Safe Treatment Options for Acid Reflux in Pregnancy

Because severe acid reflux can lead to malnutrition, it is critical that women seek safe treatment options for acid reflux in pregnancy. During pregnancy, the levels of hormones estrogen and progesterone are increased, in order for the pregnancy to be maintained.

These two hormones, which are normally found in the female body, are normally produced by the ovaries, but as the pregnancy progresses the placenta takes over. These hormones relax the muscles of the uterus, allowing it to stretch to accommodate the growing baby.

Unfortunately, this is a double-edge sword. Although progesterone and estrogen help the muscles of the uterus relax, they also allow other muscles to relax, including the muscles in the LES (lower esophageal sphincter)

This is one of the main physiological contributors to acid reflux. In a non-pregnant woman, there are a host of medications that can be prescribed to combat acid reflux, but many of these are potentially dangerous to an unborn baby.

Fortunately, there are several treatment options for acid reflux in pregnancy that are safe for both the mother and the baby. These include:

  • Medications such as over the counter antacids, and doctor prescribed treatments.
  • Exercises such as yoga, pilates, and stretching.
  • Non-medication remedies for acid reflux such as ginger, chamomile, gentian, and orange peel extract (see Herbal remedies for Acid Reflux in Pregnancy).

Long associated with curing many digestive ailments, ginger stimulates saliva production. As saliva is a natural antacid, an increase in it equates to a reduction in acid and, consequently, relief from the pain of acid reflux.

Traditional, over-the-counter antacids are safe during pregnancy, and in fact some are often encouraged because they contain calcium. Antacids don't cross the placenta into the baby's bloodstream, and are therefore considered a good option in the treatment of acid reflux.

Be warned, however, that those antacids that contain sodium (indicated as sodium bicarbonate) can cause you to retain fluid. Further, antacids that contain aluminum can exacerbate pregnancy-related constipation.

Antacids are in category A in the FDA's categorization scheme, meaning that they are considered to be safe during pregnancy. Medications like H2-reception antagonists and proton pump inhibitors are in category B, with the exception of omeprazole, which is in category C.

The drugs in category B do cross the placenta and test results are not conclusive enough to consider these drugs safe during pregnancy, even though no trial has returned a result indicating any harm done to the fetus.

If you suffer from acid reflux in pregnancy, your best treatment option is to watch your diet (see Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy) and to take antacids when necessary. If you want to go the natural route, brew yourself some strong ginger tea or chew on some finely chopped pieces of ginger; it should help alleviate the problem.

Acid Reflux and Pregnancy

Symptoms of Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

| Remedies for Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
Heartburn and Pregnancy | Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
Safe Treatment Options for Acid Reflux in Pregnancy
Herbal remedies for Acid Reflux in Pregnancy
Exercises During Pregnancy Can Affect Acid Reflux
Acid Reflux and Stress During Pregnancy
Posture Can Affect Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

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Notice & Disclaimer: Acid Reflux Tips is for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice. Always consult your doctor with health questions about specific medical conditions.