July 13, 2017

Parenting >> Reflux In Pregnancy

I've talked a little before about babies with reflux and how best to cope with that, but there is another aspect that comes with having children which is reflux/heartburn in pregnancy. Over 50% of women suffer from this in some form, so you are not alone if you are one of them. Reflux was probably the only thing I didn't suffer with when I was carrying Alf, but with Soph second time round it was horrendous and really uncomfortable.

Reflux in pregnancy isn't something you hear about much but so many of us have suffered with it and the added pain/stress during what can already be a long nine months of issues. Reflux though is an easy one to manage compared to most things and you can even buy acid reflux treatments online meaning you don't even have to leave the comfort of your own home.

Treatment can involve a little bit of trial and error to find what works for you and what you can stomach, particularly if you are suffering with morning sickness too. I thought I'd pop together a bit of information to help others understand what reflux is, how it can be managed and what it means. There is help out there so you needn't suffer with this one.

What is reflux?

Reflux, also more commonly known as heartburn, is basically when the acid in your stomach makes its way back up the oesophagus, causing a burning sensation as it travels. Reflux is common in pregnancy due to the extra hormones slowing down your digestive system, allowing the acid to move upwards in the process. With the added weight and size of a growing baby, it's no wonder our bodies slow down and behave slightly differently! In most cases though it wont be an issue once baby has come along, bonus!

The main symptoms of reflux are the burning sensation arising from the stomach in the upper chest, as well as possibly nausea, vomiting and maybe even issues with teeth and gums. In some cases it can even affect things like asthma, so although it's one of the more 'minor' pregnancy issues, it's always worth keeping in check and seeking advice from your doctor or midwife.

There are lots of things that can make acid reflux worse such as being overweight, drinking coffee, tight clothing, some medicines and stress. 

How to treat/manage reflux in pregnancy

It's always worth seeking advice from your doctor or midwife first, but the following things can help ease reflux in pregnancy and make it a little more manageable day to day.

  • Taking Antacids occasionally to neutralize stomach acid (e.g Rennies, Andrews salts, Tums). These are best taken for short term relief when needed.
  • Avoiding foods that may act as a trigger, such as greasy or spicy foods.
  • Taking Alganates such as Gaviscon to form a layer above the acid restricting it's movement. These have a longer lasting effect and work within around 30 minutes.
  • Sleep with your top half slightly elevated and/or on your left side.
  • Eat small frequent meals and nothing too close to bed time.
  • Some say apple cider vinegar or eating a red apple can help.
  • Avoid tight fitting clothes
  • Chew sugar free gum after meals, apparently the extra saliva can help neutralize stomach acids too.

Will reflux affect my baby?

Firstly, when people say that heartburn means you are about to give birth to a hairy baby, put those yeti dreams aside as it is definitely not true and is merely an old wives tale. Your reflux shouldn't affect your baby in the slightest and if they too suffer from reflux, it is not related. Yours should be gone as soon as you give birth and have more room for your stomach to rest.

Have you suffered or are you currently suffering with reflux? If you have any other tips, please pop them in the comments below for others to try out.

* Collaborative post, all words are my own.

1 comment:

  1. Reflux sucks! I suffered both pregnancies with it. These are great tips though, I used to rely on Rennies!