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.
You May Like: What Causes Heartburn And Indigestion
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:
Safely Taking Heartburn Medication During Pregnancy
Medications that block gastric acid secretion , such as Tagamet, Zantac and Pepcid seem to be safe to take while pregnant and fall into the green light category.
However, even safe heartburn medication during pregnancy should not be taken without a doctors advice.
Over-the-counter antacids, such as Tums, Mylecon, Milk of Magnesia and Maalox are all safe to take during pregnancy and are also in the green light category. Because it contains aspirin, Alka Seltzer is not safe to take during pregnancy, although Alka Seltzer brand compounds that do not contain aspirin are safe.
Phenobarbital-containing anti-spasmodics are in the red light category since phenobarbital has been reported to harm fetal development.
You May Like: Chemical Pregnancy Mayo Clinic
Why Exactly Does Pregnancy Cause Heartburn
Heartburn during pregnancy will plague most moms-to-be at some point because progesterone, the hormone that relaxes muscles in pregnancy, also relaxes the stomach valve that keeps acid out of the esophagus. In addition, the growing uterus crowds the stomach, forcing acid into the esophagus.
But there are safe, effective ways to stop it. Pregnant women really dont need to suffer with heartburn anymore, says Adrienne Einarson, RN, assistant director of clinical services at Motherisk, a Toronto-based program that investigates the effects of prenatal exposures on maternal and fetal health. Here, experts recommend 12 different ways to soothe heartburn during pregnancy.
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix 1 teaspoon of vinegar with approximately 8 ounces of water sip throughout the day and an hour before meals.
It seems strange to think about drinking vinegar when your chest is burning, but low stomach acid actually creates heartburn. This works because it increases the acids, resulting in relief. Make sure the vinegar is raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar. Bonus points for an amber bottle.
Also Check: Can You Get Lasik While Pregnant
What To Drink For Heartburn During Pregnancy
If youre wondering what to drink when expecting a baby and plagued by indigestion, there are many beverages that you can sip on throughout the day for relief.
- Milk. The alkaline composition of milk including cows milk and nut milks can provide immediate relief from heartburn. Just stay away from milk that is high in fat, as fatty foods can cause even worse heartburn.
- Coconut water. Coconut water is very high in electrolytes which promote pH balance and help to neutralize stomach acid.
- Herbal tea. Ginger, fennel, peppermint, and marshmallow root are all heartburn remedies that can be found in tea form. Sip on herbal tea in between meals to prevent or relieve heartburn.
- Water. Thats right good old water. Sip on it throughout the day to make sure that you stay hydrated so that your digestive system can work as efficiently as possible without any hitches in the form of indigestion.
Avoid beverages that may exacerbate symptoms include caffeinated drinks such as coffee or green, white and black tea, carbonated drinks, and acidic drinks such as orange juice.
You May Like: Foods That Trigger Acid Reflux Or Heartburn
Suffering From Acidity During Pregnancy Heres How You Can Manage It
Severe heartburn, acidity or uncomfortable feeling in the stomach occurring more than twice a week is medically termed as Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease . GERD is so common in pregnant women that according to studies almost 30 80% of pregnant women experience it. In fact, data suggests that the majority of pregnant women suffer from acidity in their third trimester even though in others it starts in the first trimester and gradually increases by their third trimester.
The first thing to do for any pregnant women suffering from acidity is to find a way to manage acidity without harming the baby. In order to do so, you need to know about acidity in the first place and what predisposes pregnant women to acidity? So let us learn about it and different ways to manage it safely during pregnancy.
Read Also: Early Pregnancy Implantation Rash
Omeprazole May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:
- severe diarrhea with watery stools, stomach pain, or fever that does not go away
- rash on cheeks or arms that is sensitive to sunlight
- increased or decreased urination, blood in urine, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, fever, rash, or joint pain
People who take proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole may be more likely to fracture their wrists, hips, or spine than people who do not take one of these medications. People who take proton pump inhibitors may also develop fundic gland polyps . These risks are highest in people who take high doses of one of these medications or take them for one year or longer. Talk to your doctor about the risk of taking omeprazole.
Omeprazole may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administrations MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .
Is Prilosec Safe During Pregnancy
Prilosec is in a family of medications called proton pump inhibitors and it should be taken with caution during pregnancy. It has a category C rating. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration , this rating means that it is not known whether a particular medication will cause harm to an unborn baby if the medication taken during pregnancy. This also means that, if possible, other alternative therapies should be tried.
Board-certified obstetrician and assistant professor at the New York University School of Medicine, Daniel Roshan, M.D., who specializes in high-risk fetal medicine, explains that while there are no known risks to the fetus, there are other medications that are safer for pregnant women. If you are taking Prilosec and find out that you are pregnant, you should consult your doctor immediately.
Dr. Roshan advises his pregnant patients against taking Prilosec in the first trimester, since it is classed as a category C, but Dr. Roshan says women can take it in the second and third trimesters, if necessary.
Nursing mothers should avoid breastfeeding while taking Prilosec, since omeprazole can pass into the breast milk and may harm your infant.
Also Check: Can You Use Vagisil During Pregnancy
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.,
You May Like: How Common Is Getting Pregnant With An Iud
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.”
Recommended Reading: Can You Donate Plasma While Breastfeeding
Prevention Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
Some tips that may help you cut down on heartburn during your pregnancy include:
- Eat several small meals each day instead of three large ones.
- Eat slowly.
- Avoid fried, spicy, or rich foods or any foods that seem to cause relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter and increase the risk of heartburn.
- Donât smoke tobacco or drink alcohol, which can make heartburn symptoms worse.
- Drink less while eating. Drinking large amounts while eating may increase the risk of acid reflux and heartburn.
- Don’t lie down directly after eating.
- Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of your bed. Or place pillows under your shoulders to help prevent stomach acids from rising into your esophagus.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing. Tight-fitting clothes can increase the pressure on your stomach and abdomen.
- Try to avoid constipation.
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.
Also Check: Pregnancy Side Effects By Week
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.
Slippery Elm Bark And Marshmallow Root
Some mamas find relief from mucilaginous herbs like slippery elm bark and marshmallow root. Due to their gummy consistency, they coat the intestines and soothe digestion. Be sure to use under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner and away from food and supplementsthey can interfere with nutrient absorption.
You May Like: Acid Reflux But No Heartburn
Also Check: Nutraburst Side Effects
Blood Pressure Medications To Avoid
- ACE inhibitors including Vasotec and Epaned , Prinivil, Zestril, and Qbrelis , and Altace : Have been shown to cause birth defects in all three trimesters of pregnancy.
- Angiotensin II receptor blockers including Diovan and Cozaar : ARBs have been shown to increase the risk of fetal kidney damage or miscarriage.
- Renin inhibitors including Tekturna : Renin inhibitors are associated with severe, catastrophic birth defects. Women taking renin inhibitors should avoid becoming pregnant.
How To Sleep While Pregnant
As your baby grows, your body will go through several changes that may impact your ability to achieve a good nights rest. From heartburn to various aches and pains, it can be challenging to rest up before the baby arrives, especially if youre in the third trimester. This is because your body ramps up estrogen production during this time, causing many women to experience sleep apnea or frequent snoring.
If youre looking for some nighttime relief so you can sleep well, weve compiled some of the best tips in one convenient location. In this guide, well go over the top 8 ways to rest during pregnancy and highlight the benefits for you and your baby. Read on to learn ways to achieve a peaceful slumber, or use the links below to navigate the post.
Don’t Miss: Can I Use Vagisil Cream While Pregnant
Antacids And Medications For Treating Heartburns During Pregnancy
If the above lifestyle changes and natural remedies do not provide relief, then you should consult your doctor. The doctor would prescribe the right antacid or check for any other problem. Do not take any medicine without the permission of the doctor as even a small mistake can have severe consequences on the health of your child. All the mothers-to-be are advised to stay as careful as possible during this time.
Also Check: Why Am I Getting Heartburn With Everything I Eat
Dont Treat Tums Like Candy
As with most things, moderation is key. According to the manufacturers website, pregnant individuals are advised to limit themselves to a maximum of 15 TUMS Regular Strength 500 within any 24 hour period. The maximums differ from product to product, so be sure to read the bottle carefully and consult with a healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.
Dr. Clark suggests keeping an eye on intake and symptoms. If you find you are using TUMS daily or they do not relieve your symptoms, be sure to let your obstetrical care provider know.
But if TUMS arent working to relieve your symptoms after a while, dont fret. It may be time to consider alternative therapy for your symptoms of GERD, like a prescription medication, says Dr. Clark.
Recommended Reading: Why Can’t You Donate Plasma While Pregnant
Pain Medications To Avoid
- NSAIDs including aspirin and ibuprofen: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are a category that includes aspirin and ibuprofen. Studies have shown that women who take these drugs are more likely to give birth to babies with heart defects.
- Opioid pain medications such as codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine: Taking these medications is associated with severe birth defects affecting the brain, heart, and intestines, as well as withdrawal symptoms in newborns.
When Can I Expect The Heartburn To End During Pregnancy
Unfortunately, heartburn is a symptom youre likely to experience throughout your entire pregnancy if you have it at all.
In fact, even if you escaped indigestion early on in your pregnancy, theres a good chance youll have a surge starting around the second or third trimesters, when your uterus takes over your abdominal cavity and forces your stomach upwards.
Fortunately, the burn should clear up as soon as you give birth.
Read Also: Braces While Pregnant
What Is Heartburn
Heartburn is when you have a burning feeling in your chest. The uncomfortable sensation can move up your throat. You may also have a bitter or sour taste in the back of your throat.
Though its called heartburn, its not related to your heart. It happens because of acid reflux, which occurs when stomach acid moves from your stomach up to your esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that carries food, liquid and saliva to your stomach.
A muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter sits between the esophagus and stomach. It opens to allow food to pass, then closes so acid doesnt travel back up your esophagus. But if the LES doesnt close properly, the acid can move into your esophagus, causing heartburn.
Can I Take Over
Nonprescription heartburn relievers, such as TumsÂ® or MaaloxÂ®, can help you feel better. But talk to your healthcare provider before taking antacids. They may contain high sodium levels, which can cause you to retain water. Some also have aluminum in them, which isnt safe to consume during pregnancy. Your provider can recommend an antacid thats safe during pregnancy.
Don’t Miss: Giving Plasma While Pregnant
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.
What Other Pregnant Moms Do For Heartburn
This will sound odd, but Ive found something that works: Put two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into six ounces of water, and drink it. Its not so bad to drink, and it works! Something about the enzymes in the apple cider kills the acid and the burning. Ive drank it by itself when Ive been in the midst of a reflux episode and also drank it while eating a meal I thought might give me reflux.
I took Tums for a while, but they stopped working. My doctor told me to get Prilosecsince I started taking that, I havent felt heartburn at allits amazing!
I avoid heavy, spicy, fatty foods and big meals. I dont eat too much at night either.
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.
Plus, more from The Bump:
Also Check: Is It Safe To Use Vagisil Cream While Pregnant