Category: | Remedies

How To Cope With Acid Reflux If You’re Pregnant

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A fact that most women do not know is that acid reflux occurs in about 50% of pregnant women. That’s almost half.

There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, a fetus is growing in the tummy and putting pressure on the stomach. This may cause the stomach acids to rise. Secondly, hormone levels change. When that happens, there is a decrease in pressure exerted by the lower esophageal sphincter. This sphincter is the muscle that has to stay closed to keep the stomach acids in the stomach. If it is relaxed, the acids will rise and cause heartburn.

If you have acid reflux symptoms during pregnancy, your best course of action will be to make a few lifestyle changes that will alleviate your pain and keep your acid reflux under control.

The most important tip is to eat small meals and watch what you eat. This alone is good enough to help keep heartburn at bay. Eat small meals. Large meals make the stomach acid levels rise. You want to keep your meals small. Even with the food cravings during pregnancy, you should eat in small amounts.

Keep a close watch on what you eat. Foods such as citric fruits, fatty foods, tomatoes, etc. may exacerbate the acid reflux symptoms. Avoiding these foods will prevent problems.

The way you sleep also plays a major role in controlling acid reflux. Gravity is your friend. Stomach acid will have a much more difficult time rising uphill. So, sleep on a mattress that has an elevated headrest. You may use 2 pillows or a bed which has an adjustable recline. This will significantly reduce and may even prevent heartburn from occurring.

There have been reports that state that lying on your left side will be more beneficial. You may wish to give it a try and see if it works for you.
Saliva is great for fighting acid reflux since it is rich in bicarbonates. Chew gum for about 30 minutes after meals to help prevent heartburn.

There are foods that help prevent heartburn. You may wish to consume these foods to give you an edge. Oatmeal, ginger, parsley, celery, salads, aloe vera, bananas, melons, etc. are great for keeping your stomach acids in check. As with all foods, you will have to monitor the effects on your body since individuals vary.

If you wish to use medication, there are several over the counter medications available to treat acid reflux. How effective these medications are will depend on the severity of your condition.

Since you are pregnant, you may wish to consult a doctor to evaluate your best choice of medication so as not to affect the developing fetus adversely. Generally, antacids such as Maalox and Mylanta have been proven safe and effective. If you’re going with H2 blockers, Zantac, Tagamet and Pepcid are very good too.

To summarize, there are several options available to you if you’re pregnant and have acid reflux. Do not despair. Do your best to find ways and means to provide relief for yourself. Do your research or talk to your doctor. The pain can be mitigated if you know what to do. You just need to find out and it’s just a matter of paying attention to your body.

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