Heartburn and Pregnancy (cont.)
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)
Dr. Anand received MBBS degree from Medical College Amritsar, University of Punjab. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Postgraduate Institute of medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. He was trained in the field of Gastroenterology and obtained the DPhil degree. Dr. Anand is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.
In this Article
- Heartburn during pregnancy facts
- What is heartburn during pregnancy?
- What causes heartburn during pregnancy?
- 15 ways to soothe heartburn during pregnancy
- Raise the head of your bed
- Lay on your left side at night
- Don't bend over after eating
- Don't smoke
- Bend right
- Avoid tight clothing
- Foods to avoid heartburn during pregnancy
- Eat small, frequent meals
- Don't eat so fast!
- Cut out large amounts of liquids
- Sip liquids
- Chew gum
- OTC drugs for heartburn during pregnancy
- Other home remedies for heartburn during pregnancy
- When should a doctor be called for heartburn during pregnancy?
- What are the complications of heartburn during pregnancy?
15 ways to soothe heartburn during pregnancy
The management of heartburn or GERD during pregnancy involves many of the same principles as management in of heartburn or GERD in women who are not pregnant, and the general population that suffers from GERD. Specifically, the so-called "lifestyle" changes should be meticulously followed. Listed are some home remedies that can reduce or eliminate heartburn symptoms.
Raise the head of your bed
The two feet of the head of the bed should be raised on 6 to 8 inch blocks. Alternatively, a 6 to 8 inch wedge-shaped foam rubber pad should be used to elevate the upper body. It is important that the foam be firm enough to truly elevate the upper body. The wedge should also extend all the way to the waist so that the entire chest is elevated. Using pillows alone will not work since this can put pressure on the stomach and aggravate symptoms.
Lay on your left side at night
Lying on the left side at night may decrease acid reflux just as it does in women who are not pregnant, and other individuals with GERD. In this position, it is physically more difficult for acid to reflux into the esophagus. Occasionally, it may be necessary to sleep in a recliner chair at a 45-degree or greater angle.
Don't bend over after eating
After meals avoid activities that require you to bend over. Instead take a short walk, do light housework, or surf the internet to avoid bending over.
Pregnant women should not smoke. In addition to harming the fetus, smoking weakens the lower esophageal sphincter and aggravates acid reflux.
Don't bend at the waist; bend at the knees instead.
Avoid tight clothing
Avoid tight clothing, which puts pressure on your abdomen and can aggravate reflux.
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