Mums prescribed heartburn medication should continue to take it

A new study that suggests taking heartburn medication in pregnancy may make your baby more likely to have asthma is not conclusive.

Pregnancy news 11/01/16

A new study that suggests taking heartburn medication in pregnancy may make your baby more likely to have asthma is not conclusive. Mums prescribed heartburn medication should continue to take it.

What is heartburn and why do so many pregnant women get it?

Heartburn is a common pregnancy complaint that many mums suffer in later pregnancy. This is because as your baby grows your womb presses on your stomach and can sometimes leave you bloated or burpy with a nasty heartburn sensation.  

While heartburn in pregnancy can normally be treated without medication, if your heartburn is severe your doctor may prescribe you acid-blocking drugs.

A new study by the University of Edinburgh has suggested that taking heartburn medication during pregnancy may make your baby more likely to develop asthma. But this is still uncertain and more research needs to be done to investigate this suggested link.

If you have been prescribed heartburn medication by your doctor or midwife then it is important to continue taking it.

Our midwife Anna explains:

‘Heartburn in pregnancy is very normal especially in the third trimester, due to the position that your baby is in. There are several ways to treat it at home including avoiding spicy foods and drinking a glass of semi-skimmed milk when you get heartburn. But for some women whose heartburn is severe and not relieved by home treatments, heartburn medication is the best option. If you have been prescribed heartburn medication then it is important to keep taking it under the guidance of your doctor or midwife. If you experience a heartburn-like pain accompanied by a severe headache, it's important to seek medical help immediately as this could be a sign of pre-eclampsia.’

Find out more about pre-eclampsia here

Tips for treating pregnancy heartburn at home

  • Make a note of what sets it off. Try to avoid these foods (spicy foods, chocolate and fruit juice are often to blame), especially in the evenings
  • Try eating smaller meals more frequently: over-eating can make heartburn worse
  • Sit up straight when you’re eating to take the pressure of your stomach
  • Finish eating about three hours before bedtime
  • Try drinking milk when you get heartburn (and keep a glass handy in the night)
  • Prop yourself up with pillows in bed

If your heartburn is severe and is not relieved by the advice above treatments then you should speak to your midwife or GP and ask them about about antacids and algates.

Find out more about common pregnancy complaints and how to solve them here

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