Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

Raw onions, say in a salad, can also cause pain to creep in after a meal. Also known as acid reflux, heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest that occurs as a result of stomach acid rising up into the oesophagus. Try to stay sitting upright after eating, as lying down can allow food and stomach acid to be regurgitated. Sleeping propped up by two or three pillows may also help in the later stages of pregnancy.

Reflux (heartburn) is very common antenatally. While it is considered a normal part of a healthy pregnancy, symptoms may be frequent and distressing to women. From the monograph, physician experts from ACG have compiled important health tips on managing heartburn symptoms, and importantly, identifying which heartburn medications are safe for use in pregnant women and those, which should be avoided. Studies have shown elevated levels of the hormone progesterone accompanied by increased intra-abdominal pressures from the enlarging uterus, may lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure in pregnant women contributing to heartburn symptoms, according to research highlighted in the newly updated “Pregnancy in Gastrointestinal Disorders” monograph by the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG).

All the foods and liquids that are swallowed travel through the esophagus. Prevention of GERD involves modifying lifestyle factors in diet, activity, and habits that trigger symptoms. Heartburn is a burning pain in your chest, just behind your breastbone. The pain is often worse after eating, in the evening, or when lying down or bending over. “There’s also a link between heartburn and GERD and stress levels, so try to take time out to relax if you’re developing these kinds of symptoms,” suggests Dr. Malloy.

There’s no harm in using Tums to make your life a little easier. Graves says that acid reflux usually goes away right after the baby is born, so taking something for six months to make your life manageable is not the same as taking Tums indefinitely for the rest of your life. One adverse effect it can have, however, is to make you constipated, which can exacerbate the reflux. “If I never eat a Tums again it’ll be too soon,” and other tales of pregnant life with acid reflux.

What medications can I take for heartburn during pregnancy?

  • The stomach has a protective lining that resists damage by the acid.
  • The lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle at the border of the esophagus and stomach that works as a gate and prevents reflux, may open frequently or have a low pressure.
  • This may be uncomfortable for you, but it’s actually beneficial for your baby.
  • There are in fact a number of differences between the two as indigestion is not, as many believe, just a milder form of acid reflux.

Heartburn symptoms may mimic chest pain that occurs during a heart attack. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may produce other symptoms. The cause of heartburn (also called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD) during pregnancy is more complicated than in the non-pregnant state.

GERD is a condition in which stomach acids travel back into the esophagus abnormally, causing pain and discomfort, most commonly heartburn. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the abnormal backflow of stomach acid up into the esophagus, the long, muscular tube that connects the back of the mouth to the stomach.

Sleeping on the left side, raising the head of the bed, and not lying down after eating may also help. Reassure women that symptoms usually subside after pregnancy, but may recur in a subsequent pregnancy. Reflux is not associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes and therefore treatment aims to relieve symptoms for women.

If lifestyle and dietary changes are not enough, you should consult your doctor before taking any medication to relieve heartburn symptoms. Physician experts have compiled important health tips on managing heartburn symptoms during pregnancy, and importantly, identifying which heartburn medications are safe for use in pregnant women and those, which should be avoided.

Don’t lie down after eating. Wait at least 3 hours after eating before going to bed. When you lie down, it’s easier for stomach contents (including acid) to back up into the esophagus, particularly when you go to bed with a full stomach.

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