Acid Reflux During Pregnancy: Symptoms, Tips and Tricks

pregnant mom feeling sick

The most prominent wife's tale is that the more heartburn you have, the more hair your baby will come out with. Is it true? Maybe, but there is no science backing it! That's why it's a wife's tale. Sometimes the hope of hair is enough to help a pregnant woman through acid reflux or heartburn.

What is Heartburn?

Heartburn is commonly described as a burning sensation in the chest or pressure behind the breastbone that can be mild to severe. Between 17% - 45% of pregnant individuals experience heartburn at some point while pregnant, even if they have never experienced it before. When severe, heartburn can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

The most reported times that pregnant individuals experience heartburn is right after a meal, lying down, after a late dinner or snack, bending over, and after a particularly greasy meal. Sometimes heartburn goes as quickly as it comes on, and other times it can last for hours, only dissipating once the meal has passed, which can take two-five hours depending on the digestive system.

Heartburn symptoms include chest pain, burping, a bad taste in the mouth, nausea, vomiting, bloating, hiccups, asthma, chronic cough, sore throat, loss of voice, and difficulty swallowing. As your baby grows and the space in your stomach gets tighter and smaller, it is normal for heartburn to intensify. 

Some instances of acid reflux in pregnancy cannot get relief. Still, it is always worth trying some popular remedies to see if you can get some relief.

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Some Tips For Relief:

  1. Avoid food triggers: Skip the greasy, acid-filled foods or anything you recognize triggers your acid reflux. Although unpopular, research has found that caffeine can be a big trigger for heartburn, so it is worth noting and possibly taking it out.
  2. Eat small meals: Instead of eating three big meals, start eating six-seven small meals throughout the day. Big meals can also trigger acid reflux, so keeping it small and regular is an excellent way to combat that.
  3. Don’t eat right before bed: Avoid food or drink at least three hours before you go to bed. One of the worst times of day for heartburn is after going to bed, especially if you haven’t given your body time to start digesting the food you ate.
  4. Sleep with your head elevated: Gravity is your friend! It won’t be as easy for the acid to rise if you are elevated.
  5. Take your time: Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly.
  6. Drink before or after eating: Do not drink with your meals. Get your hydration before or after your meal.
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  7. Give yourself room to breathe: Wear comfortable clothing that is not too tight.
  8. Try probiotics: Add probiotics to your diet, whether by adding yogurt, kombucha, or a supplement.
  9. Milk and almonds: Drink milk with honey or eat almonds. These options can neutralize the acid content in your stomach and provide relief.
  10. Ginger and enzymes: Try ginger or adding digestive enzymes to your diet, whether through meals or supplements.
  11. Medication: If all else fails, talk to your care provider about medication options. Some tremendous over-the-counter medications are safe for pregnancy and can provide immense relief.

Takeaway

Although many individuals want to try natural first, keep in mind whether you are suffering through pregnancy, and if you are, then finding options, even medicalized ones, is a great idea. There are no requirements for unnecessary suffering during pregnancy. Find what feels right for you because solutions are unique for each individual. If your acid reflux is taking away from your day-to-day life, it is time to open up a conversation with your care provider and ensure you know all of your options.

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