Blog - What you need to know heartburn during pregnancy

Heartburn usually comes on after meals, and it’s often worse at night or when you’re lying down for a nap. When the acid flows back into the oesophagus, it can go all the way up to the back of the throat and cause these symptoms:

  • Pain in your chest behind the breastbone
  • Burning in your chest or at the back of your throat
  • A bad, sour, or acid taste in your mouth

The symptoms of heartburn can go away in just a few minutes or last a few hours. Be sure to talk to your doctor about any symptoms you’re experiencing, so they can determine if it's heartburn.


Of course, you can get heartburn during pregnancy for the same reasons you might get heartburn when you aren’t carrying a child. Other things that cause heartburn are:

  • Overeating
  • Spicy foods
  • High-fat foods and processed meats
  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Tomatoes
  • Chocolate, caffeine, and soda or other drinks with carbonation
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Obesity
  • Certain medications
  • Stress

Serious complications of heartburn during pregnancy are rare. However, heartburn can become a concern if there are other things going on along with it. Your doctor will look into your condition more carefully and monitor you and the baby more closely if:

  • You have a sore throat
  • It becomes painful or difficult to swallow
  • You have chest pain
  • You feel like you have something caught in your throat
  • Your voice becomes hoarse, or you have laryngitis
  • You have a cough or trouble breathing
  • You lose weight
  • Your red blood cell count goes down(acidity)
Tips for Coping

If you're suffering from heartburn, there are some things you can do to try to prevent it or to ease the discomfort once it starts. Here are some of the ways to cope with heartburn during pregnancy.

Watch the weight gain: Excessive weight gain can put additional pressure on your stomach and make heartburn worse.

Stay away from foods that cause discomfort: If you notice you have heartburn after eating fried, spicy, or gassy foods, avoid them as much as possible.

Eat smaller meals: Instead of having three large meals, try eating smaller portions more often.

Drink enough fluids: Have eight to ten 8-oz glasses of water or other healthy beverages each day, but limit caffeine and sugary drinks.

Avoid restrictive clothing: Clothes that are tight around your waist can put pressure on your stomach.

Do not lay down or go to bed immediately after eating: It’s more likely the food will back up if you lay down on a full stomach.

Use gravity to your advantage: Sleep on an incline with an extra pillow or a wedge to keep your head elevated and the food down.

Bend down with your knees: If you bend at the knees and keep your body upright, you can help keep the food down.

Pay attention to your posture: try to sit up straight and walk with your shoulders back to give your stomach more room and keep your oesophagus in an upright position.

Reduce stress and get enough rest: Stress and fatigue can make heartburn worse. Try to rest when you can and use meditation, mild exercise, listening to music, or other techniques to help you relax your body.

Ask your doctor about taking a safe antacid: If you’re getting heartburn often and you’re very uncomfortable, talk to your doctor. She can recommend or prescribe something for you. You can even carry it in your purse, so you have it with you when you need it.

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