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Heartburn and Pregnancy

Making a Diagnosis

In most cases, a diagnosis is made based on the symptoms a woman experiences. In rare cases, when symptoms are unusual or do not respond to treatment, an upper endoscopy may be recommended. An endoscopy is a procedure that uses a special video camera to look inside the body at the esophagus and stomach.

Treating Heartburn During Pregnancy

For most women who are pregnant, heartburn symptoms are usually mild. Symptoms can often be treated with a combination of smaller, more frequent meals and decreasing the amount of time bending over or lying down. Many women find it helpful to:
  • Eat slowly
  • Avoid spicy and fatty foods (such as hot peppers or fried chicken)
  • Drink beverages between meals instead of with meals
  • Avoid lying down right after eating.
In cases where these measures do not provide heartburn relief, medicine may be recommended. Antacids are usually first type of heartburn medicine recommended for pregnancy-related heartburn. These medicines are generally considered safe during pregnancy; however, high doses for prolonged periods of time may be associated with an increased risk for birth defects. Definitive data on pregnancy and antacid use are not available at this time.
Antacids are available without a prescription, but make sure to talk to your healthcare provider before taking any medicine for heartburn. If heartburn is not relieved with antacids, your healthcare provider may prescribe another type of medicine.
Pregnancy and Pain

Heartburn Information

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