Yet another checkmark on the list of things I’ve done to screw up my daughter’s future: scientists are now saying moms who take antacids during their pregnancies are increasing their baby’s risk of developing asthma.
Researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Boston analyzed more than five hundred thousand birth records of kids born in Sweden between 1995 and 2004. They say moms who used acid-suppressing medicines were linked to a forty-three percent greater likelihood that their child would suffer from an allergy serious enough to require prescription medication or hospitalization.
The chance of a child developing asthma if his or her mother used antacids was as high as fifty-one percent.
Lest you think you and I are the only ones who did this to our kids – eighty-five percent of pregnant women experience heartburn, the researchers admitted, because high estrogen levels are thought to weaken the lower esophageal sphincter (say that three times fast), which makes it easier for the stomach acids to roil back up. And then there’s that kid pushing up on everything . . .
Diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, the condition that essentially means you have morning, noon and night sickness throughout your pregnancy, I had the kind of killer heartburn that felt like I was carrying a dragon with a bad case of the hiccups. Stomach acids would come up, and I would, well. . . upchuck. Thanks to my friendly OB/GYN, in the later months, after I finally got off of the anti-nausea drugs they give to chemotherapy patients, I was considering an investment in the stock of certain antacid makers.
What’s important to note here, is women who can’t keep any food down are hardly doing their babies a service by turning away the Tums. Even one of the Children’s Hospital researchers says as much in this PRWeb release. She suggests you try cutting out caffeine and spicy foods and try to have smaller meals instead of using antacids; but how many pregnant women do you know who can FIT anything more than a teeny weeny meal in that eighth month . . . after they’ve already cut caffeine for the sake of the baby and the scent of hot wings makes them want to ralph?
So, by all means, it’s worth a shot. But if you come running back to the antacid gods, don’t let it eat at you. Have heart – at least you can have a handfull of peanuts now.