Annoying Pregnancy Symptoms
There are many changes associated with pregnancy. Pregnancy is a miracle and wonder, but the annoying pregnancy symptoms such as acid reflux can detract from fully enjoying that miracle. The hormonal changes of pregnancy cause increased acid reflux, and all the associated symptoms of reflux.
Increased Acid Production
The stomach lining may actually produce more acid during pregnancy. The need for an increased calorie intake can even cause an increased production of acid by the stomach. The combination of hormonal changes and increased acid can result in some of the acid moving up into the esophagus. Most pregnant women deal with acid reflux during their pregnancy. This can make it hard for them to focus on their daily routine or to get enough sleep at night.
The growing baby crowds out other organs, including the stomach, increasing pressure on gastric contents. This can also cause acid to move up into the esophagus. That is why the majority of pregnant women find that they suffer from acid reflux during the last few months of it. Any treatments for reflux of pregnancy must be safe for the growing baby. Most prescription medications for reflux are not safe during pregnancy.
Safe Over-the-Counter Remedies?
Some antacids are safe to treat very mild reflux during pregnancy. Some antacids are classified by the FDA as category B (“generally regarded as safe during pregnancy” – http://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/0615/p2517.html). Use caution, though, as most contain large amounts of sodium. Minimize sodium intake to help prevent worsening the swelling problem.
Every woman wants her baby to be as healthy as possible and that is understandable. This has led many women to consider natural remedies for reflux during pregnancy. While consuming plenty of fresh fruits is important some of them may increase your risk of acid reflux. Minimize those fruits that contain large amounts of acid. The acidic fruits are the citrus fruits.
Eat frequent, small meals throughout the day. Small, frequent meals are more easily digested. Consume large amounts of water during the day too so that you stay hydrated. Drink water to stay hydrated between meals; drink a little with each meal to help digestion. Nothing to eat two-three hours before bed, or your reflux will keep you awake!
^HOB (Elevate Your Head-of-Bed)
Elevate your head and shoulders when you sleep as well. This position will help minimize acid moving up the esophagus from the stomach. Stack up a couple pillows. You can also have someone elevate the head of your bed with boards or bricks for you. Elevating the head of your bed will significantly reduce reflux during your sleep.
Following such guidelines will help you offset acid reflux during pregnancy. Don’t let reflux steal the joy of your pregnancy. It is so important that you get enough rest now; don’t let reflux rob you of that rest. Share your efforts to minimize your reflux during pregnancy with your doctor.
Here are a couple brief articles that provide some tips on reducing your reflux during pregnancy:
Hi, I’m Russell Faust, author of this medical education blog.
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