Don’t let heartburn take away the joy of pregnancy

Did you know that by the third trimester of pregnancy, three quarters of women will suffer from heartburn? In fact, heartburn can occur in up to 85% of pregnant women1.

Both heartburn and acid reflux tend to worsen as your pregnancy progresses.1,2 There are two reasons for this:
  1. Hormone levels, especially the levels of progesterone, cause the muscle sphincter (ring) at the entrance of the stomach to relax, allowing stomach acids to travel back up your oesophagus (food pipe), causing heartburn and indigestion.1,2,3
  2. During the later stages of pregnancy, as your baby grows, heartburn can also be caused by your baby physically putting pressure on your digestive tract.2,3 This is especially true in a mother expecting twins.2

Heartburn during pregnancy is not harmful to the foetus, but is extremely uncomfortable for you, the mother. It can affect your sleep, diet and nutritional and emotional well-being.

Many women are afraid to take medication for heartburn during their pregnancy, as they are afraid it will harm their baby. But there are steps you can take to relieve heartburn and over-the-counter treatments, such as Gaviscon, which will see you through this uncomfortable time of your pregnancy.

Here are a few steps:
  1. Eat smaller meals
  2. Try avoid the foods that cause heartburn, such as fatty, spicy foods, chocolates and caffeine, which can cause the valve to relax more
  3. Wear loose fitting clothing during your pregnancy
  4. Avoid lying down within two hours after eating a meal and elevate your head when lying down to alleviate heartburn

However, if the above measures are not helping, you will need an antacid or an alginate. Gaviscon is a heartburn remedy that you can easily access over the counter, and provides safe and effective relief from heartburn. Once you swallow it, Gavsicon forms a strong, protective barrier on the contents of the stomach, preventing reflux of acid and food.2 Gaviscon is non-teratogenic, which means it causes no harm to your baby. It also works fast, with 57% of women reporting symptom relief within 10 minutes and 93% of women reporting relief within 20 minutes.1

You don’t need to suffer heartburn alone; talk to your doctor about safe, fast and effective treatment for heartburn and acid reflux, so that you can truly enjoy this magical experience!

1.    Lindow, SW, Regnéll P, Sykes, J, Little S. An open-label multi-centre study to assess the safety and efficacy of a novel  reflux suppressant (Gaviscon    Advance) in the treatment of heartburn in pregnancy. Int J CLin Pract 2003; 57(3): 175-179.
2.    Richter JE. Review article: management of heartburn in pregnancy. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2005; 22:749-757.
3.    Simon H. Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease and Heartburn. Nidus Information Services 2004 accessed 04 07 2007.

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