When you lie down, it makes it easier for stomach contents to rise up and cause you grief. Eating late at night will mean little time for your body to digest what’s in there before you try and get some rest. If you do get hungry before bed, try to eat something small and plain as a snack. ‘Keep a note of foods that trigger heartburn and try to avoid them,’ says Dr O’Connor.
Dyspepsia occurs at some point in around half of all pregnant women. Dyspepsia in pregnancy is usually due to reflux of acid from the stomach into the oesophagus.
As with any drug, antacids should be used cautiously during pregnancy. Avoid tobacco and alcohol. Abstinence from alcohol and smoking can help reduce reflux symptoms and avoid fetal exposure to potentially harmful substances.
Examples of OTC medicine (medicine available without a prescription) and other products that may relieve bloating and gassiness are, Gas-X, Beano, Pepto Bismol, Metamucil, probiotics, and Ex-Lax for constipation associated with bloating. If you have persistent or severe gas and bloating, and if you have any of these symptoms see a doctor or other healthcare professional, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pain, bloody diarrhea, fever, or if you think you are or may be pregnant. Heartburn Causes, Symptoms and RemediesHeartburn is a symptom of acid reflux that causes chest pain when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus.
In a relatively small number of patients, GERD has been reported to result in a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, which over time can lead to cancer. Also, studies have shown that asthma, chronic cough, and pulmonary fibrosis may be aggravated or even caused by GERD.
In most cases, acid reflux is easily treated, even in pregnancy. If there are symptoms that don’t respond well to treatment, that can result in complications such as gastrointestinal bleeding, difficulty swallowing, or weight loss. If this happens your midwife or obstetrician may refer you to a gastroenterologist. Also be aware that other conditions such as gallbladder disease, pancreatitis, or even cancers of the esophagus and stomach can mimic gastroesophageal reflux disease, although these are far less common.
Antacids containing aluminium or magnesium can be taken on an ‘as required’ basis. Those containing calcium should only be used occasionally or for a short period. Antacids that contain sodium bicarbonate or magnesium trisilicate should be avoided as they may be harmful to your developing baby. The following are commonly advised.
They are more useful for episodes of indigestion (Harding 2017, NHS 2017) . It may help to take an antacid at mealtimes or before bed if you often get night-time indigestion (NHS 2017) . Certain medicines for other conditions can make heartburn worse, for example antidepressants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
If you smoke, try to stop (NICE 2017) . Smoking relaxes the valve between your stomach and food pipe, making acid reflux more likely to happen (Harding 2017, NHS 2017) . Smoking is also harmful to your baby (NHS 2017) . The two major factors that promote acid reflux in pregnant women are changes in hormones and the growing baby.
Progesterone also slows the wavelike contractions of your esophagus and intestines, making digestion sluggish. In later pregnancy, your growing baby crowds your abdominal cavity, pushing stomach acids back up toward your throat. Heartburn is brought about by some of the hormonal and physical changes of pregnancy.
DyspepsiaIndigestion (dyspepsia) can be caused by diseases or conditions that involve the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and also by some diseases and conditions that do not involve the GI tract. Indigestion can be a chronic condition in which the symptoms fluctuate infrequency and intensity.
There has been little research to prove how well these lifestyle changes help to ease acid leaking back up (reflux) and dyspepsia in pregnancy. However, they are certainly worth a try. Symptoms tend to occur in bouts which come and go, rather than being present all the time.