Find out what works best for you among these foods that help with heartburn during pregnancy. You shouldn’t lie down soon after eating, as this provides a very easy path for stomach acid to get into the esophagus. Eat upright and remain upright for at least two hours after eating to prevent heartburn. Progesterone relaxes the valve between the stomach and the esophagus that is meant to keep stomach acid from escaping up into the esophagus.
You can try your best to prevent it, and then take steps to cope with it when it pops up. With the advice and assistance of your doctor, you’ll get through it. You may even accept dealing with occasional indigestion or heartburn just to indulge in a meal you’ve been craving, and that’s OK, too. Then, once your baby is born, your belly shrinks back down, and your hormones return to the way they were before your pregnancy, the heartburn should go away. Here’s what you need to know about the symptoms, causes, and complications of heartburn in pregnancy, along with tips for dealing with it.
Skip the three big squares. Six small meals are the solution to many pregnancy symptoms, from heartburn to bloating to lagging energy. Don’t drink and eat at the same time. Too much fluid mixed with too much food will distend the stomach, aggravating heartburn. Try to drink most of your fluids between meals.
Proton pump inhibitors should be reserved for pregnant patients with more severe heartburn symptoms and those not responding to antacids and lifestyle and dietary changes. Lansoprazole (Prevacid®) is the preferred PPI because of case reports of safety in pregnant women. Limited data exists about human safety during pregnancy with the newer PPIs. Pregnant women with mild reflux usually do well with simple lifestyle changes. If lifestyle and dietary changes are not enough, you should consult your doctor before taking any medication to relieve heartburn symptoms.
Concerns about the use of H2 antagonists and proton pump inhibitors are greatest during the first trimester when small drug-induced alterations in fetal development can result in major birth defects. Concerns are less during the second trimester and even less during the third trimester when most critical development of the fetus already has taken place. Talk to your doctor before taking any medications to treat heartburn during pregnancy. If lifestyle changes are not adequate, treatments with medications that are minimally absorbed into the body (and therefore not a potential threat to the fetus) could be started.
the esophagus, particularly when you go to bed with a full stomach. Craving fried or fatty foods during pregnancy? That might be one longing you should try to resist. Foods with high fat content are more difficult to digest, says Ross.
If you experience this kind of craving, report it to your doctor right away. OTC Zantac is used to prevent and treat heartburn symptoms from acid indigestion and a sour stomach. Prescription-strength Zantac is used to treat more serious gastrointestinal diseases.
Heartburn is so common in pregnancy that it’s most likely to be the reason for your discomfort. But it’s worth knowing about another more serious, but much rarer, cause of pain.
This slows digestion and forces acids up. If symptoms return on most nights, it may help to go to bed with an empty, dry stomach. To do this, don’t eat in the last three hours before bedtime and don’t drink in the last two hours before bedtime. If you raise the head of the bed by 10-15 cm (with sturdy blocks or bricks under the bed’s legs), this will help gravity to keep acid from refluxing into the gullet (oesophagus).
If small meals don’t work for you, try to eat your main meal at lunchtime and your evening meal as early as possible. This will allow plenty of time for food to pass down through the stomach and minimise the risk of acid reflux before bedtime. “With all medication, we minimize use as much as possible and don’t use it if we don’t need it,” explains Graves. “But a woman’s level of suffering is really important to take into consideration.
During pregnancy, your body produces more of the progesterone hormone which relaxes smooth muscles — including the ring of muscle in your lower esophagus that normally keeps food and acids down in your stomach. This muscle relaxation can lead to acid reflux, otherwise known as heartburn. To avoid the burn, eat frequent, smaller meals throughout the day; don’t lie down right after eating; and avoid greasy, spicy, and acidic foods (like citrus fruits). You can also try raising your pillows when you sleep.
Still, doctors normally do not recommend Zantac for pregnant women as the first treatment for mild heartburn that occurs infrequently, or less than three times per week.