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Expectant mothers everywhere are aching to know one thing: “How can I get some relief from this awful pregnancy heartburn?”
To help ease your pain, here are some answers to your “burning” questions. (Pardon the pun.)
When you’re growing a human being, you don’t have time for that yucky acid reflux. But your usual go-to methods for treating it may not be safe for your unborn baby. (Remember Pepto Bismol? That’s on the No Fly List for moms-to-be, according to FDA recommendations.)
Instead, here are some of the safest and best ways to get rid of heartburn when you’re pregnant:
Dip into some yogurt. Its probiotics and soothing texture make yogurt a great option for extinguishing heartburn – or at least dousing the flames a little.
Drink milk with honey. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a tablespoon of honey mixed in a glass of warm milk may be just what you need to neutralize heartburn-causing acid.
Snack on almonds. Munching on a handful of almonds may provide heartburn relief since these nuts have a lower acidity level than others.
Eat pineapple or papaya. For some women, the digestive enzymes in pineapple and papaya have helped ease symptoms. Eating these fruits after your meals can aid digestion and reduce your chances of heartburn.
Try a little ginger. You probably knew ginger was a good remedy for an upset stomach. Well, that makes it a helpful candidate for fighting off heartburn, too. Among ginger’s many benefits, it can reduce inflammation and prevent stomach acid from traveling up the esophagus.
Chew sugar-free gum. Another effective method for taming the burn is to chew some sugar-free gum. One study found that chewing sugar-free gum for 30 minutes after a meal can reduce acid reflux.
Take (doctor-approved) medication. When all else fails, certain medications are considered safe to use for pregnancy heartburn relief. Just make sure you speak to your doctor or OB-GYN first. If your heartburn is severe, they may prescribe special medication to help control it.
While not every tip mentioned above may work to ease your symptoms, you’ve got nine months to try them all and figure out what works.
It’s important to be extremely careful about the medications you take when pregnant.
For heartburn relief, over-the-counter antacids (such as Tums, Mylanta, Rolaids, and Maalox) are all considered safe medications to use during pregnancy.
As always, consult with your provider about any medications you’re taking – even if they’re considered safe. (This is especially true for high-risk pregnancies.)
If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking an over-the-counter medication, call your doctor immediately.
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 there’s nothing you can do to stop this entirely, there are a few things that can help prevent heartburn from flaring up during pregnancy:
Avoid lying down after eating. It may be tempting to take a post-meal nap, but if you want to prevent heartburn, don’t lie down after eating. Consider napping in an upright recliner instead.
Prop yourself up at night. It’s hard enough to sleep well while pregnant without throwing acid reflux on top of everything. To prevent nighttime heartburn, try propping yourself up when you go to sleep to counteract the acid.
Don’t eat before bedtime. In addition to propping yourself up at night, try not to eat anything within three hours of hitting the sack.
Skip spicy, acidic, or fried foods. Ask yourself: Are those greasy chips worth being doubled over in pain later? (Probably not. ) If you want to avoid the risk, steer clear of any and all rich, fatty foods. Not only will this help prevent heartburn, but making more nutritious choices helps ensure that you your baby is getting the important vitamins and minerals that they need to stay healthy in utero.
Eat small meals, but more frequently. Your pregnant tummy doesn’t love to be hit with large amounts of food to digest in one go. Make things easier on your gut by eating several small meals throughout the day instead of three large ones.
Eat slowly. Wolfing down those small meals will defeat the purpose of spreading them out. Eating quickly increases the risk of acid reflux, so slow down and enjoy your food.
Wear loose clothing. Tight-fitting clothes are not your stomach’s best friend when you’re trying to prevent heartburn – particularly during pregnancy. Wear clothing that offers support without being restrictive.
Drink your liquids between meals. If you’re the type of person who likes to take a swig of their drink between each bite, it’s time to change course. Drinking liquids during meals can exacerbate heartburn symptoms, so take little sips if you’re thirsty at mealtime.
Someday, scientists may very well invent a miracle medication that promises permanent pregnancy heartburn relief. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet.
So, if you’re wondering how long you can expect to deal with heartburn while you’re pregnant, it will probably be throughout your entire pregnancy. (Now may be a good time to remind yourself that you get a cute little baby out of this when you’re done.)
However, just because there’s no cure, that doesn’t mean you can’t find some relief in the meantime.
If severe pregnancy heartburn is getting in the way of everyday life, it’s time to see a doctor.
Intermountain Healthcare offers individualized and compassionate pregnancy care for women of all ages and health needs.
To get the care you need, search for a provider or find an Intermountain Healthcare location near you.
Baby Your Baby,
Women and Newborn
It’s 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.
During normal digestion, food travels down the esophagus (the tube between your mouth and stomach), through a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), and into the stomach.
The LES is part of the doorway between your esophagus and your stomach. It opens to allow food through and closes to stop stomach acids from coming back up.
When you have heartburn, or acid reflux, the LES relaxes enough to allow stomach acid to rise up into the esophagus. This can cause pain and burning in the chest area.
During pregnancy, hormone changes can allow the muscles in the esophagus, including the LES, to relax more frequently. The result is that more acids may seep back up, particularly when you’re lying down or after you’ve eaten a large meal.
In addition, as your fetus grows during the second and third trimesters and your uterus expands to accommodate that growth, your stomach is under more pressure. This can also result in food and acid being pushed back up into your esophagus.
Heartburn is a common occurrence for most people at one time or another, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re pregnant. However, if you also experience other symptoms, such as a missed period or nausea, these could be signs that you need to take a pregnancy test.
Pregnancy increases your risk of heartburn or acid reflux. During the first trimester, muscles in your esophagus push food more slowly into the stomach and your stomach takes longer to empty.
This gives your body more time to absorb nutrients for the fetus, but it can also result in heartburn.
During the third trimester, the growth of your baby can push your stomach out of its normal position, which can lead to heartburn.
However, each woman is different. Being pregnant doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have heartburn. It depends on many factors, including your physiology, diet, daily habits, and your pregnancy.
Relieving heartburn during pregnancy typically involves some trial and error. Lifestyle habits that can reduce heartburn are often the safest methods for mother and baby. The following tips may help relieve your heartburn:
Eat smaller meals more frequently and avoid drinking while eating. Drink water in between meals instead.
Eat slowly and chew every bite thoroughly.
Avoid eating a few hours before bed.
Avoid foods and beverages that trigger your heartburn. Typical culprits include chocolate, fatty foods, spicy foods, acidic foods like citrus fruits and tomato-based items, carbonated beverages, and caffeine.
Stay upright for at least one hour after a meal. A leisurely walk may also encourage digestion.
Wear comfortable rather than tight-fitting clothing.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Use pillows or wedges to elevate your upper body while sleeping.
Sleep on your left side. Lying on your right side will position your stomach higher than your esophagus, which may lead to heartburn.
Chew a piece of sugarless gum after meals. The increased saliva may neutralize any acid coming back up into the esophagus.
Eat yogurt or drink a glass of milk to quell symptoms once they start.
Alternative medicine options include acupuncture and relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, or guided imagery. Always check with your doctor before trying new treatments.
Over-the-counter antacids such as Tums, Rolaids, and Maalox may help you cope with occasional heartburn symptoms. Those made of calcium carbonate or magnesium are good options.
However, it may be best to avoid magnesium during the last trimester of pregnancy. Magnesium could interfere with contractions during labor.
Most doctors recommend avoiding antacids that contain high levels of sodium. These antacids can lead to a buildup of fluid in the tissues.
You should also avoid any antacids that list aluminum on the label, as in “aluminum hydroxide” or “aluminum carbonate”. These antacids can lead to constipation.
Finally, stay away from medications like Alka-Seltzer that may contain aspirin.
Ask your doctor for the best option. If you find yourself downing bottles of antacids, your heartburn may have progressed to gastroesophageal acid reflux disease (GERD). In that case, you may need a stronger treatment.
If you have heartburn that often wakes you up at night, returns as soon as your antacid wears off, or creates other symptoms (such as difficulty swallowing, coughing, weight loss, or black stools), 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 h3 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 doesn’t respond to other treatments.
If you’re 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.
How to get rid of heartburn during pregnancy
Boltovsky Vladimir Anatolievich
Children's clinic "Mother and Child" Samara
If, after some time after eating, the expectant mother has a feeling of warmth or burning behind the sternum, then this is heartburn.
Not all antacids can be used during pregnancy. For example, preparations containing bismuth nitrate ( Vikalin , etc. ), should not be taken by expectant mothers due to the fact that the effect of bismuth on the development of the child is unknown.
Heartburn usually appears after the 20th week of pregnancy and torments the expectant mother until the birth of the child.
what she looks like
If, after some time after eating, the expectant mother has a feeling of warmth or burning behind the sternum, then this is heartburn. And most often these unpleasant sensations occur in the evening. Heartburn usually appears after the 20th week of pregnancy and torments the expectant mother until the birth of the child. According to popular belief, she worries the expectant mother when the baby's hair grows. In fact, heartburn occurs due to the fact that the acidic contents of the stomach are thrown into the lower esophagus. This happens because during pregnancy, the muscular sphincter, located between the esophagus and stomach, relaxes under the influence of the hormone progesterone. Another cause of heartburn is an enlarged uterus (and it just increases greatly after the 20th week) presses on neighboring organs: the stomach, intestines. As a result, the volume of the stomach decreases and even the usual amount of food leads to its overflow and the reflux of food back into the esophagus.
what will help
If heartburn occurs infrequently and does not bother you much, then in order to reduce its symptoms, you just need to eat right and change your lifestyle. The simplest thing that helps with heartburn:
Fractional meals: eat often 5-6 times a day at intervals of 1.5-2 hours and in small portions. Eat slowly, chewing your food thoroughly.
Healthy food: Avoid fatty and fried foods and chocolate. All these products provoke additional relaxation of the esophageal sphincter.
Heartburn usually occurs within the first two hours after eating, so do not lie down immediately after eating.
Sleep with the head of the bed raised by adding another pillow.
The simplest thing that helps with heartburn is some foods. For example, a burning sensation behind the sternum perfectly removes low-fat milk, just a few sips - and heartburn goes away or is significantly reduced. Ice cream works the same way, as well as grapefruit and carrot juices. You can get rid of heartburn by eating nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds), but they are more likely to prevent heartburn than to eliminate an existing one. And ordinary seeds help someone cope with heartburn. In general, the expectant mother can only choose the right product for herself, but here, as with food in general, one must observe the measure. No need to eat a block of ice cream or a package of seeds every day, drink glasses of juice or endlessly eat nuts. Of course, they will help, but ice cream and nuts are high in fat and calories, and juices in large quantities hit the pancreas and increase sugar levels. A small amount of one of some product will completely cope with an attack of heartburn.
Some medications, especially antispasmodics (drugs that relieve spasms of the smooth muscles of the internal organs), such as No-shpa , Papaverine , relax the esophageal sphincter and thus contribute to heartburn. Some herbs, such as mint, also work. Tight clothing under the chest (elastic bands, belts), a change in body position (tilts, turns) can also cause heartburn.
In general, every expectant mother can carefully observe herself and identify her personal cause of heartburn, then it will be much easier to deal with it.
Baking soda is often used to treat heartburn. It really helps to relieve the unpleasant burning sensation very quickly, but at the same time it does not last long. In addition, when soda interacts with gastric juice, carbon dioxide is formed, which irritates the stomach - as a result, new portions of hydrochloric acid are produced and heartburn resumes. It turns out that a teaspoon of soda in a glass of water instantly relieves heartburn, but in response to taking soda, the next time the heartburn attack will be even stronger.
During pregnancy you can use the so-called antacids (Maalox, Almagel, Rennie, Gaviscon) . They contain salts of magnesium and aluminum, they neutralize the acid of gastric juice, form a protective film on the wall of the stomach, increase the tone of the lower esophageal sphincter. True, sometimes some antacids cause constipation (due to calcium or aluminum salts), and magnesium, on the contrary, has a laxative effect. Therefore, long-term use of these drugs is not worth it. Antacids can absorb other medications, so there should be some time between taking antacids and other medications.
Despite the fact that heartburn is quite unpleasant for the mother, it does not affect the child in any way. Start the fight against heartburn with proper nutrition, and you may not need medication.
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to the doctor - Boltovsky Vladimir Anatolyevich
Children's Clinic "Mother and Child" Samara
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Heartburn during pregnancy - Juno
Heartburn during pregnancy - Juno -->
Heartburn during pregnancy
Most often, heartburn begins to bother pregnant women in the later stages, in the second or third semester. What is the cause of heartburn during pregnancy and how to deal with it? Read our article!
Causes of heartburn during pregnancy
Heartburn (acid dyspepsia) is an unpleasant burning sensation in the chest and mouth. In pregnant women, heartburn may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, pain in the throat, abdomen and stomach, as well as a disorder in the swallowing mechanism. Also, heartburn during pregnancy is fraught with sleep and eating disorders.
Consider the main causes of heartburn during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, the production of progesterone, or the so-called pregnancy hormone, rises. He is responsible for relaxing the muscles of the uterus in order to avoid abortion. The difficulty lies in the fact that the action of this hormone also extends to the esophagus, stomach and intestines.
Between the esophagus and the stomach is a sphincter that must close after food enters the stomach. But under the influence of progesterone, the performance of the sphincter worsens, due to which the food returns to the esophagus, and with hydrochloric acid, which aggravates the situation. In addition, due to a violation of the hormonal background, the acidity of the gastric juice increases, which also provokes the appearance of heartburn.
From the second trimester, the size of the uterus increases significantly, so there is pressure on the digestive tract. In this case, the volume of the stomach decreases, which creates conditions for throwing the contents of the stomach into the esophagus.
Heartburn can occur due to weight gain, because under the influence of extra pounds, blood pressure begins to affect the abdominal cavity. It is advisable to avoid tight clothing, because if the clothing squeezes and tights the stomach, this can provoke the release of acid from the stomach.
The use of certain foods.
During pregnancy, heartburn can cause the following types of food:
Fatty food (fish, meat).
Dairy products (ryazhenka, kefir, etc.).
Some types of fruits: citrus, kiwi, green apples, honeysuckle, currants.
Hard boiled eggs.
Treatment of heartburn during pregnancy
To treat heartburn during pregnancy in mild cases, it is enough to follow the following points:
Dieting. For pregnant women, oatmeal, natural milk, boiled or baked meat and fish of low-fat varieties, steamed omelettes are recommended. A diet for heartburn implies certain restrictions, especially in plant foods, which can lead to a deficiency of minerals and vitamins necessary for the body. To avoid this situation, you can take vitamin and mineral complexes designed specifically for pregnant women. Such drugs, for example, include the Pregnoton Mama complex. It contains folic acid, Omega-3, liposomal iron, iodine, selenium, biotin, zinc, and vitamins. All these substances are necessary for the proper formation and development of the fetus. The drug is available in the form of soft capsules that are easy to swallow. Thus, mother and baby will receive all the necessary substances, even if the diet is followed.
Lifestyle change. Not only for the prevention of heartburn, but in general, during pregnancy, it is necessary to give up alcohol and cigarettes, including electronic ones. After each meal, it is better to walk a little or sit quietly. It is strictly not recommended to take a horizontal position and bend over.
Proper sleep. To prevent heartburn, pregnant women are shown to sleep with the head end of the bed raised. This is where an extra pillow can come in handy.
Correct food intake. Food must be chewed thoroughly, not in a hurry. It is better to reduce the amount of servings, but increase the number of meals.
How to quickly get rid of heartburn during pregnancy?
What helps with heartburn: treatment with folk remedies
The use of baking soda for heartburn during pregnancy is one of the most common "folk" ways to deal with heartburn. This method really gives a quick effect, but it passes quickly, and in addition, soda interacts with gastric juice, which leads to the release of additional portions of hydrochloric acid and, accordingly, to heartburn.
Milk. The drink contains a large amount of proteins and antacids, which reduce the level of acidity. Often it is enough to drink one glass of milk for heartburn to recede. To enhance the effect, you can add a few drops of fennel.
Potato juice, squeezed from a grated raw potato, can be an effective remedy for heartburn during pregnancy, as it normalizes acidity. However, not everyone can force themselves to drink potato juice, as it has a peculiar taste.
Ground eggshell. The shell contains calcium carbonate, which reduces the level of acidity in the body. Note that with long-term use, this method will give the opposite effect, that is, the acidity will increase.
Carrot juice. Helps neutralize acidity.
Oatmeal has an enveloping property, thanks to which it is able to block discomfort.
However, before resorting to "folk" ways to deal with heartburn, still discuss with your doctor how best to deal with the problem in your case.
In the final months, heartburn tends to subside as the body reduces progesterone production, and the pressure on the internal organs decreases as the belly sinks down.
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