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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
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.
Symptoms of indigestion and heartburn
Symptoms of indigestion and heartburn include:
a burning sensation or pain in the chest
feeling full, heavy or bloated
burping or belching
feeling or being sick
bringing up food
Symptoms usually come on soon after eating or drinking, but there can sometimes be a delay between eating and developing indigestion.
You can get symptoms at any point during your pregnancy, but they are more common from 27 weeks onwards.
Things you can do to help with indigestion and heartburn
Changes to your diet and lifestyle may be enough to control your symptoms, particularly if they are mild.
You're more likely to get indigestion if you're very full.
If you're pregnant, it may be tempting to eat more than you would normally, but this may not be good for you or your baby.
Find out more about a healthy diet in pregnancy and foods to avoid.
Change your eating and drinking habits
You may be able to control your indigestion with changes to your eating habits.
It can help to eat small meals often, rather than larger meals 3 times a day, and to not eat within 3 hours of going to bed at night.
Cutting down on drinks containing caffeine, and foods that are rich, spicy or fatty, can also ease symptoms.
Sit up straight when you eat. This will take the pressure off your stomach. Propping your head and shoulders up when you go to bed can stop stomach acid coming up while you sleep.
Smoking when pregnant can cause indigestion, and can seriously affect the health of you and your unborn baby.
When you smoke, the chemicals you inhale can contribute to your indigestion. These chemicals can cause the ring of muscle at the lower end of your gullet to relax, which allows stomach acid to come back up more easily. This is known as acid reflux.
Smoking also increases the risk of:
your baby being born prematurely (before week 37 of your pregnancy)
your baby being born with a low birthweight
sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), or "cot death"
There's lots of help available to stop smoking. Talk to your midwife or call the NHS Smokefree helpline on 0300 123 1044. Find out more about stopping smoking in pregnancy.
Drinking alcohol can cause indigestion. During pregnancy, it can also lead to long-term harm to the baby. It's safest to not drink alcohol at all in pregnancy.
Find out more about alcohol and pregnancy
When to get medical help
See your midwife or GP if you need help managing your symptoms or if changes to your diet and lifestyle do not work. They may recommend medicine to ease your symptoms.
You should also see your midwife or GP if you have any of the following:
difficulty eating or keeping food down
Your midwife or GP may ask about your symptoms and examine you by pressing gently on different areas of your chest and stomach to see whether it's painful.
If you're taking prescription medicines
Speak to your GP if you're taking medicine for another condition, such as antidepressants, and you think it may be making your indigestion worse. They may be able to prescribe an alternative medicine.
Never stop taking a prescribed medicine unless you're advised to do so by your GP or another qualified healthcare professional who's responsible for your care.
Medicines for indigestion and heartburn
Medicines for indigestion and heartburn during pregnancy include:
antacids – to neutralise the acid in your stomach (some are available over the counter from a pharmacist)
alginates – to relieve indigestion caused by acid reflux by stopping the acid in your stomach coming back up your gullet
You may only need to take antacids and alginates when you start getting symptoms. However, your GP may recommend taking them before symptoms come on – for example, before a meal or before bed.
If you're taking iron supplements as well as antacids, do not take them at the same time. Antacids can stop iron from being absorbed by your body.
If antacids and alginates do not improve your symptoms, your GP may prescribe a medicine to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. 2 that are widely used in pregnancy and not known to be harmful to an unborn baby are:
ranitidine – a tablet you take twice a day
omeprazole – a tablet you take once a day
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:
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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Media last reviewed: 13 January 2021 Media review due: 13 January 2024
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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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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