Pregnancy is a roller coaster of hormones and emotions, changes that happen in all the nine months that keep increasing the curiosity of the mother-to-be. The list of what to do and what not to do, what to eat, what not to eat is never-ending. It is important to eat right so that the digestion is proper, however, no matter how much careful we are, digestion related issues do occur and to curb these problems antacids are recommended.
All digestive issues or heartburn are quite common during the phase of pregnancy and is seen that over 70% of the pregnant ladies have complained of these at one time or the other. It is mainly due to the hormone progesterone that is released from the placenta which hampers the digestion process by slowing down the bowel movements. It also leads to relaxation of the adjoining valves that are in between the stomach and the food pipe which leads the acid reflux (food starts to travel in the upward direction). Apart from that babies even occupy too much space in the abdomen exerting pressure on the stomach and abdomen leading to acid refluxes.
What are Antacids?
Antacids are nothing but OTC medicine used to neutralize the stomach acids and thereby provide relief from heartburn, indigestion, and acidity. It comes in both chewable and syrup form.
How Do Antacids Work?
The food that gets broken up into digestible substance and absorbed by intestines is due to the stomach, yet there have been times when there exists a disproportion in the stomach acids that are produced resulting in uneasiness. With the help of antacids, one can control the disproportion and even re-instate the balance in the digestive systems. Antacids offer instant relief and the pregnant mother feels better, so it works as a savior for them.
Is It Safe to Take Antacids During Pregnancy?
Antacids are no doubt a relief for cooling down the acid reflux and the heartburns. It is seen that pregnant women prefer syrups over the tablets since they dissolve well and starts to show the effect faster. As far as being safe is concerned, the antacids are safe if not taken in excess and with prior doctor’s approval else excess of its consumption can also lead to miscarriages. Also, not all antacids are safe, so always consult the doctor and follow his recommendation. Picking any antacid over the counter can prove to be fatal as well.
What Happens If You Take Too Many Antacids During Pregnancy?
Antacids work great when undergoing heartburns and acid refluxes, but what makes them so effective are the substances that they are made up from, like aluminium, calcium carbonate, magnesium, sodium bicarbonate, etc. All these have varied effects on the human body and consuming it in excess can be dangerous as well. Excess consumption of antacids can result in kidney stones, loss of blood, vomiting, dizziness, etc.
Reasons to Avoid Antacids During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time when one must be very cautious of their consumption, as too much or too little can be harmful to the mother-baby duo. It is undoubtedly very easy to consume when one feels uneasy but given below are some of the reasons which will make reconsider taking antacids too frequently and they are as follows:
- Reduction In The Production Of Acids: The function of antacids is to control and regulate the production of acids in the stomach, but excessive consumption can even lead to digestion issues
- Last Trimester Complications: Last trimester is also a time to be very cautious and certainly not the time to be consuming antacids as the body is at risk and can lead to problems in contractions.
- Side Effects Of Having Antacids: Since all pregnancies are different, and so are the mothers and their bodies, the reaction of the antacids on them is different as well. While some may have no effect, others can experience vomiting, dizziness, etc.
- Anemia: Antacids are enriched with calcium that is known for poor iron absorption in the human body. Anemia becomes quite common in pregnancy and antacid consumption makes it no better.
- Stones in Kidneys: Antacids due to calcium lead to poor iron absorption in the human body and in case it passes from the bladder to the kidney it can result in stones formation.
- Alkaline Stomach Acid: If antacids are consumed regularly, stomach acids can turn alkaline, reducing the acids ability to break down the food successfully for the digestion process.
- Constipation: Excess of calcium in the body results in the relaxation of the intestinal muscles, hindering with the food processing in the body. Since the food takes long to make it to the rectum, it becomes hardened, leading to constipation issues.
Natural Alternatives to Antacids
The big question is that if there are so many reasons as listed above, do taking antacids is harmful? The answer to this is moderation, so taking them once or twice should be fine but making it a habit can hamper the digestion process and other problems as well. It is thus much better to opt for natural alternatives that have no chemicals like yogurt, banana which are as good as an antacid from a medical store.
Apart from this, a healthy lifestyle goes a long way to prevent acidity so taking the steps below can give effective results. Some of them are as under:
- The Smaller Quantity of Meals: Having large meals is not a good idea rather one should opt for smaller meals but more in number. This would mean less acid production with fewer chances of heartburn or acidity issues.
- Select Lose Clothes and Not Tight Ones: While pregnant there is pressure on the abdomen from the baby and making tight clothes would make it worse, increasing the acid refluxes resulting in heartburns. Wearing loose clothes makes the mother feel comfortable and acid refluxes reduce by a great extent.
Thus, the pregnant lady is the best judge of the way she wants to opt for. One can say a no to antacids while the other can take it at convenience, whichever way they go, they should be aware of the points that have been mentioned above. The result should be a smooth pregnancy giving birth to a healthy and happy baby. So, when you wish to take antacids, moderation should be the key, and consultation with your doctor is a must to avoid any complications further.