The Most Effective Home Treatments for Acid Reflux While You’re Pregnant
According to certain studies, up to sixty percent of the general public has experienced the symptoms of acid reflux at some point in time in their lives.
It is one of the digestive problems affecting most people in Western countries.
Heartburn, acid regurgitation, and constipation are some of the most common symptoms it causes.
Evidence suggests that pregnant women are more likely to suffer from acid reflux than non-pregnant women because of the physiological changes that occur during pregnancy.
However, experts are still unable to determine the exact factors that lead to acid reflux.
During pregnancy, one may already experience a degree of discomfort; adding acid reflux to the mix will not make things any more bearable.
What, then, are the most effective home treatments for pregnant individuals who are suffering from acid reflux?
Two quick steps to lessen the symptoms of GERD are to improve your eating habits and make more informed decisions about the foods you eat.
This includes taking antacids, selecting foods that are low in fat, and having several smaller meals throughout the day rather than three or four larger ones.
In this post, we discuss the best therapies for pregnant women who suffer from acid reflux, as well as measures to prevent acid reflux symptoms from becoming worse.
What Causes Acid Reflux During Pregnancy and Why It Occurs
It turns out that nausea in the morning and sensitivity to certain foods is not the only prevalent negative symptoms of pregnancy.
Morning sickness and food sensitivities are just two of the most common ones. Acid reflux and heartburn are additional conditions that afflict a sizeable percentage of pregnant women.
The sensation of having something burning in your chest is a common symptom of heartburn.
It has nothing to do with your heart burning; heartburn is a sign of acid and gas flaring up in the chest. Despite its name, it has nothing to do with your heart burning.
Most of the time, this is brought on by particular meals and eating routines.
Acid reflux, on the other hand, is a condition in which the stomach’s acidic contents are forced back into the esophagus, causing a sour taste and feeling in the throat and mouth. Heartburn is a common symptom of acid reflux, a disorder more broadly referred to as acid reflux.
It is estimated that twenty percent of adults in Western countries are diagnosed with chronic acid reflux, making it one of the most frequent long-term digestive problems.
As for pregnant women, the hormonal and physical shifts that accompany pregnancy can bring on a rapid onset of acid reflux, which can be highly uncomfortable. After giving birth, the majority of pregnant women no longer have symptoms of acid reflux.
What are the Root Causes of Acid Reflux While Pregnant?
There are several hypothesized causes that doctors have come up with to explain why pregnant women experience acid reflux symptoms.
These are the following:
Shifts in Hormone Levels
Pregnant women maintain different hormonal balances. As a consequence of this, hormonal shifts in the body tend to induce sluggishness in the digestive system. When the digestive system is no longer as effective as it once was, the stomach contents are forced to go back up the esophagus.
Alterations in the body’s hormone levels might also bring about alterations in the mechanisms.
Acid reflux is a common problem for pregnant women, and many medical professionals feel that pregnancy hormones, notably progesterone, have a role in its development.
The lower esophageal sphincter, often known as the LES, is a muscle that is located between the esophagus and the stomach.
This tiny muscle performs the function of a “valve,” preventing stomach acid from entering the esophagus.
In pregnant women, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) can often weaken due to hormonal changes, which can permit stomach contents to migrate back up the esophagus.
Some women experience a weak LES early on in their pregnancy, while others don’t experience it until the third trimester of their pregnancy.
The Pressure in the Stomach
Women who are pregnant but only feel acid reflux during the third trimester of their pregnancy may be able to explain it to their baby’s growth.
When a patient is expecting, the growing baby in their womb can put pressure on their stomach, which can cause the contents of their stomach to go back up their esophagus.
How Common Is It to Have Acid Reflux While You’re Pregnant?
If you assume that you are the first person to have heartburn and acid reflux while pregnant, you are mistaken. Many women go through pregnancy with these symptoms.
According to the findings of a study that was recently published in Clinical Evidence, heartburn is a typical symptom that women have during pregnancy. The study found that up to 45% of patients reported having this issue.
When a patient is further along in their pregnancy, there is a greater likelihood that they will experience heartburn.
The risk of experiencing heartburn more than triples during the third trimester, jumping from 22% in the first trimester to 39% in the second trimester and finally reaching 72% in the last trimester.
The symptoms of acid reflux might vary significantly from one sufferer to the next.
According to the findings of specific studies, acid reflux is only experienced by pregnant women during the first trimester, while other studies indicated that pregnant women only experience it during the third trimester.
Is There a Risk of Acid Reflux for the Baby?
Acid reflux is not harmful to the baby in any way, even though it can be a very uncomfortable experience for the newborn. The old wives’ tale that babies with acid reflux grow more hair is another urban legend that has no basis, in fact.
Your child will not be adversely affected in any way by acid reflux, as this is a very common condition that affects the digestive tract and is completely innocuous. In addition to not being a hereditary issue, it will not have any effect on their physical development.
When you’re expecting, should you avoid taking antacids altogether?
For pregnant women dealing with acid reflux, it is safe to use antacids available over the counter and either in chewable or liquid form.
Antacids like Tums produced from calcium carbonate are considered a safe option for use by females.
Antacids that commonly come in liquid form contain magnesium oxide and hydroxide, both of which are considered beneficial ingredients.
Antacids that are rich in sodium or aluminum content, or that contain aspirin, should be avoided by pregnant women since these kinds of antacids might cause serious side effects to the developing baby.
Antacids are medications that reduce or eliminate the acid produced by the stomach. If you find that the antacids you are taking aren’t helping, you should talk to your doctor about getting something stronger, such as acid reducers.
Instead of neutralizing the acid that is already present, this type of medication inhibits the creation of most acids.
Acid Reflux Traditional Medicines for Women Who Are Pregnant The following is a list of home remedies you can use to relieve the symptoms of acid reflux.
Take into consideration the fact that not all natural treatments are effective for all patients. Proceed through each and determine which works best for you by testing them out.
Have some tea with peppermint.
Peppermint is a helpful remedy for easing the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. If you want to calm your stomach, drink one bag of peppermint tea 30 minutes before each meal. Because of its calming effects, chamomile tea has become a well-liked alternative treatment for acid reflux in recent years.
Raise Your Head
Make sure that your head is elevated above your stomach, whether sitting or sleeping so that the juices from your stomach do not run back into your throat.
You should lean on a pillow and raise your head, so it is higher than your stomach to deflect stomach acid away from your esophagus.
Consume Large Amounts of Water
Keep a glass or tumbler of water close by so that you can take sips of it at regular intervals throughout the day. Drinking plenty of water will help keep your digestive system healthy and reduce the likelihood of getting hiccups when pregnant.
Drink Low-Fat Milk
Milk is another excellent liquid that can alleviate heartburn symptoms. On the other hand, since foods high in fat are known to make heartburn symptoms worse, you should make sure to drink milk with a lower percentage of fat.
Steer clear of the ones that contain full fat and pick instead for those that contain skim milk, low-fat milk, or even milk made from plants.
Avoid Eating Late at Night
It may seem somewhat impossible to resist eating before bed (or even on the bed) when you’re pregnant, but doing so will only make the symptoms of acid reflux worse.
If you cannot refrain from snacking after dinner, at least ensure that you are sitting upright while you consume your food and that you continue to sit upright for at least two hours after your last meal. This will ensure that the food passes through your digestive tract without complications.
Munch on Some Nuts Like Almonds
As a result of the high oil content in raw almonds, they are known to alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. Eat a handful to calm your stomach, but be careful not to overdo it because almonds are high in fat, and eating too many of them could worsen the symptoms.
Eat Fruits Like Bananas And Apples
These two fruits, in particular, have qualities that make them effective antacids, which can help alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux. Avoid selecting fruits that are higher in acid content, such as oranges, pineapples, and grapefruits, while making your selection.
Ensure that your clothing is loose.
You probably already wear clothing that is loose on you because you are a pregnant lady. If you notice an increase in the severity of your symptoms of acid reflux, check to see that the clothing you are wearing does not put any additional pressure on your stomach or belly area—trade tie-up pajamas for a casual shirt and shorts.
Snack On Licorice
According to several studies, licorice may be beneficial in preventing acid damage to the stomach. Because it has qualities that cause an increase in the mucus layer in the esophagus, it has the potential to protect the esophagus anytime acid flows back up the esophagus. Inquire with your physician about taking DGL, also known as deglycyrrhizinated licorice, which is offered in both pill and liquid form.
Some Chewing Gum
Chewing gum encourages the production of saliva, a good acid buffer that can be increased by chewing gum. Because it lubricates the throat and esophagus, chewing gum can help lessen the inflammation that occurs in the esophagus.
After eating, if you want to alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux, chewing sugar-free gum for half an hour might help. If you can get your hands on some bicarbonate gum instead, by all means, go for it.
What to Stay Away From If You Suffer from Acid Reflux While You’re Expecting
If you suffer from acid reflux, get familiar with the foods and behaviors that can bring on an episode of the condition. When it comes to avoiding heartburn while pregnant, the following list is just a few of the items you should steer clear of.
Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. When food isn’t completely digested, acid reflux symptoms become more severe.
If you want to keep your stomach from being stressed, you should avoid eating large meals and instead consume several smaller meals throughout the day.
To ensure that your body can digest the food properly, break up your three large meals into five or seven smaller meals.
Don’t exercise. The stress that exercise puts on the body might make acid reflux symptoms even more severe. Maintaining a low-stress exercise routine, like walking, is the best way to prevent flare-ups. Ask your doctor for exercise recommendations.
You can learn more in this post:
Is There a Link Between Working Out and Worsening Acid Reflux?
Avoid eating any snacks in the hours leading up to the night. One of the quickest ways to bring on acid reflux after eating is to lie down immediately after that. The same effect can be produced by snacking close to bedtime as well.
Staying upright for at least two hours after a meal will help prevent the food from moving back up the esophagus, which can lead to symptoms of heartburn later in the evening. Steer clear of foods that are heavy in both acid and fat.
Acid production can also be stimulated by foods that are high in fat and citrus content. If you want to avoid having heartburn or acid reflux, you should avoid foods like citrus and foods that are heavy in fat.
You can forego the coffee. Because coffee is an acidic beverage, drinking it may aggravate the symptoms of acid reflux. You should forego both your morning coffee and a glass of orange juice. Drink only beverages that are devoid of any form of caffeine.
Top Trigger Foods for Acid Reflux
Spicy foods are known to bring on episodes of acid reflux. If you’ve got a need for anything hot to eat, now might not be the most significant moment to give in to that desire.
Spicy food can be rather intense.
Pepper, onions, and garlic are all examples of foods that have the potential to irritate the lining of the stomach and cause it to produce more acid. During your pregnancy, you can avoid acid reflux discomfort by avoiding particularly spicy foods.
Consuming fatty foods might cause digestion to slow down and can also lead to heartburn. Foods such as hamburgers, french fries, steaks, some cheeses, and chocolate should be avoided.
These foods are all heavy in fat and have the potential to bring on worsening the symptoms. Eat nothing at all after midnight. Certain foods are known to cause acid reflux, and specific eating behaviors are known to increase acid reflux in pregnant women.
Snacking too late in the evening can create acid reflux since it doesn’t allow the body enough time to digest the food before going to bed.
Stay up for a couple more hours before going to bed if you want to eat healthier foods like fruits and oatmeal for your late-night snacks. Consider more nutritious foods like those if you want to have snacks late at night.
When You Should See a Physician
When a woman is pregnant, she may experience acid reflux, which is a typical occurrence that should not be a cause for concern.
The following is a list of common symptoms of acid reflux:
Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest that typically occurs after eating.
- Chest pain
- Having a hard time swallowing
- Having bad breath
- Disrupted sleep
On the other hand, if you have one or more of the following symptoms, you should think about getting in touch with a gastroenterologist as soon as possible:
- You are having bowel motions that are bloody right now.
- You have realized that there has been a shift in the regularity of your bowel motions.
- You have a persistent cough that does not respond to treatment with medication.
- You are experiencing heartburn more frequently or it is more intense.
- Your symptoms of acid reflux are accompanied by an abnormally large amount of weight loss.
- Even after taking medicine, you continue to feel symptoms of heartburn.
- Your stomachache is getting worse as time goes on.
- Your neck, jaw, arm, or leg pain is not related to pregnancy.
- However, it occurs in conjunction with your acid reflux symptoms.
- You are having trouble breathing right now.
- You endure great weariness and weakness.
- Treatment for Acid Reflux Should Be Obtained
Are you looking for a specific drug to treat acid reflux?
Contact us at Gastro Center NJ to find out how to treat acid reflux when you are pregnant and for more information. Because of our extensive experience in the treatment of digestive disorders, we are committed to making your pregnancy a more pleasurable experience by developing a treatment plan that will alleviate the discomfort you are experiencing.