How Can I Deal With Heartburn During Pregnancy?

Prescription medications

During normal digestion, food travels down the esophagus (the tube between your mouth and stomach), through a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), and into the stomach. The LES is part of the doorway between your esophagus and your stomach. It opens to allow food through and closes to stop stomach acids from coming back up. Spicy foods, foods that have a lot of acid (like tomatoes and oranges), and coffee can make GERD symptoms worse in some people.

Most of the time, symptoms of heartburn improve after the baby is born. Heartburn or GERD are common discomforts which can start at any stage during pregnancy. An acid reflux pregnancy is not necessarily something to be alarmed about if managed with changes to your diet, lifestyle and, where necessary, treatment from a qualified physician following a thorough assessment. If you had gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) before pregnancy, heartburn is nothing new – but treating it during pregnancy might be.

Early Pregnancy Symptoms and Signs

Antacids are a type of medicine that can provide immediate relief from indigestion. They work by neutralising the acid in your stomach (making it less acidic), so that it no longer irritates the protective lining (mucosa) of your digestive system. These changes can often result in acid reflux, the most common cause of indigestion.

Advance cites data from clinical studies (including more than 500 pregnant women) and post-marketing experience which does not show fetal toxicity or malformations [ABPI Medicines Compendium, 2014]. This recommendation is pragmatic and is based on what CKS considers to be good clinical practice. Although dyspepsia in pregnancy is a common symptom, other treatments are available if symptoms are not controlled by self-care and lifestyle measures.

It is also important to bear in mind differential diagnoses. The recommendation to offer lifestyle advice as first-line management is based on guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on Antenatal care for uncomplicated pregnancies [NICE, 2008] and the World Health Organization’s Recommendations on antenatal care for a positive pregnancy experience [WHO, 2016], and is consistent with advice in the British National Formulary to avoid the use of drugs if possible during the first trimester [BNF 72, 2016]. Avoid medications that may cause or worsen symptoms, if appropriate (for example calcium-channel antagonists, antidepressants, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

When you smoke, the chemicals you inhale can contribute to your indigestion. These chemicals can cause the lower oesophageal sphincter (ring of muscle) that separates your oesophagus (gullet) from your stomach to relax.

Progesterone, a hormone that is necessary for implantation of a fertilized egg and for maintaining pregnancy, is also responsible for that heartburn you’re experiencing. Antacids containing aluminum, calcium, or magnesium are considered safe and effective in treating the heartburn of pregnancy. Based on a review of published scientific clinical studies (in animals and humans) on the safety of heartburn medications during pregnancy, researchers conclude there are certain drugs that are considered safe for use in pregnancy and those which should be avoided. Avoid tobacco and alcohol. Abstinence from alcohol and smoking can help reduce reflux symptoms and avoid fetal exposure to potentially harmful substances.

LBG Yes, there are enough data to suggest that PPI therapy is safe during pregnancy-and this includes all PPIs, even omeprazole. Despite being labeled as a pregnancy category C drug by the FDA, many studies have demonstrated that omeprazole is safe in pregnant women, as discussed above; in fact, the majority of safety data on the use of PPI therapy in pregnant GERD patients involve omeprazole because it was the first PPI that was available. As all PPIs are safe in pregnant women-and no single PPI is safer than other PPIs-there is no reason for a pregnant woman on PPI therapy to switch to a different PPI. Heartburn in pregnancy may occur because of changing hormone levels, which can affect the muscles of the digestive tract and how different foods are tolerated.

Home pregnancy test kits are available without a prescription at pharmacies and most grocery stores. Contact a doctor or other health care professional if you think you may be pregnant.

treatment for gerd in pregnancy

In this procedure, the surgeon wraps the top of the stomach around the lower esophagus. This reinforces the lower esophageal sphincter, making it less likely that acid will back up in the esophagus. Over-the-counter antacids such as Tums, Rolaids, and Maalox may help you cope with occasional heartburn symptoms.

Some antacids are combined with another type of medicine known as an alginate. This helps to relieve indigestion caused by acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid leaks back up into your oesophagus (gullet) and irritates its protective lining (mucosa). Most people are affected by indigestion from time to time, but women are often affected by it while they are pregnant. As many as 8 out of 10 women experience indigestion at some point during their pregnancy.

Feeling the burn? Tips to manage heartburn, GERD in pregnancy

Advise women that the causes of reflux vary between individuals and avoiding the food and drinks that cause them reflux may reduce symptoms. 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. Association of heartburn during pregnancy with the risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Tons of women feel the burn during pregnancy – heartburn, that is. Learn how to cope with these smart strategies for relief.

treatment for gerd in pregnancy

LBG In the baseline population of individuals who are not pregnant, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is present in approximately 40% of Americans on a monthly basis and approximately 7-10% of Americans on a daily or weekly basis. Many studies have found that GERD is very common during pregnancy; approximately 30-50% of pregnant women complain of heartburn.

The increasing pressure on your stomach as your baby grows can also force the acid into the oesophagus. Feeling the burn badly? You may want to stock up on baby shampoo.

treatment for gerd in pregnancy

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