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Health & Pregnancy

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Mom’s Heartburn Meds Carry Asthma Risk?

Children Whose Mothers Take Prescription Acid Blockers More Likely to Have Breathing Disorder, Study Shows

Acid-Blocking Drugs in Pregnancy

Former AAAAI president William Busse, MD, head of the allergy section at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, says a link between the use of acid-blocking drugs in pregnancy and childhood asthma makes sense from a physiological point of view.

"We know that some immune system regulation that protects us against asthma has its origins in the [acidic] GI tract," he tells WebMD. "So one has to wonder that if you take drugs that suppress acid in the GI tract, you may be modifying the normal immune surveillance."

The new study offers "a novel, intriguing observation" that we should study further, Busse says.

Tips to Reduce Heartburn During Pregnancy

Experts offer these tips for reducing heartburn without hurting your baby:

  • Eat several small meals each day instead of three large ones.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Avoid fried, fatty, spicy, or rich foods, chocolate, mint, carbonated drinks, citrus fruits or juices, tomato, or tomato sauce.
  • Don't lie down directly after eating.
  • Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of your bed.
  • Ask your doctor about using medications such as Tums or Maalox, which are generally safe to use during pregnancy. You may find liquid heartburn relievers helpful in treating heartburn, as they coat the esophagus.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing. Tight-fitting clothes can increase the pressure on your stomach and abdomen.
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