Most pregnant women have symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), especially heartburn, at some point. These symptoms may start at any time during a pregnancy. And they often get worse throughout the pregnancy. Heartburn is common when you are pregnant. That's because hormones cause the digestive system to slow down. The muscles that push food down the esophagus also move more slowly when you are pregnant. And as the uterus grows, it pushes on the stomach. This can sometimes force stomach acid up into the esophagus.
GERD symptoms are common during pregnancy. But they rarely cause complications, such as inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis). Most of the time, symptoms of heartburn improve after the baby is born.
Treatment for pregnant women with GERD is like treatment for other people who have GERD. It focuses first on lifestyle changes and non-prescription medicines. You can make changes to your lifestyle to help relieve your symptoms of GERD. Here are some things to try:
Some doctors may recommend the prescription drug sucralfate, along with lifestyle changes and non-prescription medicines, for treating GERD symptoms during pregnancy.
The medicines listed below are generally safe during pregnancy. But talk to your doctor before you use them.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineElizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerPeter J. Kahrilas, MD - GastroenterologyArvydas D. Vanagunas, MD, FACP, FACG - Gastroenterology
Current as ofMarch 28, 2018
Current as of: March 28, 2018
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine & Peter J. Kahrilas, MD - Gastroenterology & Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD, FACP, FACG - Gastroenterology
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