Can I Take Baking Soda During Pregnancy?

Pregnant women often have doubts about the foods and medicines they can consumeespecially when they experience common pregnancy ailments like heartburn and reflux. Sodium bicarbonate, meanwhile, is known as a natural alternative to calm stomach acid, but can it be taken during pregnancy?

A study published in Journal of Medical Toxicology showed that bicarbonate is an antacid capable of neutralizing the acidity of gastric juices and, therefore, improving the symptoms of heartburn. We show you what it is, what its benefits are and if it carries any risk to use it during pregnancy.

What is baking soda?

Sodium bicarbonate is a white crystalline compound that has a slight alkaline taste.. It can be found in nature, dissolved in mineral springs and its uses are so varied that they range from cooking to cleaning and personal hygiene.

Vichy salt, as it is also known, can act as an antacid, as an antiseptic that treats mouth ulcers, and as a reliever that reduces mild sore throats. Similarly, it is widely used by athletes seeking to improve their performance during an intense training session.

The uses of bicarbonate are varied, from treating heartburn to cleaning the home.

Read also: 7 ways to use baking soda as a natural remedy

Benefits and advantages of using it

According to research published in Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, the intake of baking soda during labor increases the chances of having a vaginal delivery. This in relation to the possibility of ending up in an unscheduled cesarean section, either for chronic obstetric or emergency reasons.

The study was carried out in 300 women and 200 of them received oxytocin to accelerate contractions. The other 100 received oxytocin and sodium bicarbonate.

The last were 17% more likely to have a vaginal birth. This is because bicarbonate could control the acidity of the uterus, facilitating natural childbirth. The intrinsic mechanisms of this process are not clear, but it is interesting that surgical interventions are contained.

Do Professionals Recommend Baking Soda During Pregnancy?

Despite the above, professionals do not recommend taking baking soda during pregnancy or breastfeeding. The reason is that there is not enough scientific evidence to rule out its possible risks to the health of the mother and the baby.

This includes the consumption of antacids that contain bicarbonate, since they can cause fluid accumulation and would be able to increase blood pressure due to their high sodium content. Remember that hypertension associated with pregnancy is serious and can trigger pre-eclampsia, a condition that puts the life of the fetus at risk.

Disadvantages of using it during pregnancy

As we have seen, baking soda is not a recommended option during pregnancy. In fact, it has a number of disadvantages or side effects that can be listed below:

  • Increases blood pressure and promotes fluid retentionSodium bicarbonate contains salt, which can increase blood pressure and cause a large number of health problems for the baby and mother. Salt, among other things, can cause fluid retention in the legs, feet and hands. These are edema, capable of slowing down circulation and reducing the supply of oxygen to the tissues.
  • Gastric discomfortThis compound is also known to be the cause of stomach discomfort, such as pain, gas and cramps. Similarly, it can cause an increased feeling of thirst.
  • Drug interactionVichy salt can be harmful if taken with certain drugs. This is the case of antifungal drugs, calcium preparations and lithium salts. It should also be considered that the reduction of stomach acidity, if not controlled, leads to less incorporation of certain active principles and nutrients at the time of digestion.

The acidity of pregnancy is expected by the internal changes of the organs. Diet is the best way to control the symptom.

Find out: Baking soda to treat nail fungus?

What to remember about sodium bicarbonate intake during pregnancy?

Although baking soda is a commonly used compound, you should restrict it during pregnancy and lactation. Experts assure that there is not enough evidence to support its consumption and rule out its risks, among which the increase in blood pressure, gastric discomfort and interference with a significant number of medications stand out.

However, an investigation linked its consumption with an increase in the chances of having a vaginal delivery. Despite this, its intake should always be controlled by a professional.