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.
When To Call Your Doctor
If the heartburn is so severe that its interfering with your daily activities, or if you are unable to eat or keep food down because of heartburn, then its time to call your doctor. There are a few prescription medications that are classified as Class B or safe for pregnancy that your doctor may prescribe for you.
These medicines include Zantac and Tagamet. Your doctor can also check for possible other causes of your heartburn, which can include gallstones. While rare, its important to get checked out, just to be on the safe side.
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Vinegar To Cure Heartburn
Vinegar has long been used to get rid of heartburn. Although there is no medical proof of vinegar being a remedy for heartburn, people who use it swear by its efficacy. You too can use vinegar- white or apple cider vinegar- to treat your heartburn but only after diluting it with water. It may or may not give you the required relief from acid reflux but you can know that only after experimenting with it at least once.
- Add the vinegar to your glass of water and mix well.
- Now have this water.
- You may have it 2-3 times a day if you dont notice any discomfort.
- Take it before meals or before bedtime if you cant sleep due to heartburn at night.
Warning: Never use vinegar undiluted. When done so, vinegars acidity may cause damage not only to your esophagus but also to your tooth enamel. Always dilute the vinegar with water before consuming it and wash your mouth with clean water after having it to protect your tooth enamel. If you are not comfortable after having diluted vinegar, immediately stop having it.
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Diagnosis In The Pregnant Patient
As in the non-pregnant patient, the initial diagnosis of GERD in pregnancy can reliably be made based on symptoms alone. Barium radiographs are not necessary and should be avoided because of radiation exposure to the fetus. Oesophageal manometry and pH studies are rarely necessary during pregnancy but can be performed safely. Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is the procedure of choice to evaluate intractable reflux symptoms or complications. This procedure can be safely performed without harm to the mother or fetus by carefully monitoring blood pressure and oxygen and judicious use of conscious sedation and fetal monitoring., , Midazolam and diazepam are category D, fentanyl is category C and meperidine and propofol are category B drugs during pregnancy . Although not approved by the FDA for these indications during pregnancy, clinical experience suggests that these medications are safe with appropriate monitoring, particularly after the first trimester.,
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How Common Is Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
If you think youre the first one to experience heartburn and acid reflux during your pregnancy, think again. A study published in Clinical Evidence reveals that heartburn is a common complaint during pregnancy, reported by up to 45% of patients according to the findings.
The incidence of heartburn increases as the patient progresses through the pregnancy stages. The incidence of heartburn increases from 22% in the first trimester to 39% in the second and up to 72% in the third trimester.
Acid reflux symptoms vary from one patient to another. Some studies found that pregnant women only experienced acid reflux in the first trimester, while others reported experiencing this only during the third trimester.
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Try Out Pepcid For Your Heartburn
One of the branded medications that you can take is Pepcid. This medication is commonly used for treating ulcers in the stomach, and it helps to balance out the amount of acid within the stomach and in the food pipe. It is very commonly recommended to those with GERD, which can flare up during pregnancy.
Since it doesnt cause other effects on your body, it is safe during pregnancy. In fact, doctors recommend it in many heartburn meddicine cases.
There are both liquid and tablet forms. Liquids tend to be the most favored and they may feel like they soothe on the way down. If you want to eliminate the problem completed, consider the above advice of taking a tablet with little water.
Can You Take Heartburn Medicine While Pregnant
Tums and Alka Seltzer are two brand-name, over-the-counter medicines frequently used to treat heartburn. Can you take Tums while pregnant? Can you take Alka Seltzer while pregnant? What should pregnant women know about heartburn and the medicines used to treat it? First and foremost, more than half of all pregnant women say they have symptoms of severe heartburn. Heartburn causes a burning pain in the chest and upper abdomen, and it can be a symptom of whats called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Heartburn seems to be most common during the second and third trimesters. Heartburn is a burning sensation which is caused by contents of the stomach that moves back upward. Severe heartburn can be incredibly uncomfortable and can create complications in severe circumstances. Medical professionals and researchers believe that heartburn is so common during pregnancy because of the changes in hormones that occur. Hormonal changes can affect digestive tract muscles and also food tolerance. Its also possible that hormones related to pregnancy can cause part of the stomach muscles to relax which allows more stomach acids to move into the esophagus. An enlarged uterus may also play a role by pushing stomach acids upward.
Do you or someone you love have questions or concerns about a pregnancy and dont know where to turn for help? Get support and answers at the American Pregnancy Association at 1-800-672-2296.
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Otc Medications May Also Help
If changes to your lifestyle and diet donât work, thatâs when doctors may recommend medication.
- Antacids:âMost antacids are considered safe in pregnancy and are compatible with breastfeeding,â Sridhar says. Antacids are OTC medications like Rolaids, Tums, and Maalox. And while they may be OTC, if youâre pregnant, you should consult your doctor before taking them.
- H2 blockers: If antacids donât work, a doctor may prescribe H2 blockers like Pepcid. H2 blockers can relieve heartburn because they help you produce less hydrochloric acid in your stomach, thereby preventing heartburn before it even starts.
- Proton Pump Inhibitors: If antacids and H2 blockers donât work, your doctor may prescribe proton pump inhibitors like Nexium or Prevacid.
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Opt For A Cold Ice Cream
Another popular medication prescribed is ice cream. This has a similar cooling effect as milk, because of the temperature. Its easy to swallow, and youll be able to get the immediate, temporary relief.
But isnt ice cream full of sugar? Well, yes and no. You could make your own at home from mashed banana, milk, and cream. That will help to keep the calories to a minimum, and youll get more nutrients.
Try to avoid chocolate flavored ice cream. If buying it from the store, plain vanilla or banana are the best options.
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Bring Lifestyle Changes To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Wrong eating habits and certain other habits make it difficult for your body to digest food properly. There are some other lifestyle habits that lead to heartburn and you need to change them. Here is a list of such lifestyle changes that you must adopt if you want to get rid of heartburn.
Things To Look In A Probiotic Supplement During Pregnancy
- Pregnant women should always consult their doctor or obstetrician and determine the safety of a probiotic supplement before they start taking it. Women suffering from immune deficiency conditions or having any known allergies should avoid probiotic supplements.
- The probiotic strain Saccharomyces has not been studies for its safety during pregnancy, so it is best to avoid a probiotic supplement that includes this strain.
- It is best to choose a probiotic supplement from a reputed brand and purchase it from reliable sources to ensure its quality, purity and originality.
- It is best to opt for a supplement that is hypoallergenic formula, GMO free and doesnt contain any synthetic fillers and additives. Vegetarians can opt for non-gelatin probiotics.
- Opting for a time-release probiotic formula ensures that the microorganisms survive the stomach acids and make it alive to the intestine.
- Majority of pregnant women suffer from morning sickness so, it is best to choose an easy-to-swallow supplement that doesnt have any strong smell or taste.
- A shelf-stable probiotic cuts out the hassles of storing the supplement in the refrigerator after every use. Shelf-stable formulas also work better and have higher level of efficiency.
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Consider Maalox For Your Immediate Heartburn Relief
If youre still struggling to find something that will help to relieve your heartburn, you could consider Maalox. This is very similar to TUMs and offers immediate relief. Its commonly suggested to patients who have too much stomach acid or are commonly bloated or have issues with belching.
The medication works by breaking up bubbles in the body. It also neutralizes the existing stomach acid. The downside is that it doesnt prevent the problem from occurring again.
This is one of the most debated options when it comes to heartburn relief. There is some aluminum in the medication, which can be harmful to the baby in large amounts. You need to follow the instructions given by your doctor or pharmacist to keep your unborn baby safe.
How Can Heartburn During Pregnancy Be Prevented
You can take steps to reduce heartburn symptoms without hurting your baby.
- Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones.
- Eat slowly.
- Drink between your meals, but not with meals.
- Avoid fried, spicy or fatty foods.
- Avoid citrus fruits and juices.
- Limit caffeine.
- Dont smoke and avoid alcohol. Besides causing heartburn, smoking and drinking during pregnancy can cause health problems for the baby.
Other tips to avoid heartburn during pregnancy:
- Sit up straight when you eat.
- Dont eat late at night.
- Dont lie down right after eating.
- Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of the bed. Or try placing pillows under your shoulders. Doing so helps prevent stomach acids from rising into your chest.
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Welcome To Prilosec 20 Mg Capsules
Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily before a meal. This medication may also be given through a tube into the stomach . Dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to treatment. In children, the dosage is also based on weight.
Prilosec OTC is a 14-day regimen that can be used up to three times a year, but not more often than every 4 months. If you need to use Prilosec OTC for more than the three indicated 14-day courses of treatment, consult with your doctor.
The active ingredient omeprazole works to fight heartburn differently from treatments like acid controllers/H2s or antacids. One of the best benefits of omeprazole is experiencing heartburn relief for 24 hours after only taking 1 pill a day.* But its not the only benefit. Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor and PPIs are the strongest class of frequent heartburn medicines.
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Natural Remedies For Pregnancy Heartburn
Diet and lifestyle modifications are the primarytreatments for GERD during pregnancy. Try the following steps to manage acid reflux during pregnancy:
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Mylicon: Best Heartburn Medication For Children
Unlike the other medications, mylicon is actually an anti-foaming agent that can act as an antacid for children ages 2-11. Mylicon has an active ingredient, Simethicone, that gently breaks up gas bubbles in the stomach. Additionally, it contains Calcium Carbonate, which is an antacid.
Mylicon was specifically designed to soothe discomfort from gas, acid, indigestion, overeating, and bloating. It is a fast-acting medication you can pick up OTC and typically costs only $11 for 15 milliliters. For most children, Mylicon starts working in just minutes following consumption.
The only potential side effect of Mylicon is loose stools. However, only use Mylicon for your child as directed and no more than 12 times per day. See below for the suggested doses of Mylicon to give your child.
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.
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Give Up Caffeinated And Carbonated Drinks And Chocolate
As is with fried, fatty, and spicy foods, these elements encourage the production of acid in your belly and cause heartburn. And while giving up chocolate may seem like blasphemy, you and your baby will likely be a lot happier once you do. Similarly, caffeine and carbonated drinks have been proven to be bad for pregnant women, so it would do you good to stay clear of them!
Herbal Supplements And Vitamins
Some alternative therapies have been found to safely and effectively alleviate some of the uncomfortable side effects of pregnancy but natural doesnt always mean these herbal supplements are safe. As with any over the counter medication, its important to talk with your doctor about every supplement or vitamin you take while pregnant.
Prenatal vitamins are also an important part of a healthy pregnancy. Multivitamins that include folic acid are safe and important before and during the first few weeks of pregnancy because they can help prevent some birth defects. Your doctor or midwife can advise you about which type of multivitamin with folic acid you should take. Medical providers sometimes prescribe extra folic acid or iron supplements, depending on your specific situation.
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Clinical Presentation During Pregnancy
The symptoms of heartburn during pregnancy do not differ from the classical presentation in the general adult population. Heartburn is the predominate symptom and worsens as pregnancy advances. Regurgitation occurs in about the same frequency as heartburn. The majority of patients report exacerbation of symptoms with eating and at bedtime. Some patients will eat only one meal a day because of intense postprandial symptoms and others will need to sleep upright in a chair. Complications of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease during pregnancy, especially oesophagitis and stricture formation, are rare. This observation should not be surprising since the reflux of pregnancy is generally of short duration without a background of chronic GERD.
When Should I Talk To My Doctor
If you have heartburn that often wakes you up at night, returns as soon as your antacid wears off, or creates other symptoms , you may have a more serious problem that requires attention.
Your doctor may diagnose you with GERD. This means that your heartburn needs to be controlled to protect you from complications such as damage to the esophagus.
Your doctor may prescribe certain acid-reducing medications to reduce your symptoms. Research indicates that medications called H2 blockers, which help block the production of acid, appear to be safe.
Another type of medication, called proton pump inhibitors, is used for people with heartburn that doesnt respond to other treatments.
If youre concerned about the effects of medications, be sure to talk to your doctor. Doctors can help you control your symptoms while keeping your unborn child safe.
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