Ways To Avoid Heartburn During Pregnancy
Prevention is always better than cure, so here are some measures you can take to try and prevent getting heartburn during pregnancy.
While they may not work entirely to prevent heartburn you can be assured the symptoms would be much worse if you didnt do these things.
Eat Smaller Portions
Instead of eating 3 larger meals a day eat much smaller meals more often. This gives your system a chance to digest the food without overloading your stomach.
It also means you are eating more often and have less of a chance to get hungry. If you are hungry you will also be prone to heartburn during pregnancy.
Keep snacks on hand if you are out so you can eat regularly.
Eating slowly not only aids digestion but it gives your stomach a chance to let you know when you are full. This will help you to eat smaller portions which will also help prevent heartburn during pregnancy.
Instead of drinking large amounts of liquids, sip constantly throughout the day and in between meals. Avoid drinking any liquids with a meal.
Sit or Stand after eating
Make sure you sit or stand for a few hours after eating. Avoid bending over and lying down as this will cause the stomach acid to come up your throat,
Dont eat just before sleeping
Wait a few hours after eating before you lie down or sleep. This will give you a chance to digest your food before lying down.
Sleep elevated at night
Acid Reflux During Pregnancy: Causes Diets And Home Remedies
Acid reflux is a feeling that happens when acid from the stomach moves up toward the throat. It can cause regurgitation and a painful, burning sensation in the chest.
The technical name for acid reflux is gastroesophageal reflux, or GER. The main
- regurgitation, where stomach contents come back up the esophagus as far as the throat or mouth
- heartburn, which creates a burning sensation in the middle of the chest
Other possible symptoms can include:
- persistent cough
of pregnant people.
Most of the time, the condition ends soon after the baby is born.
This article considers the causes of acid reflux, what to do about it, and its relationship to pregnancy.
There are several reasons why pregnancy can induce acid reflux.
Hormone changes affect the pressure within the esophageal sphincter , which connects the esophagus to the stomach. This causes a series of processes that ultimately cause acid from the stomach to rise into the esophagus .
The uterus itself might cause acid reflux by putting pressure on the stomach, causing the contents to rise into the esophagus.
Other aspects of pregnancy, such as changes in bowel movements or medications that people take during pregnancy, can also play a role in causing acid reflux.
when the lower esophageal sphincter, which is a group of muscles at the bottom of the esophagus, becomes weak or relaxes.
Reasons behind the changes that cause acid reflux can include:
such as blood in their vomit or stool.
Preventing Acid Reflux Naturally
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Foods That Help With Heartburn During Pregnancy
There are lots of foods that are rumored to get rid of heartburn during pregnancy, but there is no evidence to support their efficacy .
Your best bet is to avoid those trigger foods known to exacerbate symptoms, as well as eating smaller meals throughout the day and finishing your evening meal earlier.
What Are The Symptoms Of Heartburn Or Acid Reflux
Heartburn feels like a strong burning sensation in the chest and can be extremely uncomfortable. It is also known as acid reflux and indigestion .
Heartburn can show itself as a discomfort , bloating, wind, burping and nausea. Youll be able to compare notes with a lot of other mum friends as up to eight out of ten pregnant women get heartburn .
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Eating Smaller More Frequent Meals Can Help
On top of avoiding irritating foods, Dr. Paik also recommends eating smaller amounts at each meal. Dont eat to capacity or to the point where youre so full, because then the stomach is going to be bloated, the esophageal sphincter will be more open, and your stomach acids will more easily go into the esophagus, she explains. Eating upright, not lying down immediately after a meal, and finishing dinner at least three hours before bed can also help.
These modifications have helped me immenselyespecially because acid reflux was keeping me up at night. Ive cut back on some of the foods that were triggering for me, though I still drink coffee each morning, eat tomato-based foods almost everyday , and occasionally indulge in greasy, fried foods and citrus fruit.
Can You Take Tums While Pregnant
Yes, Tums are safe to take during pregnancy. In fact, your first line of defense should probably be these chewable antacids made from calcium carbonate . Fast, portable, and effective, they may be all you need to handle heartburn. They even taste pretty good and double as a calcium supplement.
Antacids containing magnesium hydroxide or magnesium oxide like Maalox, Mylanta, and Rolaids are probably safe when used occasionally at the recommended dosage. But they’re not your best option while pregnant because they also contain aluminum hydroxide. Aluminum can be constipating and, in large doses, toxic.
Bear in mind that swallowing any liquid, even the liquid you need to wash down a tablet, will cause your stomach to do what it does naturally: produce digestive juices including acid, the very thing you’re trying to reduce. So it’s best to swallow or chew tablets with as little liquid as possible when you’re having trouble with heartburn.
All of these antacid medicines work by neutralizing the acid that’s already in your stomach and causing you pain. Chewable and liquid antacids act much more quickly than tablets because they’re already dissolved. You can experiment to see which you prefer and what works most effectively for you.
If you’re regularly taking the recommended dosage and aren’t getting relief from heartburn, talk to your doctor or midwife about whether you can take additional or different medications.
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Lifestyle Changes To Prevent Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
Bringing changes in the lifestyle habits can work wonders for cases of heartburn and they are the safest methods for both baby and mother. Mentioned below are some of the steps that can be inculcated in daily life during pregnancy period:
- Break the intake of meals into smaller quantities and frequent durations. Eat leisurely and chew the food thoroughly. Drink water after each meal.
- Dont take food before 3 hours of going to bed.
- Avoid taking those beverages and foods that catalyzes heartburn.
- Dont sleep immediately after a meal and try to stay upright for an hour at least .A brisk walk may encourage digestion.
- It is always advisable to wear comfortable clothes instead of tight fits so that undue pressure is not created on the stomach.
- Try to maintain healthy weight.
- Keep the head slightly at an elevated position while sleeping. Pillows that are Wedge-shaped help to slant the upper body in upward direction and thus helping in keeping the stomach acid in its original position.
- Avoid sleeping on the right side as it will position the stomach higher than the esophagus as it may lead to acid reflux.
- Drink one glass full of milk added with some honey or a honey added chamomile tea once the acid reflux symptoms start.
So follow these remedies and avoid acid reflux during pregnancy.
Things I Learned From Dealing With Unrelenting Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
There are a lot of pregnancy symptoms that you hear about and just assume you may need to endure. For example, that infamous first-trimester nausea and fatigue. Even before I got pregnant, I already knew I might experience these things and that they were essentially part of being pregnant. I felt prepared for themwhich I think made them a little easier to accept. The symptom I felt completely unprepared for? Unrelenting acid reflux from every single thing I eat and drinkyes, even water.
I started feeling this at the beginning of the second trimester, around week 13 or 14. As someone who has never had issues with heartburn or other signs of acid reflux before, it took me a minute to figure out what was going on. It definitely wasnt the nausea I had been feeling for the previous eight weeks, but it made me feel like I might vomit and definitely messed with my appetite. I did some research and quickly realized: This was acid reflux. Bad acid reflux.
Whenever I tell a mom friend that acid reflux is my biggest pregnancy complaint, they often agree, It was terrible for me too! But no one really talks about it. I think for those who have a rough first trimester, acid reflux is more bearable, and so people assume that you just have to deal with it. When I mentioned it to my doctor, however, she said I most certainly did not have to just deal with it.
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Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
What is acid reflux during pregnancy?
Its when stomach acid doesnt stay put in your stomach and creeps up into your esophagus. Acid reflux is more common in pregnancy because progesterone, the main hormone of pregnancy, slows your digestive system. That, combined with the pressure of a growing baby, increases the possibility that stomach acid will make its way upward.
What are the signs of acid reflux during pregnancy?
The most common symptoms of acid reflux are a burning sensation in your throat or upper chest. You might also feel nauseous. Burping and regurgitation can also be signs of acid reflux.
Are there any tests for acid reflux during pregnancy?
Most often, acid reflux in pregnancy is diagnosed based on symptoms alone. But if you keep getting it after pregnancy, your doc may order additional testing, including an upper endoscopy, a test thats used to look at the inside of the upper digestive tract.
How common is acid reflux during pregnancy?
Acid reflux is very, very common during pregnancy, says Michelle Collins, CNM, an assistant professor of nurse-midwifery at Vanderbilt University. More than half of all pregnant women will experience acid reflux.
How did I get acid reflux during pregnancy?
Because your digestion is slowed, youre fuller youve got less room in your stomach, so acid runs up your esophagus, Collins says. Youve also got a baby pressing on your stomach.
How will my acid reflux affect my baby?
Are there any other resources for acid reflux?
Does Acid Reflux Affect The Baby
While an uncomfortable experience, acid reflux does not harm the baby in any way. Old wives tales such as the baby getting hairier with acid reflux is also not true. Acid reflux is a common and harmless gastrointestinal problem that wont directly affect your baby in any way. It is also not a hereditary condition, and wont impact their growth.
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Use Ginger To Soothe The Burn
Some women find that gingerginger ale or ginger candies, such as Chimes Ginger Chews, for examplecan help ease an upset tummy.
This spice can also combat nausea and vomiting, which often go hand-in-hand with heartburn.
Although there’s not much scientific evidence for ginger as a remedy for pregnancy woes, Einarson says, it is safe to consume when you are pregnant.
Feeling The Burn Tips To Manage Heartburn Gerd In Pregnancy
Heartburn is common in adults especially during pregnancy. While some research suggests women who have moderate heartburn during pregnancy give birth to babies with fuller heads of hair, having symptoms more than twice a week might be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease , or recurrent heartburn.
According to a study of 510 pregnant women, approximately 26% have GERD symptoms during the first trimester. The rate jumps to 36% in the second trimester and 51% during the third trimester. Thats substantial compared with the 20% of adults in the U.S. who experience heartburn.
Why the increase in symptoms during pregnancy? Progesterone, a hormone that increases early in pregnancy, relaxes smooth muscle in the body. It helps your uterus stretch to accommodate the growing fetus, but also reduces the reliability of the esophageal sphincter a ring-like structure that seals off stomach contents from the throat.
Increased pressure placed on the stomach externally from the growing uterus, especially in the third trimester, can also worsen heartburn symptoms such as:
- Burning pain in the center of the chest, especially after eating
- Sour or bitter taste in the mouth
- Sore throat or cough
Thankfully, there are several pregnancy-safe ways to deal with acute heartburn and ongoing cases of GERD.
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Drink Aloe Vera Juice For Heartburn During Pregnancy
Aloe Vera juice is an excellent coolant. Besides using it externally to bring down the heat rashes, aloe vera juice also has a cooling effect on the stomach. This helps to reduce heartburn. A shot of aloe juice, thus, helps to cool down a reflux flare.
However, keep in mind that even though occasional use of a moderate quantity of aloe vera juice during pregnancy is not harmful, regular and overconsumption of it is not safe during pregnancy as it can potentially trigger uterine contractions.
Can Acid Reflux During Pregnancy Hurt My Unborn Baby
Dr. Johnson assures that simple reflux on its own is not harmful to fetuses. It is only when there is a drastic effect on nutritional input that GERD during pregnancy could become a problem. If symptoms are preventing you from eating the recommended number of calories, it is important to contact your healthcare provider immediately.
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When To See A Doctor
Acid reflux is a common occurrence among pregnant women and should be no cause for worry. Common symptoms of acid reflux include:
- Burning sensation in the chest usually after eating
- Disrupted sleep
On the other hand, consider getting in touch with a gastroenterologist once you experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- You are experiencing bloody bowel movements
- You have observed a change in your bowel movements
- You have chronic cough that wont go away with medication
- Your heartburn has become more frequent or severe
- Your acid reflux symptoms are accompanied by unprecedented weight loss
- You experience heartburn symptoms even after taking medication
- Your stomach pain gets worse with time
- Your acid reflux symptoms are accompanied with neck, jaw, arm, or leg pain not related to pregnancy
- You have difficulty breathing
- You experience extreme fatigue and weakness
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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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: