Are you a nursing mother and feeling burning sensation in your chest? Are you experiencing a bitter taste in your throat and mouth? If you answered yes to these questions, you might be suffering from heartburn while breastfeeding. Read our post to learn causes, symptoms, and treatments for heartburn while nursing.
What Is Heartburn?
Heartburn is the burning sensation that you experience in your chest along with a bitter taste in your mouth. Symptoms of heartburn may aggravate after your meals or when you lie down. Prolonged heartburn may make it difficult for you to eat and swallow easily.
Causes Of Heartburn While Breastfeeding:
Heartburn in nursing mothers primarily occurs if they breastfeed in the side-lying position. The position causes the stomach acid to leak through your esophageal sphincter causing discomfort of heartburn. Here are other causes of heartburn while breastfeeding.
- Certain nursing positions
- Baby-care activities such as bending down to pick up the baby or change her clothes.
- Stress and anxiety
- Dietary habits
- Acidic foods, such as vinegar, tomatoes, mustard, hot and spicy foods, and fried foods.
- Caffeinated drinks
- Certain medications
- Smoking (1)
Symptoms Of Heartburn While Breastfeeding:
What are the symptoms of heartburn while breastfeeding? Here is a list of symptoms of heartburn that a nursing mother can experience.
- Pain that radiates from your back to shoulder
- Bitter taste in mouth
- Difficulty or pain while swallowing
- Bloody stools
- Falling short of breath
- Feeling light-headed or dizzy
- Sweating when experiencing pain in chest
- Vomiting blood
- Considerable weight loss (2)
Diagnosing Heartburn While Breastfeeding:
If you experience any of the above symptoms more than twice in a week, visit your doctor. The doctor will diagnose the cause through physical examination and then may recommend tests. Here are some tests that the doctor may recommend for appropriate diagnosis.
- X-ray of abdomen.
- pH test to determine the amount of acid in your esophagus.
- Endoscopy to examine the presence of an ulcer, if any.
Treating Heartburn While Breastfeeding:
Depending on the severity of heartburn, while breastfeeding, the doctor will recommend the treatment and medications. The doctor will prescribe medication only of none of the non-medical treatments work out. Here are some effective measures and treatments to treat heartburn while nursing.
1. Lifestyle Changes:
When suffering from heartburn, it is wise to avoid foods that can aggravate the heartburn. Consult the doctor and modify your dietary habits to maintain a healthy weight. Avoid lying down after having your meals. Practice light yet moderate exercises, such as walking or cycling, to maintain your weight. Also, drink plenty of water (3).
Aromatherapy is an effective cure to treat heartburn while breastfeeding. The fragrance of the ingredients in the aromatherapy aids in minimizing your stress and help you relax. The reduced stress alleviates the symptoms of heartburn.
3. Avoid Caffeinate Drinks:
Consuming caffeinated or alcohol drinks when suffering from heartburn can aggravate the symptoms. So avoid the harmful drinks completely. Also, avoid tobacco products.
If none of the non-medical treatment or lifestyle changes works, the doctor may recommend some effective yet safe heartburn medicine while breastfeeding. Antacids are the best and safe cures for treating heartburn while breastfeeding. The doctor may also recommend small amounts of histamine antagonists, such as ranitidine, and proton pump inhibitor to mitigate the symptoms of heartburn in a nursing mother. However, consult with the doctor and ensure that the medicines won’t pass into breast milk and affect the baby adversely (4).
Preventing Heartburn While Breastfeeding:
Find here preventive measure to prevent heartburn while breastfeeding.
- Avoid nursing your baby in the side-lying position after your meals.
- Eat slowly and reduce your portion size as you eat. Avoid eating in haste.
- Drink plenty of water to promote digestion and keep your breast milk supply up.
Hope you are clear about the information provided on breastfeeding and heartburn. Did you suffer from heartburn while nursing your baby? How did you treat it? Share your invaluable experience with other moms. Leave a comment below.
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