Heartburn in Pregnancy: 10+ Treatments to Put Out the Fire
Is it possible it was something I ate?
The swelling ankles, morning sickness, and developing breasts were all expected. But what about this throbbing indigestion? What was the source of that? Heartburn During Pregnancy Remedy.
Heartburn (also known as gastroesophageal reflux or acid indigestion) is a burning sensation that begins under your breastbone and goes up your oesophagus, the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. These acids have the ability to travel all the way up to your throat.
In addition to a burning sensation that might last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, you may also experience:
- Feel bloated
- Have a lot of belching
- You’re getting a sour sensation in your mouth
- Suffer from a sore throat
- You cough a lot
While the spicy burrito you ate for supper didn’t help matters (spicy meals can aggravate heartburn), the burning sensation you’re experiencing is due to hormones rather than jalapenos.
So, if it’s not the burrito, what’s the problem?
You’re not alone if you feel like you have a three-alarm inferno in your chest. According to one study, up to 45 per cent of expectant mothers have heartburn. You’re more likely to get heartburn during pregnancy if you had it before.
Heartburn can strike at any time during pregnancy, although it is most prevalent in the second and third trimesters. Experts aren’t sure what’s causing the smouldering, but they believe it’s a three-part issue.
Because it supports your womb and the baby inside it, progesterone is known as the “pregnancy hormone.” It is the major cause of pregnancy-related heartburn.
Progesterone has a muscle-relaxing effect. In the case of heartburn, the hormone might release the tight muscle that separates your stomach from your oesophagus (known as the lower oesophagal valve).
When you eat or drink, the muscle opens to allow the contents of the stomach into the stomach before closing tightly. However, high levels of progesterone during pregnancy can cause that muscle to relax, causing stomach acid to back up into your oesophagus and even into your throat.
Your uterus competes for the room with some of your other organs as it expands to accommodate your growing baby. Your developing uterus puts pressure on your stomach, similar to a toothpaste tube being squeezed, making it more probable that stomach acids will flow out, especially if your stomach is full.
Your stomach is more likely to be squashed as your uterus expands. This could explain why heartburn becomes more likely as your pregnancy progresses.
Because of progesterone, stomach contents stay longer than usual. As digestion slows and the stomach remains fuller for longer, heartburn becomes more common.
Proven ways to cool the ’burn
Heartburn is unpleasant, but there are ways to combat it:
- Watch what you eat
Acidic and spicy foods, unsurprisingly, produce more stomach acid than bland foods (until next time, Taco Tuesday!). Citrus fruits, tomatoes, onions, garlic, caffeine, chocolate, soft drinks, and other acidic foods should be avoided. Avoid fried or fatty foods, which slow down digestion.
- Eat frequent small meals instead of three a day
This prevents the stomach from becoming overworked and allows it to empty more quickly.
- Sit up straight when you eat
Your mother was correct about this, as well as a lot of other things. Gravity will assist you in keeping your meal in place.
- Don’t eat within three hours of going to bed
Giving your digestion a head start before you lie down for the night — which slows the emptying of your stomach — will help you keep your heartburn under control.
- Don’t smoke
Heartburn is only one of the many reasons why you should avoid smoking during pregnancy. Cigarette smoke contains chemicals that relax the valve that keeps stomach contents down. Acids and undigested meals are able to splash upward and take their scorching aim as a result.
- Elevate your head 6 to 9 inches when you sleep
Placing pillows under your shoulders, lifting the head of your bed with blocks placed beneath the bed’s legs, or purchasing a specific wedge pillow to place between the mattress and box spring are the easiest ways to achieve this. Another technique to make gravity work for you is to sleep raised up.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing
Avoid wearing Spanx or any other garment that puts strain on your midsection. Rock your bump, as well as the stretchy, comfortable jeans!
- Drink after meals, not with them
If you drink liquids with your meal, you may be producing an overfull, sloshy stomach condition that encourages heartburn.
- Give acupuncture a try
In a 2015 study, pregnant women who received acupuncture compared to those who didn’t show no difference in their symptoms, but the women who received acupuncture reported better sleep and eating.
- Don’t drink alcohol
Aside from the fact that alcohol can harm your developing kid in a variety of ways, ranging from low birth weight to learning difficulties, it can also loosen the valve that keeps stomach contents in the stomach.
- Talk to your doctor about heartburn medications
This includes OTC medications, some of which are safe to take during pregnancy.
Antacids work by neutralising stomach acid and relieving the burning sensation. OTC antacids containing calcium carbonate (such as Tums), according to the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, are safe to use.
If lifestyle changes haven’t relieved your heartburn, your doctor may prescribe heartburn medications like Tagamet or Prilosec, which are typically considered safe during pregnancy. While some drugs are available over-the-counter, your doctor may write you a prescription for a higher dose if he or she believes it is necessary.
But don’t do this
- When you’re expecting a child, you have to consider the safety of everything you put in and on your body. The following are some heartburn drugs that may be OK for your non-pregnant sister but not for you:
- Sodium bicarbonate-containing antacids, which might cause oedema.
- Aspirin-containing antacids, which can be harmful to your baby. Premature infants have been linked to aspirin use during pregnancy, which has been linked to pregnancy loss, heart problems, and brain bleeding. (Your doctor may prescribe aspirin as therapy or prophylactic for additional pregnancy concerns such as preeclampsia in some situations.)
- Magnesium trisilicate-containing antacids, which haven’t been shown safe to use during pregnancy.
Heartburn is typical and unpleasant throughout pregnancy, but it should subside once the baby is born and your hormone levels return to normal.
Heartburn can’t be avoided, especially if you’re prone to it even when you’re not pregnant, but you can help put out the fires by eating small meals, avoiding spicy or fatty foods, and sleeping with your head and shoulders raised.
If these precautions are insufficient, consult your doctor about medicines that are safe to take while pregnant.
Indigestion and heartburn in pregnancy
heartburn in pregnancy treatment
In pregnancy, indigestion, often known as heartburn or acid reflux, is very frequent. Hormonal changes and the growing baby pressing against your tummy can cause it.
Changes in your food and lifestyle can help relieve indigestion and heartburn, and there are medications that are safe to take during pregnancy.
Symptoms of indigestion and heartburn
Indigestion and heartburn can cause the following symptoms:
- Feeling full, heavy, or bloated
- A burning sensation or discomfort in the chest
- Belching or burping
- Feeling ill or being ill
- Bringing food up
The symptoms normally appear shortly after eating or drinking, however, there can be a delay between eating and the onset of indigestion.
Symptoms can appear at any time throughout your pregnancy, but they are more prevalent after 27 weeks.
Things you can do to help with indigestion and heartburn
Changes in your food and lifestyle, especially if your symptoms are modest, maybe enough to control them.
When you’re quite full, you’re more prone to have indigestion.
It may be tempting to consume more than usual while pregnant, but this may be harmful to both you and your kid.
Change your eating and drinking habits
Changes in your eating habits may help you reduce your indigestion.
Eating small meals frequently, rather than larger meals three times a day, and not eating within three hours of going to bed at night, can assist.
Caffeine-containing beverages and rich, spicy, or fatty foods should be avoided to alleviate symptoms.
When you eat, sit up straight. This will relieve the strain on your stomach. When you go to bed, prop your head and shoulders up to prevent stomach acid from rising.
Smoking during pregnancy can induce indigestion and have a negative impact on both you and your unborn child’s health.
The chemicals you inhale when you smoke can contribute to indigestion. These substances can relax the ring of muscle at the bottom of your gullet, making it easier for stomach acid to come back up. Acid reflux is the medical term for this condition.
As a result of smoking, you’re more likely to develop:
- The birth of your child early (before week 37 of your pregnancy)
- The birth of a baby with a low birth weight
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as “cot death,” is a type of sudden infant death syndrome.
There is a lot of assistance available to help you quit smoking. Call the NHS Smokefree helpline at 0300 123 1044 or speak with your midwife.
Alcohol consumption can result in indigestion. It can potentially cause long-term harm to the infant if used during pregnancy. It’s best not to drink any alcohol when pregnant.
When to get medical help
If you need help managing your symptoms or if food and lifestyle changes aren’t working, see your midwife or GP. They may prescribe medication to help alleviate your discomfort.
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should consult your midwife or doctor:
- Inability to eat or keep food down
- Loss of weight
- Stomach aches
Your midwife or GP may inquire about your symptoms and assess you by gently pushing on various parts of your chest and stomach to determine whether they are painful.
If you’re taking prescription medicines
If you’re taking medication for another disease, such as antidepressants, and you think it’s making your indigestion worse, talk to your doctor. They might be able to recommend an alternative treatment.
Never stop taking a prescribed medicine unless your doctor or another trained healthcare practitioner in charge of your care advises you to.
Medicines for indigestion and heartburn
Medications for indigestion and heartburn during pregnancy include:
- Antacids are a type of medicine that is used to neutralise stomach acid (some are available over the counter from a pharmacist)
- alginates – prevent stomach acid from rising up your gullet, thereby alleviating indigestion caused by acid reflux.
When you first notice symptoms, you may only need to take antacids and alginates. However, your doctor may advise you to take them before you experience symptoms, such as before a meal or before going to bed.
If you’re taking iron supplements and antacids at the same time, don’t take them together. Antacids might prevent your body from absorbing iron.
If antacids and alginates don’t help, your doctor may prescribe a medication that lowers the amount of acid in your stomach. 2 that are commonly used during pregnancy that is not known to harm an unborn child are:
- ranitidine (a tablet taken twice daily)
- omeprazole (a tablet taken once daily)
Causes of indigestion in pregnancy
Indigestion occurs when the acid in your stomach irritates the lining of your stomach or your gullet. This creates discomfort and a burning sensation.
Indigestion is more common in pregnant women due to the following factors:
- Hormonal shifts
- the weight of your growing child pressing against your stomach
- the muscles that connect your stomach to your gullet relax, allowing stomach acid to rise again
If you’re pregnant, you’re more likely to develop indigestion if:
If you suffered from dyspepsia prior to becoming pregnant
- You’ve had a previous pregnancy
When you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy
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