formulation doesnt contain aspirin or another NSAID, it may be safe during pregnancy, but you should read all ingredients and also speak to your healthcare provider. Some forms of Alka Seltzer such as Alka Seltzer Plus Cold Relief may also have ingredients like chlorpheniramine, which is a decongestant. This can also be dangerous for a fetus. Its a good rule of thumb overall when pregnant to avoid combination medications.
Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help
While Tums lower stomach acidity, apple cider vinegar can actually improve the stomach acidity. So instead of contributing to the problem, it helps the stomach return to the correct pH level. Apple cider vinegar also helps restore proper functioning of the valve keeping the stomach acid in your stomach. Just be sure not to take too much apple cider vinegar.
- You can take some apple cider vinegar straight if youre brave, or you can mix it with a drink. Mixing apple cider vinegar with some water or hot tea is a great way to make it easier to take.
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Beware Of Terat0genicity In The First Trimester
Yes, you can take tums when you are pregnant. But as much as possible, avoid taking it during your first trimester or the first three months of your pregnancy. Taking Tums during your first trimester might likely lead to a condition called teratogenicity. This is a condition where abnormalities are formed in the unborn baby while in the womb.
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:
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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:
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Here are some things you need to be careful about, if you do take Tums when pregnant:
- While talking to your doctor about taking Tums, make sure you get the dosage right. There is a good chance that the dosage you need to take now is different from the dosage you would have taken when not pregnant. Try to keep track of how many tablets you should take in a day, and do not exceed the dosage under any circumstance. Always consult your doctor for any change that you might want to make, for example, if youre feeling like the medicine isnt really working.
- Now that you know these has a large amount of calcium in it, do not start thinking of it as a sort of calcium supplement, because it isnt. Upping the dosage of it during your pregnancy because your body requires more calcium will do more harm than good. Instead, focus on adding more calcium rich foods to your diet. If your body is still falling short on calcium, get your doctor to prescribe some calcium supplements.
- Tums is a serious no-no for anyone with kidney problems. Even if you dont have any kidney problems but have been placed on high risk for chances of developing them, you must stay away from Tums. This is because the calcium present in Tums could lead to stones forming in your kidneys.
- Tums could possibly lead to teratogenicity. If taken in the first trimester, it could potentially lead to a condition known as teratogenicity .
Additionally, Tums could also cause the following side effects during pregnancy:
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