It is a common fact that pregnancy is often associated with other problems like nausea, back pain, fatigue, constipation, headaches, leg cramps, etc. One of the common complaints from pregnant women is heartburn. Even those women who have never experienced heartburn in their life, may have this condition during pregnancy. Even though this may not cause any harm to the fetus or the mother, this condition can cause discomfort. There are various remedies for this problem and this include over the counter medications, natural remedies, lifestyle and diet changes, etc. Scroll down for some safe heartburn remedies during pregnancy.
Pregnancy and Heartburn
As mentioned above, heartburn is one of the common complaints from pregnant woman. This is characterized by a burning sensation in the chest, throat, and sometimes in the mouth too. One of the causes for heartburn during pregnancy is hormonal changes. The body of a pregnant woman has high levels of certain hormones (like progesterone) that causes softening of the valve (esophageal sphincter) that connects the stomach to the esophagus. This causes the contents of the stomach (food and stomach acids) to back up to the esophagus and the throat. The growing fetus can also push the abdominal organs upwards forcing the stomach contents to the esophagus. This condition can be effectively controlled with the right heartburn remedies during pregnancy.
Remedies for Heartburn During Pregnancy
There are various remedies that can control heartburn in pregnant women. But care must be taken to opt for those remedies that are safe for the fetus as well as the mother. There are various natural remedies and both prescription and over the counter medications that can remedy heartburn in pregnancy. Even a change in diet and lifestyle can be beneficial in tacking this condition. Let us take a look at some of the heartburn remedies during pregnancy.
We all know that antacids are very effective for heartburn, as they neutralize stomach acids. In case of pregnant women, chewable antacids with calcium and magnesium are said to be good. It can be with calcium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide or magnesium oxide. Never use antacids with aluminum hydroxide or aluminum carbonate, as aluminum can cause constipation and can even cause toxic effects, if taken in large amounts. Some antacids may contain sodium citrate or sodium bicarbonate and such medications too can increase the levels of sodium in the body, resulting in water retention and inflammation of fingers and ankles. Even acid reducers can be of much relief for pregnant women with heartburn. However, it is always better to act as per the advice of your doctor regarding use of medications for heartburn during pregnancy.
Lifestyle and Diet Changes
Heartburn can be controlled with some lifestyle and diet changes. As far as the diet changes are concerned, heartburn can be controlled by avoiding foods that trigger the condition. Foods to avoid include tomatoes, chocolate, citrus fruits, garlic, spicy and fatty foods, vinegar, fried foods, mint products, etc. It will be better to avoid alcohol, coffee, tea, etc., during this period. Increase the intake of fluids and take small, frequent meals instead of big ones. It will be better to have food, at least two to three hours before bedtime. Wear loose-fitting clothes and sleep with your head at an elevated position. Avoid smoking during pregnancy. Yogurt is said to be one of the natural heartburn remedies during pregnancy. Even honey is considered a heartburn remedy during pregnancy. Mix it with warm water, before using. Warm milk with honey is also said to be useful for this purpose.
In short, there are various heartburn remedies during pregnancy that can be used safely. But use of medications must be as per the instructions of your doctor. Even over the counter medications and other remedies must be resorted to only after seeking the opinion of your doctor.