When pregnant with a child, things get more severe and complex. In this situation, your body is more sensitive, and worry increases because yours isn’t the only life at risk.
It’s normal to ask even the slightest things when pregnant. For instance, if you are experiencing heartburn symptoms, you might second guess whether or not it is safe to take a Pepcid while carrying a baby. We have answered this question for you, so keep reading this article to find out.
What Is Heartburn And Why Does It Happen?
Heartburn is the feeling of a burning sensation generating in your chest that is often accompanied by sharp chest pain as well, and it is caused when stomach acids enter your lower esophagus and travel upwards. Heartburn symptoms are usually triggered because of acid reflux.
Acid reflux is a digestive disorder when a vital muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter disrupts. As you might know, LES is a ring of muscle that connects your stomach with the bottom of the esophagus, and its primary function is to open and close so that foods and liquids can enter your stomach. When this muscle malfunctions, it starts relaxing at the wrong times, and stomach acids find an opening to enter your food pipe.
When this condition becomes chronic, it is referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Read also: Are Acid Reflux And Hemorrhoids Related?
Symptoms of Acid Reflux
If you are having trouble diagnosing this medical condition based on occasional heartburn, then look below at some of the most common acid reflux symptoms. If you are also experiencing them, it would be a good idea to get medical help immediately.
- Continuous hiccups and coughs
- Upset stomach and upper abdomen pain
- A sore throat caused by acid indigestion
- The sensation of a lump in your throat
- Trouble sleeping at night
- Discomfort after eating large meals
Can Heartburn Cause Harm To The Fetus?
The main question of any pregnant woman regarding acid reflux would be if heartburn (occasional or frequent) could affect their unborn baby, and that concern is entirely understandable.
The good news is that other than some myths that women who experience heartburn give birth to babies with fuller heads of hair, there are no other studies that might suggest that heartburn can affect your baby in any form. You can say that acid reflux is a common side effect of pregnancy that mainly surfaces in the third trimester.
Even though the baby isn’t at risk, severe side effects will cause you to lose sleep and experience discomfort. You should consult your healthcare provider instantly and gain the necessary medical help.
Read also: Can a Heating Pad Help With Acid Reflux?
Causes For Heartburn In Pregnant Women
Even though heartburn is the main symptom of acid reflux, there is a huge possibility that your pregnancy heartburn is unrelated to the chronic disease GERD. There could be different factors behind the cause of heartburn in your body, and we are going to take a look at each.
Heartburn is a common pregnancy symptom that over 45% of women experience, and it mostly appears during the second or third trimester.
Different reasons contribute to this occurrence, including the increasing size of the uterus. When the growing uterus presses up against your stomach, the contents inside will be forced to travel into your esophagus and cause heartburn.
Pregnancy hormones can not only cause LES to relax at the wrong times, but they can also cause heartburn by affecting the muscles of your digestive tract. This will slow the digestive system down, giving stomach contents a better chance of mixing in with the acids.
What Is a Pepcid?
Pepcid is the brand name of one of the most famous counter medications used to treat occasional heartburn. Pepcid is one of the chewable tablets that use famotidine as its active ingredient; It also contains antacids such as magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide.
These all collectively reduce acid production in your body and treat symptoms such as cough and stomach ache.
Read also: Is Oatmeal Good For Acid Reflux?
Is Pepcid Safe For Pregnant Women?
Now to answer your question, “can a pregnant woman take Pepcid for heartburn?” The simple answer is “yes” unless you have some previous medical history that makes your body react poorly to certain medicines, it is mostly safe to take Pepcid.
Doctors usually recommend Pepcid ac. It is considered a safe choice because it hasn’t shown any proven risks or consequences in patients so far.
Most H2 blockers are considered secure options to depend on during trimesters because they instantly relieve pain and discomfort.
Possible Side Effects Of Pepcid
Pepcid has several notable benefits, but it can cause some side effects in the long term, so It is highly recommended to consult your medical provider before taking any counter medicines.
Please take a look at some of its typical side effects.
- Nausea and dullness
- Mood changes such as anxiety and depression
- Cramping of muscles
- Diarrhea or constipation
Are There Any Pepcid Alternatives?
If Pepcid has adverse effects on your body, your healthcare provider specifically asks you to avoid it. Some other well-trusted prescription medications can be used.
- TUMS are reported to cure indigestion and acidity by coating the esophagus and preventing the burning sensation
- Rolaids are another counter antacids that are safe to treat reflux during pregnancy.
- Mylanta and Maalox relieve reflux-induced pain as well
Other Ways To Treat Heartburn While Pregnant
If you still don’t want to risk your baby’s health by taking any drugs and acid reducers, then there are some home remedies you can also try.
Read also: Can Chocolate Cause Heartburn? Read This Before Next Bite
The primary medical advice would be to make some necessary changes to your diet. This may be harder during pregnancy, considering cravings are tough to control. However, if you avoid triggering food substances such as fatty foods, spicy foods, acidic foods, greasy foods, and citrus fruits, then symptoms of heartburn can be prevented. Eating smaller meals and avoiding anything at all before lying down is also recommended.
Some precautions should be taken as well. For example, you should avoid taking iron supplements while experiencing heartburn because they can worsen your symptoms by irritating the sensitive lining of your esophagus.
You should also add extra calcium to your diet to prevent acid reflux.
Home remedies have their fair share of believers, but we have listed some of the best ones below that have proven to help pregnancy-related heartburn.
- Drink a small amount of almond milk after every meal, giving you some much-needed calcium.
- Try adding herbal tea and coconut water to your diet while avoiding caffeine.
- Eat substances such as pineapple, papaya, and ginger.
- Yogurt helps with heartburn by providing a cooling sensation but make sure to choose an extra sour one.
Read also: Acid reflux vs. Gastritis: Understanding the Difference
Can a Pregnant Women Take Pepcid For Heartburn Summary
Now that we have covered all of the significant points, you must understand that even though most people can take Pepcid to treat heartburn,
Everybody reacts differently, and there is no definite way to determine whether or not this medicine will have serious side effects on your body. Hence, if you don’t want to risk that, visit a doctor or pharmacist before taking any medicines.
You should also consult your doctor because sometimes patients underestimate heartburn as a pregnancy symptom when it’s an earlier indication of something serious.
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