Are you experiencing heartburn while breastfeeding? Find out What can I take for Heartburn while Breastfeeding
What Can I take for Heartburn while Breastfeeding
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly referred to as GERD, is a condition that occurs when the contents of the stomach flow backward into the esophagus. Although it is common in babies, breastfeeding women can also suffer from the condition as a result of lifestyle changes, illness, and the hormonal changes of pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Reflux can make breastfeeding challenging, so if you suffer from symptoms of the illness, consult your healthcare provider, who may give you prescription medication or home treatment to ease the symptoms of acid reflux and its adverse effects.
Symptoms and Causes
The most common symptom of reflux is a burning sensation in the chest or throat, but other symptoms include vomiting, a feeling that food is lodged in the chest, frequent heartburn, and difficulty swallowing, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Lifestyle modifications and factors such as smoking, obesity, and a poor diet can increase the nursing mother susceptibility to reflux. However, women who have never had reflux may suffer from the condition during pregnancy and breastfeeding due to hormonal changes.
GERD and Breastfeeding
During breastfeeding, the body releases a complex cocktail of hormones, including oxytocin. In some women, the release of these hormones can cause painful contractions in the abdomen that increase the discomfort of GERD. For other women, heartburn and other painful symptoms can distract from and interfere with their ability to breastfeed.
Treatment and Prevention
Changing your position during breastfeeding can help to mitigate some symptoms of GERD. Try sitting upright rather than lying down to breastfeed.
Spicy foods and foods that cause gas such as milk and broccoli can also worsen the symptoms of reflux. Many women find that taking antacids can help ease the pain of reflux and make breastfeeding easier, though you should consult a lactation consultant before taking any over the counter medications while breastfeeding. To prevent GERD and its side effects, avoid smoking, eat a balanced diet, and exercise regularly.
GERD Symptoms In Breastfed Babies
GERD is very common in newborn infants and can interfere with a baby’s ability to breastfeed, causing crying and flailing. Feeding in a semi-upright position with your baby’s head elevated slightly above her stomach can help ease reflux. Breastfeed frequently and avoid eating acid-causing foods that can be transmitted to your nursing baby through breast milk.
If you are like me, prescription drugs are not a priority. Who wants to take a medication that creates five other ailments? I seek the safest options, safe medications and natural remedies – and so should you.
Below are some of the best choices with no increased risk for heartburn – and storable too.
Almonds For The Breastfeeding Parent
Chew on small amounts of 10-15 almonds for relief in 20-40min. The oil content within the almonds helps build a protective layer and neutralize stomach acid. You really have to chew them, however. Try to extract as much of the oil as possible before swallowing.
Apple Cider Vinegar As An Antacid Use
Love or hate vinegar – it contains major health benefits when added to the diet. Dilute apple cider vinegar in water to suit your tastes – or in veggie or apple juice for added benefits of heartburn reduction.
Cinnamon With No Harmful Effects
Just like other home remedies with active ingredients, spices and herbs steeped and drank provide a variety of benefits depending on the blend. Cinnamon will cool the heartburn, but watch the heat of your water when taking a drink. Do not trade one type of burn for another.
Apples For You And The Breastfeeding Infant
Red or Gala apples calm the stomach contents if eaten after feisty meals. Relief comes quickly depending on the severity of your problem. Ever heard the expression, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?”
Chamomile Tea With No Potential Risks
From stress and anxiety relief to digestive health and cancer prevention, chamomile tea packs a healthy punch – especially to your annoying heartburn.
Chewing Gum for Heartburn
Fruity is typically best because peppermint causes irritation in some people. Basically, chewing gum tricks your body into producing more saliva. Because you are not eating anything, the saliva acts as a calming agent to clear the amount of acid – gross but amazingly true.
Licorice For Management Of Heartburn
Delicious to some, and revolting to others – licorice promotes the release of more mucus into the stomach. More mucus means eventually less stomach acid.
Aloe Vera Juice For Maternal Antacid Therapy
Ever burned yourself as a kid than a parent used Aloe Vera to soothe the burned skin? It does the exact same thing – except in the stomach. Cooling down the stomach and washing away the irritants, this magic plant is now for internal and external use for the breastfeeding mother.
Water Is Always A Good Idea
Feel heartburn coming on – drink water. It will reduce the burning pain, but not completely rid of the culprit. Water makes the list as number #2 because it is a necessary element for the #1 spot.
Ginger tea is my favorite natural remedy for any problem in the digestive tract from the mouth to the intestines. Ginger tea should help relieve heartburn in two ways. One, ginger tea has a nerve calming effect, and two, it has a physically calming effect on your stomach and digestive system.
It is easy to make your own ginger root tea by boiling ginger root into a mush, then steeping the ginger in a tea steeper. It is not recommended that you add sugar, because sugar is not good for your digestion.
Baking Soda/Lemon For Short-Term Use
Up to 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 cup of water, and a freshly squeezed lemon wedge to cut gas from the baking soda may be the most effective homemade solution to date for silent reflux. Baking soda is alkaline, which neutralizes the acid and soothes the burn. It is not very tasty – it is very effective.
Heartburn affects people differently. One person may experience heartburn after a spicy meal. Another person may experience heartburn after eating chocolate. Regardless of how you get it, heartburn and an upset stomach is awful.
This is not medical advice and you should always consult with your health care provider about any health concerns.