Pregnancy heartburn: Relief, symptoms and causes


by Lorna White |

Indigestion (also called heartburn or acid reflux) is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy, with 80% of women experiencing it at some point along their pregnancy journey.

Some women find they get that strong burning sensation after they eat, from just a few weeks into their pregnancy. For others, it becomes a problem later on when their bump is expanding and there seems to be no room for food.

But what is clear, is that most women will get indigestion at some point in their pregnancy, and it can be very very uncomfortable and can make you feel nauseous and bloated.

What are the symptoms of pregnancy heartburn?

According to the NHS, there are a few signs that you might be experiencing heartburn or indigestion. These include:

• Feeling full or bloated

• A burning sensation or pain in the chest

• Feeling sick or even being sick

• Increased burping

• Bringing up food

What are the causes of pregnancy heartburn?

There is no one cause of indigestion in pregnancy – it’s a mix of hormones, your expanding womb pressing on your stomach and relaxing of muscles in the oesophagus which can let acid move back out of the stomach.

Did you know a pregnancy pillow can help with heartburn?

Ways to avoid pregnancy heartburn

Luckily antacids are one of the few medicines that are safe to take during pregnancy, but here are five other tips for avoiding that post-meal pain.

Find out what foods to eat to beat that burning sensation, what to avoid and other tricks for a happier tummy.

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Switch to five or six small meals a day
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1) Switch to five or six small meals a day

Dr Áine O'Connor, a nutrition scientist from the British Nutrition Foundation, recommends little and often to beat the burning sensation that can come after overindulging. 'To avoid heartburn in pregnancy try eating small regular meals and snacks and avoid large meals.' It is a myth you need to eat for two, so don’t go mad and eat tons more than you normally would.

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