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Combat Heartburn in Pregnancy

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 24 Sep 2014 | comments*Discuss
Heartburn Indigestion Digestion Burn

Anyone can get heartburn at any time during their life but pregnant women are particularly susceptible. If you’re experiencing the horrible burning sensation and are keen to get rid of it, here are some practical ways of combating heartburn.

As the name suggests, heartburn is an uncomfortable burning sensation that occurs in your oesophagus or gullet. It’s a form of indigestion, where the acid juices from your stomach go back up your gullet, producing a burning feeling. About half of all pregnant women experience heartburn on and off during the day and night, and it’s often worse after eating or when you’re lying down.

Pregnancy can increase the likelihood of heartburn occurring because the pregnancy hormones have a relaxing effect on the valve at the entrance of your stomach. Because of this, the valve doesn’t close properly and the acid escapes back up. Heartburn can occur at any time from 20 weeks onward, but it’s more frequent in the late stages of pregnancy. In fact, it tends to get worse as pregnancy progresses, as your uterus gets bigger and puts more pressure on your stomach.

If you’re unsure as to whether what you’re experiencing is heartburn, or have any unexpected aches, pains and discomfort, then always speak to your midwife or doctor.

Tips for Combating Heartburn

There are practical steps you can take to relief the discomfort of heartburn.

  • If heartburn is bad at night, avoid eating before you go to bed.
  • At night, try propping yourself up on a couple of pillows.
  • Avoid eating large meals. It may be better to eat frequently, say four to five little meals, rather than two to three large meals.
  • If you get heartburn during the day, try sitting in an upright chair, leaning forward slightly, rather than lounging back on a sofa.
  • When you’re bending over, particularly to pick things up, try bending your knees and crouching rather than suddenly leaning over.
  • Avoid eating and drinking at the same time.
  • Avoid eating fatty or spicy foods, as these can trigger off symptoms.
  • Try and work out which foods might be triggering off your symptoms and avoid them.
  • Coffee and tea can increase stomach acidity, so opt for herbal tea instead.
  • Chewing gum can stimulate saliva, which helps neutralise stomach acid.
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes if you’re feeling uncomfortable.
  • Consult your doctor and ask for a recommendation of an antacid that can be safely taken during pregnancy.
Heartburn brings with it lots of discomfort, but it won’t harm your baby and will ease eventually. In fact, the good news is that for many women relief from the discomfort of heartburn comes soon after birth, so as your pregnancy progress, there’s an end in sight.

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Nice tips. Thanks for sharing this useful information.
indiansurrogacy - 24-Sep-14 @ 9:01 AM
The best remedy i have found at the minute is milk and it fills your stomach at the same time :)
natalie - 11-Sep-11 @ 5:34 PM
Chewing gum or frutellas work for me but only for about an hour tryd everything else also heard that heartburn can meen baby have lots of hair which my second did this my third an got it twice as bad
jojo - 3-Jul-11 @ 2:14 PM
im 14 weeks with my 4th child and am gettin heartburn and im also being sick with it, no remedies work at all.. ive got months left yet so im hoping it either goes or at least the sickness!
piglet - 11-Jun-11 @ 11:48 AM
My heartburn is awful I am 29 weeeks pregnant with my first baby and I was sick due to the heartburn. I've tried remdies with no joy hopefully it will subside. Still got a few months left though, just need to wait and see what happens from now on.
jinty - 21-Mar-11 @ 5:24 PM
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