Is It Safe To Eat Sodium Citrate During Pregnancy?

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“Is it safe to eat sodium citrate during pregnancy?” is commonly asked by many expecting mothers when they want to use it for acidity issues. Although some people use sodium citrate for various reasons, pregnant women may have concerns regarding their baby’s health. Therefore, it is recommended to seek medical advice before taking sodium citrate during pregnancy. And one should consider it only when the benefits outweigh the risks. Sodium citrate can increase water retention, leading to the worsening of pregnancy-induced maternal swelling. Hence, obtaining prenatal advice before using any medications during pregnancy, whether traditional herbal remedies, is essential. Keep reading this post as we tell you more about the safety of sodium citrate during pregnancy.

In This Article

What Is Sodium Citrate?

Sodium citrate, also called citric acid, is an important ingredient found in antacids.

Women often complain of heartburn during pregnancy. This is because the uterus expands and pushes the lower abdomen i.e. stomach and intestines upwards. As a result of the excess pressure on your lower body, women experience heartburn or acidic stomach. For most people, the best way to combat acidity is to consume antacids. But is it safe during pregnancy?

What Are The Uses Of Sodium Citrate?

Sodium citrate helps treat an acidic gastrointestinal tract.
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Sodium citrate is used to treat many disorders. Following are some of the uses of Sodium Citrate:

1. Makes Urine Less Acidic:

Sodium citrate belongs to the class of Urinary Alkalinizers and makes urine less acidic. Less acidic urine contains less uric acid that helps prevent gout and kidney stones (1)

2. Treats Acidosis:

Sodium citrate prevents acidosis and helps treat other kidney and metabolic problems. So, if you are suffering from an acidic gastrointestinal tract, then your health expert may recommend medicines that contain Sodium citrate (2).

Is It Safe To Eat Sodium Citrate During Pregnancy?

Consult your doctor for the correct dosage of sodium citrate.
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Though sodium citrate is safe to consume during pregnancy, always exercise caution and consult your doctor to determine the proper dosage. Also, if sodium citrate is causing discomfort, do not ignore the symptoms and be in regular touch with your healthcare provider. It is possible that your doctor may replace sodium citrate medicines with some other medication.

What Are The Side Effects of Sodium Citrate?

Sodium citrate may cause diarrhea.
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If you are expecting and consuming sodium citrate to treat heartburn or acidity, then you might notice the following side effects (1):

  • Nausea,
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Some other major side effects of sodium citrate consumption that can make you uncomfortable while pregnant are:

  • Nutrient Loss: If the above symptoms of vomiting and nausea persist for too long, then your body will start losing the major nutrients required for the healthy growth of your fetus.
  • Water Retention: The salts present in sodium citrate cause water retention in the body (3). Water retention is one of the major maternal health problems, and sodium citrate aggravates the problem further. So, if you notice any such symptom, rush to your medical expert immediately.

What Are The Alternative Medicines?

Your health expert might prescribe you an alternative medication to treat gastrointestinal acidity in case you experience any side effects with sodium citrate. Some of the alternative medicines that are safe to ingest during pregnancy are:

  • Antacids that contain calcium carbonate (4).
  • Products containing magnesium hydroxide (5) or
  • Medicines that contain Magnesium Oxide (6)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is sodium citrate used for in labor?

Sodium citrate is used as an antacid during labor and should be given with an H2-receptor-blocking agent before administering general anesthesia for C-section delivery (7) (8).

2. Is sodium citrate used for constipation?

Sodium citrate is an osmotic laxative with lubricating and fecal-softening effects, which may be used to treat constipation (9).

3. Is magnesium citrate safe during pregnancy?

Studies indicate that taking magnesium supplements while pregnant might not provide significant advantages. Therefore, you should consult your doctor before using magnesium citrate when pregnant (10).

Sodium citrate is an ingredient of antacids that pregnant women would often use to relieve their heartburn. For most women, it is safe to eat sodium citrate during pregnancy but they need to take their doctor’s advice for the right dosage and other important suggestions. However, sodium citrate may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in some women. It may also lead to nutrition loss and water retention. If you experience side effects of sodium citrate, consult a doctor for its alternatives, such as antacids with calcium carbonate or medicines with magnesium oxide.

Infographic: Side Effects And Uses Of Sodium Citrate

Sodium citrate helps decrease the acidic nature of blood and urine. However, its use during pregnancy should be strictly under medical supervision. The infographic below summarizes the various uses and potential side effects of consuming sodium citrate during pregnancy.

notable uses and potential side effects of sodium citrate (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

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Key Pointers

  • Sodium citrate is a common antacid ingredient used to treat an acidic gastrointestinal tract.
  • Pregnant women should seek medical advice before using sodium citrate to ensure proper dosage.
  • Prolonged use of sodium citrate during pregnancy, such as vomiting and nausea, may lead to nutrient loss or water retention.
  • Sodium citrate should be considered for use during pregnancy only if the benefits outweigh the risks.
Eat Sodium Citrate During Pregnancy_illustration

Image: Dall·E/MomJunction Design Team

Acid reflux during pregnancy may be quite uncomfortable to deal with. Learn about the various treatment options available to help manage acid reflux with this video.


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
    1. citric acid and sodium citrate.
    2. Jing Shen and Xicheng Zhang; (2018); Potassium Citrate is Better in Reducing Salt and Increasing Urine pH than Oral Intake of Lemonade: A Cross-Over Study.
    3. Vahur Oopik et al.; (2008); The Effects of Sodium Citrate Ingestion on Metabolism and 1500-m Racing Time in Trained Female Runners.
    4. 5 natural alternatives to antacids.
    5. Aluminum Hydroxide and Magnesium Hydroxide.
    6. Magnesium Oxide.
    7. G M Stirrat and T A Thomas; (1986); Prescribing for labour.,or%20other%20procedure%20involving%20anaesthesia.
    8. Sodium Citrate 0.3M Oral Solution.
    9. Sodium Citrate Compound Enema.
    10. Maria Makrides et al.; (2014); Magnesium supplementation in pregnancy.
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