It tends to get worse when lying down or bending over. It can last for several hours and often worsens after eating food. Any reflux is then relatively harmless as it consists of alginic acid and not damaging stomach acid. For people who experience heartburn or indigestion infrequently, perhaps in association with occasional food and drink triggers, OTC treatments to reduce the acidity of the stomach contents are available.
This happens because pregnancy causes the body’s musculature, including the esophageal sphincter, to relax. Sucralfate acts by coating and protecting the lining of the esophagus and stomach and is more effective in an acidic environment. Thus, if sucralfate is being used, it should be taken one-half hour before or after doses of antacids or alginic acid/antacid for maximal effect. A small study in pregnant women showed sucralfate is successful in relieving heartburn and studies in animals have not shown adverse effects of sucralfate on the fetus. Lying on the left side at night may decrease acid reflux just as it does in non-pregnant women with GERD.
How common is it?
Ask your doctor about using over-the-counter medications such as Tums or Maalox, which are generally safe to use during pregnancy. You may find that liquid heartburn relievers are more effective in treating heartburn, because they coat the esophagus.
While peppermint can be soothing to your stomach, it actually dilates the esophageal sphincter, the muscle that holds the esophagus shut, making it easier for stomach acid to back up into your throat. Most often, acid reflux in pregnancy is diagnosed based on symptoms alone. But if you keep getting it after pregnancy, your doc may order additional testing, including an upper endoscopy, a test that’s used to look at the inside of the upper digestive tract. Zantac belongs to a class of medications called histamine (H2) blockers. By blocking histamine, this drug reduces the amount of acid produced in your stomach.
Eating a healthy diet, getting a moderate amount of exercise, also are recommended for a healthy pregnancy. Information about the week by week growth of your baby in the womb are provided. Signs and symptoms that you may have only if you are pregnant include, implantation cramping and bleeding, a white, milky vaginal discharge, and your areolas or nipples darken.
These chemicals can cause the ring of muscle at the lower end of your gullet to relax, which allows stomach acid to come back up more easily. This is known as acid reflux. Most antacids contain either calcium carbonate (such as Tums, Rolaids, Mylanta and Maalox) or magnesium hydroxide (Phillips Milk of Magnesia). Sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda, can relieve heartburn and indigestion.
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The only way to find out if you are pregnant is with a pregnancy test. Home pregnancy test kits are available without a prescription at pharmacies and most grocery stores.
Indigestion can be a chronic condition in which the symptoms fluctuate infrequency and intensity. Signs and symptoms that accompany indigestion include pain in the chest, upper abdominal pain, belching, nausea, bloating, abdominal distention, feeling full after eating only a small portion of food, and rarely, vomiting. 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.
You may be tempted to turn to an over-the-counter (OTC) medication, such as Zantac, to reduce acid. But before you do, here’s what you need to know about its safety during pregnancy. 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.
This recommendation to refer to an obstetrician if symptoms suggest a pregnancy-related disorder other than dyspepsia is extrapolated from the NICE guideline on Antenatal care for uncomplicated pregnancies which advises the management and treatment of pregnant women by the appropriate specialist teams when problems are identified [NICE, 2008]. It is also pragmatic, based on what CKS considers to be good clinical practice.
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. Pregnancy hormones can cause the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscular valve between the stomach and esophagus) to relax, allowing stomach acids to flow back up into the esophagus. In addition, the enlarged uterus can crowd the abdomen, pushing stomach acids upward.
Chew on sugarless gum. Doing so for about half an hour after meals increases saliva production, which can neutralize excess acid in your esophagus. Concerned about artificial sweeteners during pregnancy? Sugarless gum is fine in moderation.
Heartburn affects 22% of women in the first trimester, 39% in the second and 72% in the last. This is because during pregnancy your body produces hormones that can slow down digestion and can cause the muscular valve between the oesophagus and the stomach to relax.