Acid reflux is normal amid pregnancy, influencing up to 80% of ladies in their third trimester. While the side effects might be visit and troubling, fortunately genuine inconveniences are uncommon.
Amid pregnancy, weight from the developing womb on the stomach may prompt indigestion into the throat and, thusly, acid reflux. In case you’re expecting twins, or even triplets, you’re considerably more inclined to encounter indigestion, as there’s additional weight on your stomach.
Progesterone, the “pregnancy hormone” that supports your developing child, likewise has a tendency to unwind the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES), the valve-like structure between the stomach and the throat. This may likewise prompt reflux and acid reflux.
Furthermore, an unhealthy lifestyle, inflammation of the stomach lining or oesophagus, as well as overweight may contribute to heartburn. Excess body fat may compress the stomach, leading to heartburn – another reason why it’s important to manage your weight before and during pregnancy.
If possible, try to avoid using antacids while you’re pregnant. Unfortunately, their safety during pregnancy hasn’t been firmly established.
What’s more, research by the Universities of Edinburgh and Tampere in Finland recently indicated that children born to mothers who take acid-suppressing medication during pregnancy may have a higher risk of developing asthma. Even though more research is needed to confirm this link, it’s another indication that antacids may not be safe.
Experts recommend avoiding antacids that contain sodium bicarbonate during pregnancy, as these may lead to excessive blood alkalinity and fluid overload (oedema).
If you’re pregnant, heartburn is best managed through simple lifestyle changes. These include eating frequent, small meals, avoiding foods that seem to trigger heartburn, and staying upright for at least three hours after enjoying a meal and before lying down. It may also help to chew gum, as this stimulates the production of saliva, which neutralises stomach acid.
Interestingly, acupuncture may also help. The Cochrane Institute recently examined several research studies and found that women with heartburn who received acupuncture during pregnancy reported improved quality of life. For one, they were able to eat and sleep better.
If simple lifestyle measures don’t work, talk to your doctor. They may prescribe an H2 receptor antagonist or proton pump inhibitor. Alternatively, your doctor may suggest taking a calcium/magnesium-based antacid. These antacids, taken as directed, have the added benefit of increasing calcium supplementation during pregnancy.