Heartburn During Pregnancy

Heartburn During Pregnancy

Indigestion and heartburn affect over 50% of all pregnant women. The information below includes the causes and also some things you can do to minimize heartburn.

Heartburn During Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Heartburn

Heartburn is a digestive problem and has nothing to do with the heart. Heartburn is technically called gastroesophageal or acid reflux. The following information has been adapted from the March of Dimes and American Pregnancy websites listed below.

Heartburn occurs when digested food from your stomach, which contains acid, is pushed up toward your esophagus and the valve between the stomach and the esophagus is unable to prevent the stomach acids from passing back into the esophagus.  This results in a burning sensation behind your breastbone or a burning sensation that starts in your stomach and seems to rise up. You may also have a sour taste in your mouth or may actually feel that vomit is rising in your throat.

Many women have heartburn for the first time during pregnancy because the hormone progesterone causes the valve to relax.  This is especially true during the second trimester and third trimester. Although this is not usually a sign of a serious problem, it can be uncomfortable or painful.

Preventing heartburn is the best way to deal with it.  Below are some suggestions to help you if you are suffering from heartburn:

  • Eat several small meals instead of two or three large ones.

  • Eat slowly.

  • Avoid spicy, greasy and fatty foods, fried foods, alcohol, chocolate, peppermint, garlic and onion.

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.

  • Avoid coffee.

  • Eat yogurt or drink a glass of milk

  • Wait an hour after eating to lie down

  • Talk to your health care provider about using antacids or other medications.

Additional Information

American Pregnancy: Pregnancy and heartburn

March of dimes: Heartburn and indigestion


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