What Can I Take for Heartburn During Pregnancy?
Heartburn is a common ailment for pregnant women, but with the many restrictions during pregnancy, what treatment methods are safe? Acid reflux and heartburn can plague pregnant women for months, but relief can be found in alternative ways that are safe for mom and baby.
Even if you never had a problem with heartburn or acid reflux before, chances are you will during pregnancy. Heartburn can come on at any time, and often doesn't seem to be triggered by anything. Knowing you have to be careful about the medications you take while pregnant, you may be confused about how to deal with your heartburn symptoms. Keep reading to find out how to relieve your discomfort.
Prevention Is the Key
If you can prevent heartburn before it starts, then you'll be ahead of the game. Try eating a few smaller meals throughout the day instead of the traditional big three. Eating smaller quantities at once helps reduce the likelihood that heartburn will occur. After you eat, you should try to remain in an upright position for a while. Lying down right after eating can trigger heartburn.
Avoid Trigger Foods
Heartburn can come at any time, but certain foods are more likely to cause it than others. Alcohol and cigarettes, which should be eliminated during pregnancy anyway, are likely causes of heartburn symptoms. Caffeine can also be a trigger, as well as acidic foods such as fruit juices. You may find that you always experience heartburn after eating a specific food; if so, that food is probably a trigger for you.
Dress for Success
Avoid tight-fitting clothing. You're probably already wearing looser maternity clothing, but understand that tight clothing can trigger heartburn, particularly around the waistline. If you are still wearing pre-pregnancy clothing and they're starting to feel snug, you could be causing yourself discomfort in the form of heartburn.
Over-the-counter antacids, such as Tums or Rolaids, are safe during pregnancy. Check with your physician to see what she recommends. You may want to keep some on hand now, even if you haven't experienced heartburn yet; chances are, you will eventually.
You can also try chewing gum after meals. This will cause you to salivate, which helps to break down the acids in your foods. This is a slightly tastier option than most antacids.
Seek Professional Help
If you have tried preventing your heartburn, and antacids or other treatments don't bring the relief you need, it's time to check with your doctor. She may be able to prescribe a heartburn medication that will be safe during your pregnancy. She can also consult with you about your diet and suggest changes that may help bring relief.