How to Avoid Heartburn During Pregnancy

Heartburn or indigestion may not be new for you. You may have had it during your first trimester and then it went away. But now, it's back. And you're likely wondering why.  

Many pregnant women have heartburn at some point. The hormone progesterone relaxes the ring-like sphincter at the base of your esophagus. This normally closes off entry to the stomach. When it doesn’t close, food mixed with digestive enzymes can back up into your esophagus. The result: irritation and a burning sensation in your chest. And in the third trimester, you can also feel full because your growing uterus is putting pressure on your stomach. 

What to do

Call your healthcare provider if your heartburn lasts or keeps you from eating enough. Many antacids are safe to take during pregnancy. In fact, many antacids contain calcium, which is an added benefit. Ask your healthcare first before you take an antacid or other medicine for heartburn.

Self-care steps for heartburn:

  • Stay upright for at least 2 hours after eating. Don’t eat right before going to bed.

  • Eat small meals with snacks often.

  • Don’t eat large meals and fried, spicy, or acidic foods. These foods can trigger heartburn.

  • Avoid caffeine.

  • Drink fluids in between your meals instead of with your meal.

Online Medical Reviewer: Bowers, Nancy, RN, BSN, MPHFoley, Maryann, RN, BSN

Date Last Reviewed: 4/12/2016

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