Heartburn is the burning pain in your chest that keeps you awake at night. It’s often accompanied by burping up acid and food. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common problems during pregnancy. It happens because of the shift in hormone levels and the increased pressure from the uterus as it expands. It usually begins during the first trimester and only gets worse. It’s no wonder that Google is all too familiar with questions like “Can you take TUMS while pregnant?”
So, what can you take for heartburn while pregnant? What antacids are safe during pregnancy? Let’s find out.
- 1 What happens if you take Tums while pregnant?
- 2 How many Tums are safe while pregnant?
- 3 Can you take Tums while pregnant in the first trimester?
- 4 Can you take Tums every day while pregnant?
- 5 What are the side effects of Tums and antacids during pregnancy?
- 6 Other ways to reduce heartburn while pregnant
- 7 Best Antacids During Pregnancy
- 7.1 TUMS Ultra Strength Antacid Tablets
- 7.2 Rolaids Extra Strength Antacid
- 7.3 Gaviscon Extra Strength Cherry Chewable Tablet
- 7.4 Mylanta Antacid and Gas Relief
- 7.5 Maty’s All Natural Acid & Indigestion Relief
- 7.6 Amazon Basic Care Omeprazole
- 7.7 Prevacid 24HR Lansoprazole
- 7.8 Pepcid AC, Maximum Strength 20mg Famotidine
- 8 Conclusion
What happens if you take Tums while pregnant?
If you take Tums for heartburn when you’re pregnant, you’ll feel a lot better in just a few minutes. Chew a tablet and stay sitting up for at least 5 to 10 minutes. The active ingredients descend to the esophagus and stomach where they start neutralizing the acid that’s causing the pain and burning sensation.
Tums provide rapid relief when used for treating heartburn occasionally. In fact, it’s often recommended by OB/GYNs.
How many Tums are safe while pregnant?
Can you take Tums extra strength while pregnant? Yes, you sure can. The maximum daily dosage for Extra Strength TUMS is 6 tablets in 24 hours. There are very good reasons to not go over this amount and we’ll get to those in a moment.
If you take Ultra Strength TUMS, the maximum is 5 tablets in 24 hours. That’s because it has more of the active ingredient.
But before we go any further, please ask your doctor if TUMS or other antacids are appropriate for you.
Can you take Tums while pregnant in the first trimester?
Yes, unless your doctor says otherwise, or if you’re taking any medication that conflicts with Tums, you should be able to take this antacid during the first 3 months of pregnancy.
Antacids like Tums or Rolaids that use calcium carbonate, magnesium, or aluminum are generally considered safe for treating heartburn in pregnant women.
Can you take Tums every day while pregnant?
If you’re having heartburn daily, you might need something longer-lasting than Tums. There are other over-the-counter medications that work for longer than a couple of hours.
For example, you could benefit from proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec or Prevacid. These resolve heartburn that doesn’t respond well to antacids or dietary changes. Prevacid, which is known by the generic name lansoprazole, has been tested on pregnant women and proven to be safe.
There are also antacids called histamine-type II receptor antagonists. These include Zantac, also known as ranitidine, and Tagamet, also known as cimetidine. They have been studied for use during pregnancy and proven to be safe for both mother and baby (1).
What are the side effects of Tums and antacids during pregnancy?
Please consult with your OB/GYN or doctor about taking antacids while you’re pregnant.
We’ve learned that taking sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) can actually be harmful because it raises the risk of both the mother and baby having too much fluid or experiencing metabolic alkalosis.
Moreover, antacids with magnesium might interfere with contractions if taken during the last trimester (1).
Just as bad, taking too many Tums can lead to very painful kidney stones. That’s because the body can’t process all the extra calcium. Please stick to the recommended dose (2).
Other ways to reduce heartburn while pregnant
You might already know these things, but not everybody does, so here we go:
- Spicy, greasy, acidic foods tend to trigger heartburn
- Chocolate, peppermint, and caffeinated beverages are also culprits
- Eating small meals makes it easier to avoid heartburn
- Not drinking with meals can also prevent acid reflux
- Skipping your bra and loosening tight clothing helps
- Try not to lie down for at least 2 to 3 hours after eating
And if all those tricks fail, here are the best antacids to take during pregnancy:
|The best antacids during pregnancy||Highlights|
|TUMS Ultra Strength Antacid Tablets||
|Rolaids Extra Strength Antacid||
|Gaviscon Extra Strength Cherry Chewable Tablet||
|Mylanta Antacid and Gas Relief||
|Maty’s All Natural Acid & Indigestion Relief||
|Amazon Basic Care Omeprazole||
|Prevacid 24HR Lansoprazole||
|Pepcid AC, Maximum Strength 20mg Famotidine||
Best Antacids During Pregnancy
TUMS Ultra Strength Antacid Tablets
Until I was diagnosed with GERD and got a prescription for a proton pump inhibitor, I slept with a bottle of Tums on the nightstand. Every night without fail I’d wake up feeling like someone had kicked me in the chest and set my throat on fire. Acid reflux is horrible and often mistaken for a heart attack because it’s just that painful.
Tums were my lifeline to sanity. Back then, I didn’t have access to Extra Strength or Ultra Strength so I’d often chew 2 or 3 tablets at a time. The antacid had the additional benefits of helping with nausea, a sour stomach, indigestion, and even gas.
What’s nice is that Tums comes in various flavors including Assorted Fruit and Berry Fusion. You’re not stuck with plain old peppermint. The Ultra Strength version has 1000 mg of calcium carbonate for maximum relief in the shortest amount of time without having to double up on tablets. Plus, it’s both gluten-free and Kosher and you can purchase Tums with health savings accounts.
If you’re curious, Extra Strength Tums has 750 mg of calcium carbonate. And if you want to avoid artificial colors, try the Naturals Ultra Strength with 1000 mg of calcium carbonate. Lastly, Tums also make something called Chewy Bites but those contained dairy and we didn’t give them a try.
Rolaids Extra Strength Antacid
My dad used to swear by Rolaids. Each mint-flavored chewable tablet has 1000 mg of calcium carbonate and 200 mg of magnesium hydroxide.
You can take anywhere from 2 to 4 tablets to put out the fire, but don’t take more than 10 tablets in 24 hours. Also, don’t take the maximum dose for longer than 2 weeks because health problems may result.
They’re affordable, fast-acting, and they freshen up the breath a bit. On the downside, they contain artificial colors and flavors including sucralose and sucrose.
By the way, you can also get Rolaids in fruit flavors.
Gaviscon Extra Strength Cherry Chewable Tablet
Gaviscon promises to keep acid reflux under control for hours. How many hours? It depends on various factors and we couldn’t get a hard and fast answer. (If you need 24-hour relief from heartburn, talk to your doctor about other options like Prevacid or Tagamet). On the bright side, this antacid takes care of heartburn in a few minutes, plus it’s eligible for purchase through HSA and FSA.
The chewable tablets each contain 160 mg of aluminum hydroxide and 105 mg of magnesium carbonate. Other ingredients include sucrose, artificial flavors, acesulfame K (so avoid this if you have phenylketonuria), and corn syrup solids.
If you don’t like tablets, you can also purchase Gaviscon as a liquid.
Mylanta Antacid and Gas Relief
Not only does Mylanta relieve heartburn, but it also takes care of gas and bloating. The active ingredients include calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide to neutralize acid and simethicone to get rid of gas.
It’s a liquid that comes with a dosage cup on the lid. In some ways, it’s much nicer than chewing tablets because it doesn’t get stuck in the teeth.
Moreover, it comes in various flavors including vanilla caramel, honey chamomile, and chocolate mint.
Maty’s All Natural Acid & Indigestion Relief
I know that there are pregnant mamas who worry about how medications interact with babies in the womb. I’m right there with you. I’m not keen on artificial flavors and sweeteners and chemicals I can’t pronounce. That’s why I’m including a natural alternative antacid to Tums.
Now, your mileage may vary with this product, but it does get a lot of positive reviews and doesn’t have anything bad in it unless you’re allergic to a specific ingredient. What’s more, it’s a veggie capsule and doesn’t leave an unpleasant taste or coating in the mouth.
This drug-free antacid is made with apple cider vinegar powder, coriander seed, turmeric root, clove bud, and ginger root. These are natural digestive aids that help balance stomach acid and calm nausea. Not only do they fix indigestion, but they treat reflux.
The formula contains no aluminum, calcium, chemicals, sweeteners, flavors, dyes, or dairy. All you need to do is swallow one capsule with a cup of water.
After you take it, stay sitting up for a while and think calm thoughts while it starts working. If all goes well, you should be heartburn-free for the rest of the night.
Amazon Basic Care Omeprazole
Prilosec is the brand name of omeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor that treats frequent heartburn. If you have reflux or heartburn more than twice a week, you might need a pill like this. The over-the-counter dose is 20 mg and it works for 24 hours. It’s recommended that you swallow one capsule on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and wait an hour before having breakfast. However, I take mine before dinner at least 2 hours after my last snack.
Now, to be honest, it’s designed as a 2-week treatment. But doctors prescribe this long-term for people all around the world. Yes, it may have some negative impact on your health if used for months and years at a time. But repeated exposure to acid has a negative impact on your esophagus, too. It’s best to talk it over with your doctor.
Prevacid 24HR Lansoprazole
Lansoprazole is an alternative to omeprazole and it’s been studied in pregnancy. It’s another proton pump inhibitor that prevents heartburn for 24 hours.
How does it work? The stomach has millions of proton pumps that release acid that you need to digest food. Prevacid turns off some of these pumps to keep the stomach from making too much acid.
No, it doesn’t provide instant relief like Tums. But after you’ve taken it for a couple of days, you should start to feel the results.
Pepcid AC, Maximum Strength 20mg Famotidine
You only need one tablet of Pepcid AC to protect yourself from heartburn throughout the day or night. You can take it just 15 minutes or as long as an hour before eating. Not only does it prevent reflux, but it also helps with indigestion. Different versions of Pepcid AC begin relieving heartburn within 15 to 30 minutes, too.
Famotidine, the generic drug name, is a histamine receptor antagonist, or H2-blocker. What’s interesting is that it may have benefits for treating plantar warts, oral herpes, and shingles. One recent study looked at famotidine for treating COVID symptoms as well (3).
We hope that we’ve answered your questions about taking Tums during pregnancy. It’s crucial to get relief from heartburn without harm to yourself or the baby and it’s good to know that there are many different antacids that do the job well.
If you’ve had a positive experience with one of the products we reviewed above, we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to leave us a comment below.
1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071208145406.htm Tips To Ease The Heartburn Of Pregnancy, published December 10, 2007, by the American College of Gastroenterology
2. https://www.todaysparent.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/this-is-why-you-shouldnt-overdo-the-antacids-during-pregnancy/ This is why you shouldn’t take too many antacids during pregnancy, by Claire Abittan, published April 11, 2018
3. https://www.cshl.edu/famotidine-clinical-trial-shows-covid-19-symptom-reduction/ Famotidine clinical trial shows COVID-19 symptom reduction, published February 10, 2022