How to Manage Acid Reflux During Pregnancy: Tips and Tricks

How to Manage Acid Reflux During Pregnancy: Tips and Tricks

Many people have acid reflux, often known as heartburn, particularly during pregnancy. When stomach acid enters the oesophagus again, it causes acid reflux, which results in a burning feeling in the chest or neck. In addition to being unpleasant and even painful, acid reflux can disrupt your sleep and eating.

Several reasons, including hormonal changes, increased pressure on the stomach, and certain meals, might contribute to acid reflux during pregnancy. However, there are several effective and safe methods for both you and your unborn child to prevent and cure acid reflux during pregnancy. In this post, we’ll give some advice on how to deal with pregnancy-related acid reflux, including:

What causes acid reflux during pregnancy?

According to Healthline, pregnancy-related acid reflux can be brought on by:

  • Hormonal changes: Progesterone, a hormone that relaxes the muscles in your digestive tract, is produced in greater quantities by your body during pregnancy. This may weaken and increase the likelihood of opening the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a valve that stops stomach acid from pouring back into the esophagus. This makes it possible for stomach acid to reflux into the esophagus.
  • Increased pressure on the stomach: As your baby develops and your uterus expands, this might increase the pressure on your stomach and move it from its natural position. Additionally, this may increase the likelihood that the LES may crack open, allowing stomach acid to enter the esophagus.
  • Certain foods: Some foods can cause or exacerbate acid reflux by boosting stomach acid production or relaxing the LES. Foods like chocolate, coffee, citrus fruits, tomatoes, garlic, onion, mint, and alcohol are examples of these foods, as are meals that are sour, fatty, acidic, or caffeinated.

What are the symptoms of acid reflux during pregnancy?

Heartburn, which is a burning feeling in the chest or throat that typically happens after eating or lying down, is the primary symptom of acid reflux during pregnancy. Other pregnancy-related acid reflux symptoms include:

  • A sour or bitter taste in the mouth
  • Sore throat or hoarseness
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Bloating or gas
  • Difficulty swallowing

What are the treatments for acid reflux during pregnancy?

You might be able to cure moderate or sporadic acid reflux during pregnancy using over-the-counter (OTC) drugs or home treatments. To ensure the safety of both you and your unborn child, you should always speak with your doctor before taking any medicine or dietary supplement while you are pregnant.

There are three primary categories of over-the-counter medicines that are safe for pregnant women with acid reflux, according to UT Southwestern Medical Center:

  • Oral antacids: These drugs neutralize stomach acid and offer prompt relief from heartburn. Examples of oral antacids include calcium carbonate (such as TUMS) and aluminum and magnesium hydroxide (such as Maalox and Mylanta).
  • Histamine H2-receptor antagonists: These drugs work by inhibiting the stomach lining’s histamine receptors to lower the generation of stomach acid. Ranitidine (Zantac, for instance) and famotidine (Pepcid, for instance) are examples of H2 blockers.
  • Proton pump inhibitors: These are drugs that stop the stomach cells’ production of the enzyme that causes stomach acid. Omeprazole (Prilosec, for instance) and lansoprazole (Prevacid, for instance) are examples of PPIs.

However, these medications may have some side effects or interactions with other drugs, so you should follow the directions on the label carefully and talk to your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.

What are the home remedies for acid reflux during pregnancy?

There are several natural solutions that may help you control acid reflux during pregnancy in addition to over-the-counter drugs. These consist of:

  • Eating smaller and more frequent meals: Eating smaller, more frequent meals will help you avoid overeating and lessen the strain on your LES. Additionally, it can aid with nutritional absorption and digestion.
  • Avoiding foods that trigger acid reflux: Avoiding foods that cause acid reflux includes avoiding foods that are spicy, fatty, acidic, or caffeinated, such as chocolate, coffee, citrus fruits, tomatoes, garlic, onion, mint, and alcohol. This can vary from person to person. To pinpoint your triggers and stay as far away from them as you can, you might wish to keep a food journal.
  • Drinking plenty of water: Getting enough of water can assist drain esophageal acid out of the body via diluted stomach acid. However, you should refrain from drinking water during or immediately following a meal since this might enlarge your stomach and result in acid reflux. Carbonated beverages should also be avoided since they might result in gas and bloating.

When to see a doctor for acid reflux during pregnancy?

Pregnancy-related acid reflux is often moderate and treatable with dietary modifications and over-the-counter medicines. Your quality of life may be impacted if it is severe or prolonged sometimes. If you experience any of the following indications or symptoms, you should consult a doctor:

  • Acid reflux that occurs more than twice a week or does not improve with OTC medications
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Coughing up blood or black material
  • Vomiting blood or green or yellow fluid
  • Weight loss or poor appetite
  • Signs of dehydration, such as dry mouth, thirst, dizziness, or dark urine

1 Comment

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