“The Burning Is Just Too Much. What Can I Take? I’m Pregnant.”
In community pharmacies, many women come in with similar complaints. Often times expectant women experience burning which stems from indigestion or “heartburn”. Indigestion can also present in the form of bloating, nausea, vomiting, and reflux. This occurs because the oesophagus, the tube that goes from the mouth to the stomach, allows acid to seep backwards.
There are a few reasons for this. It can be due to hormonal imbalance, eating habits, or the baby pressing against the stomach. Since nothing much can be done about the hormonal imbalance during pregnancy, we tend to focus on relieving indigestion which is also known as dyspepsia.
Tips to Reduce Heartburn
There are a few tips we suggest to mothers to decrease this sensation like:
- Some ladies find that sleeping with their pillow elevated keeps indigestion at bay; acid reflux is less in this sleeping position. Avoid eating and immediately laying down. Sleeping on your left side can also prevent acid reflux.
- Eating small meals more often is helpful, as keeping the stomach empty for long hours can cause acidity. And, also try to have your last meal a few hours prior to sleeping.
- Contrary to the notion that chocolate makes everything better, it actually doesn’t. Caffeinated drinks, juices, and carbonated sodas are also not friendly on the stomach. Eating a fatty meal also triggers indigestion. But, this happens to anyone once in a while when we misbehave with our meals.
- Avoid triggers that you are sure of. If you know what causes indigestion in particular, you should just avoid it altogether.
- Drinking milk can neutralize the acid and tame the burning.
- Over-the-counter chewable or liquid anti-acids can be used to treat indigestion. The majority of anti-acids contain calcium carbonate with neutralizes acidity. It is important to be cautious when taking anti-acids. Some contain Aluminum which may cause constipation, while others have Magnesium which may not be recommended late during pregnancy. Your Pharmacist will be able to recommend the most suitable anti-acid for use.
If these tips are unsuccessful then it’s recommended that the expectant mother visits her Doctor.
This post was written by our good friends at Reckitt Benckiser – RB who are the makers of the Gaviscon range of products. Gaviscon provides fast heartburn and indigestion relief and is available as sachets and as a suspension. Order Gaviscon on MYDAWA now and we deliver to you in less than 4 hours in Nairobi and in 24 hours wherever you are in Kenya.