When Does Heartburn Start In Pregnancy
Initial symptoms of heartburn can appear quite early in pregnancy, even around the second month. As such, heartburn can be an early sign of pregnancy in many women.
However, the symptoms can worsen later in pregnancy, especially when you reach the third trimester. The reason for this is the growing uterus that puts more pressure on your stomach and organs.
As described earlier in the article, this can result in the stomach contents spilling out and up into the food pipe, and causing that unpleasant burning sensation.
Since almost a half of all pregnant women experience heartburn, which often lasts throughout the whole pregnancy, this unpleasant phenomenon is not only one of the earliest signs of pregnancy but also one of the most common.
When To Call The Doctor
If heartburn symptoms are associated withheadaches or swelling of the hands and face, talk with your provider beforetrying these remedies, especially if the symptoms are new and present in thelast trimester of pregnancy.
Heartburn-like paincan be a symptom of preeclampsia, or dangerously high bloodpressure during pregnancy. Preeclampsia puts mothers and babies at risk, andfurther evaluation may be necessary.
As mentioned,heartburn is very common in pregnancy. If your symptoms dont resolve with dietchanges or medication, let your provider know so you can find an effectivetreatment.
When To Talk To Your Doctor About Heartburn During Pregnancy
Thankfully, if heartburn wasnt an issue for you before pregnancy, it tends to resolve after childbirth. But even so, that doesnt mean you need to ride it out until delivery.
Even if your heartburn is simply annoying and not intense, dont hesitate to tell your doctor about it, says Dr. Gray. Thats because it can become more serious if its left untreated, so what starts as mildly uncomfortable pain might cause you to eventually avoid eating enough because you dont want to deal with the heartburn, she notes. Thats not great for you or for your baby.
I wish women would stop struggling at home and saying they dont want to bug their doctors or midwives with something minor like this, she says. Were here to help. More than that, its easier to treat heartburn when its not much of a problem than it is when it becomes severe. So bring it up and get some relief.
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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.
What Are The Causes Of Heartburn In Pregnancy
In early stages of pregnancy, the body starts producing big quantities of progesterone which has a relaxing effect on muscles, which enables better absorption of nutrients that feed the baby. However, progesterone can also loosen the lower esophageal sphincter which separates the stomach from esophagus. However, if it is too relaxed, stomach acid might go back from the stomach into the esophagus which might cause a very uncomfortable burning sensation around the heart .
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What Medications Can I Take For Heartburn During Pregnancy
Its important to be extremely careful about the medications you take when pregnant.
For heartburn relief, over-the-counter antacids are all considered safe medications to use during pregnancy.
As always, consult with your provider about any medications youre taking even if theyre considered safe.
If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking an over-the-counter medication, call your doctor immediately.
What Are The Symptoms Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
The top way to identify heartburn during pregnancy is that burning sensation in your chest, thanks to the acid backup. But Dr. Gray says thats not the only sign of acid reflux.5 You could also experience:
- An acidic taste in your mouth or the back of your throat
- Slight cough or hoarseness due to acid affecting your vocal cords
- Worsening symptoms of burning or pain when lying down or bending over
- Painful or difficulty swallowing
Many pregnant people also report feeling nauseous, Dr. Gray adds, and some may even vomit as a result. Thats why heartburn can sometimes be mistaken for morning sickness, particularly in the first trimester.
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Indigestion And Heartburn In Pregnancy
Indigestion, also called heartburn or acid reflux, is common in pregnancy. It can be caused by hormonal changes and the growing baby pressing against your stomach.
You can help ease indigestion and heartburn by making changes to your diet and lifestyle, and there are medicines that are safe to take in pregnancy.
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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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.
Want to Know More?
Who Is The Most Likely To Get Heartburn
While no one is exempt from heartburn, OB/GYNs say there are certain factors that make it more likely for pregnant women. For instance, women who experience heartburn before pregnancy are also more likely to experience heartburn during pregnancy. Women who are overweight or obese prior to pregnancy also tend to be more likely to have heartburn during this time. And expecting moms who drink coffee during pregnancy are at increased risk for heartburn symptoms.4
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Acid Reflux In Pregnancy: What Are The Causes
What causes acid reflux in pregnancy and how can women cope with the problem?
Some people will call it heartburn, but while this is only one of its symptoms, acid reflux is caused by the flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. Sometimes, this acid, mixed with other stomach contents is regurgitated into the mouth which leads to sour or acidic taste in the throat and the mouth.
People of both sexes and all ages suffer from the occasional bout of acid reflux. However, some demographics are more likely to get it. Among those most affected are pregnant women. In fact, acid reflux pregnancy affects 30 to 50 percent of pregnant women.1)
Lying Down After Eating A Big Meal
Eating a large meal at any time can trigger acid reflux, but it’s especially troublesome if you do it right before you go to bed or decide to lounge on the couch.
Blame it on gravity. “Eating right before lying down leads to reflux since the stomach is full while one is lying down and it is easier for the acid to back up into the esophagus,” explained Dr. Ivanina. “Large meals also may overcome the esophageal barrier and lead to increased acid exposure.”
Try eating several small meals staggered throughout the day instead of fewer large meals. Don’t lie down until two or three hours after you eat and, if you still have problems, try raising the head of your bed a few inches to offset the effect of gravity.
“A lot of people get some relief from sleeping on an incline or with a wedge under their body,” said Dr. Schiller.
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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.
Can Lifestyle Changes Prevent Pregnancy Heartburn
Heres some good news: Although heartburn is one of the biggest complaints during pregnancy, its also one of the easiest to treat for many people, says Dr. Ruiz.
Lifestyle changes can make a big difference. For example, eating smaller and more frequent meals may be enough for relief. This helps the stomach expand less, potentially reducing any problematic pressure against the lower esophageal sphincter. As an added bonus, the approach tends to be better for keeping energy levels consistent, Dr. Ruiz says. If heartburn at night is a problemand even if its notits helpful to avoid eating within two to three hours before bed, he adds.
The kind of advice given to non-pregnant heartburn sufferers about diet applies here, too. That means staying away from highly acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, and onions, as well as spicy choices that may kick off more acid production. Dr. Gray says three options that tend to exacerbate heartburn during pregnancy are chocolate, caffeine, and carbonated beverages.
Another hack: Sleep with your upper body elevated slightly7, so its at least above the height of your stomach. You can prop up the top of your bed, use an adjustable bed frame, or sleep on a wedge pillow. That may be difficult as your pregnancy progresses and you cant lie on your back, but if youre in the first or second trimester, it may be a way to get relief from nighttime heartburn.
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Sleep With Your Head And Chest Elevated A Bit
Many people with acid reflux swear by their “bedges,” wedge-shaped pillows that gently slant your upper body upwards to keep stomach acid where it belongs.
- And there’s no need for buying a pricey special product, Dr. Richter says. “You can get these at places like Bed, Bath and Beyond for about $25,” he says. We like the Boppy Pregnancy Wedge .
Heartburn Acid Reflux And Gerd During Pregnancy
Its called heartburn, although that burning feeling in your chest has nothing to do with the heart. Uncomfortable and frustrating, it bothers many women, particularly during pregnancy.
The first question you may have is how to make it stop. You may also wonder if treatments are safe for your baby. Learn what causes heartburn during pregnancy and what you can do about it.
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Possible Causes Of Heartburn
Certain types of foods, most notably of the spicy variety, can contribute to heartburn. However, even foods like tomato products, peppermint, and chocolate can trigger these symptoms.2 Heartburn may also be caused by daily habits and lifestyle choices, such as exercise routines and the type of clothes worn 4, 5
Should I Be Worried About Heartburn During Pregnancy
While heartburn isnt fun, it generally isnt a serious problem. However, pain in the abdomen or shoulder, which is sometimes mistaken for heartburn, can be a sign of preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication where the woman develops high blood pressure and signs of damage to the liver or kidneys, usually after 20 weeks. If your heartburn is sudden, doesnt go away, accompanies pain in the abdomen and up the back, and is really intense with severe pain, contact your health care provider or go to the hospital for emergency assessment, says Martin.
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Can You Take Antacid During Pregnancy
Dealing with heartburn in pregnancy, especially in the last trimester when the feeling can really become unbearable, pushes many women to try over-the-counter antacids. As with any other medication, taking an antacid while pregnant should be discussed with your doctor, especially when it comes to defining the right dosage.
As a general rule, taking antacids made of calcium or magnesium is considered safe and effective if you want to alleviate heartburn. You can take an antacid when you start experiencing the symptoms, although your doctor could also advise you to actually take it before a meal or before going to bed as a preventative measure.
However, make sure you avoid taking antacids with aluminium for longer periods of time, as they can negatively impact the development of your babys nervous system. Another thing to bear in mind is that you should not take iron supplements at the same time as antacids, as they can prevent the absorption of iron. And lastly, when the big day is getting close it may be best to avoid antacids containing high doses of magnesium, as they can have a negative impact on uterine contractions during your labour. You dont have to completely cut them out, but dont take them too often and only when really needed.
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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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.
Spotting Heartburn Symptoms During Pregnancy
If you are experiencing heartburn for the first time during pregnancy, you might not recognize the symptoms. True to its name, heartburn is a painful, burning feeling located just below or behind the breastbone.5 Although some women experience heartburn symptoms in their first trimester, the issue tends to occur more often in the third trimester.4 During these final weeks, the expanding uterus puts pressure on the intestines and stomach, which can push contents back up into the esophagus, according to OB/GYNs.3
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Heartburn And Indigestion In Pregnancy
Heartburn causes a burning feeling in the chest or throat. Its uncomfortable, but is not usually harmful to pregnant women or their babies.
8 out of 10 pregnant women experience heartburn. You’re most likely to get heartburn in the third trimester of your pregnancy.
The symptoms of heartburn include:
- a burning feeling in your chest or throat
- acid coming up into your mouth
- feeling sick
What Makes It Better
For most women, things that help reduce acid production or prevent reux are helpful in avoiding the discomfort of heartburn. Here are tips that may help:
Avoid classic spicy foods, as well as those with lots of fat or grease. Many people recommend avoiding citrus and chocolate, as well.
Eat multiple, small meals spread throughout the day, much like grazing, instead of three big meals.
Try elevating the head of your bed by several inches, and wait a while after eating before going to bed or lying down.
Some women find that its better to drink fluids between meals, rather than with a meal. This can increase the amount of contents in the stomach.
If your symptoms do not improve after the above recommended diet and lifestyle changes are in place, talk with your healthcare provider about over-the-counter medicines. Antacids are available as chewable tablets and liquids. They work by coating the lining of the esophagus and stomach and neutralizing stomach acid. Heartburn medicines called H2-blockers work by reducing the amount of acid made by your stomach. Although most of these are considered safe in pregnancy, as with all medicines, these should be avoided in the first trimester.
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