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Reflux in Pregnancy

What causes Reflux?

Reflux is often caused by pregnancy hormones that cause the digestive system to slow down and relax the oesophageal and stomach sphincters and the growing fetus pushes the stomach higher into the oesophagus. These two incidents allow for the introduction of stomach acid into the oesophagus resulting in a burning pain. Reflux can feel like a burning sensation in the upper abdomen or chest, but can also cause coughing or a husky voice, chest pain, nausea and vomiting.

Treatment of Reflux

In order to treat reflux during pregnancy you may be required to make changes in your lifestyle including what you eat, how often you eat and which position you sleep in at night.

Eating foods high in acids, caffeine, chocolate or mint can all aggravate the stomach. Eating spicy foods can also make the symptoms worse. It’s advised you drink plenty of fluids and eat 2-3 small meals a day instead of 1-2 large meals.

You can also safely take Mylanta and calcium carbonate (TUMS or Gaviscon) to ease the symptoms of heartburn. It can also help to raise the head or use pillows to prop yourself up in the bed to reduce the symptoms of reflux.

Some natural remedies for reflux during pregnancy include drinking chamomile tea with honey or a warm glass of milk. Eating yogurt during the day can also reduce the symptoms of heartburn associated with pregnancy.

If the above methods do not relieve your symptoms of reflux, it is best to speak with your doctor as there are medications that can be used safely in pregnancy to treat refulx.

This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from your doctor.