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Pregnancy Topics..

You are here : home > Pregnancy > Medical Aspects of Pregnancy > Acidity and Heartburn

Acidity and Heartburn during Pregnancy

Acidity and heartburn during pregnancy is the bane of most pregnant women. For 10 tips to soothe the burning sensation of acidity and heartburn, and to understand why most pregnant women complain about acidity and heartburn, read on.

Many women suffer from severe heartburn and acidity only during pregnancy. While these complaints are quite common, they aren’t dangerous, but can cause immense discomfort in pregnant women. For most women, these ailments disappear after the
first trimester, but for some women these could persist up to 6 months or more. 

Difference between Acidity and Heartburn       

Any burning or painful sensation experienced in the stomach or rising up the throat is termed as acidity by laypersons. Medically, however, acidity and heartburn are two different conditions. Acidity is when the stomach produces an excess amount of acid than is required for digestion. The excess acid causes a burning, irritating sensation in the stomach and chest.

Heartburn, on the other hand, is when the acid actually passes upward through the food pipe, causing an intense burning in the oesophagus, which may even cause feelings of nausea. The intensity of the discomfort is much more in heartburn than that which is felt in acidity.

Acidity and Heartburn during Pregnancy

During pregnancy, there is excess production of the hormone Progesterone in the body. While surplus production of progesterone is necessary to relax the muscles of the uterus during pregnancy, one unfortunate side-effect of progesterone is that it relaxes the valve separating the stomach from the oesophagus. In late pregnancy, the child crowds the abdominal space and forces the gastric acids to rise upwards, which cause painful burning sensations in the throat and chest. In most cases the problem goes away soon after childbirth.

10 Tips to deal with Acidity and Heartburn during Pregnancy

For those pregnant women experiencing heartburn uncomfortably often during pregnancy, while it is not possible to completely eliminate it, some basic lifestyle changes and home remedies can help provide some relief from the discomfort for sure. 10 safe and effective ways to soothe the burning sensations of acidity and heartburn during pregnancy are as follows:

  1. Eat small meals every few hours – Eating five to six small meals instead of three large ones will reduce the secretion of excess gastric acids and thereby reduce the burning sensation greatly.

  2. Eat slowly – When you eat, chew properly and eat slowly. Relax and enjoy each meal. This will save you from overeating and hence the possibility of heartburn will get automatically reduced. 

  3. Sip chilled milk – Sipping chilled milk, when there is high level of discomfort, will help you get some relief from heartburn.

  4. Avoid fluids during meals – It is advisable to avoid drinking a lot of fluids while eating. Although pregnant women are advised to drink at least 6 – 8 glasses of water daily, you can compensate by drinking in between meals instead of during meals.

  5. Avoid lying down immediately after eating – Take a walk, do some light household work or simply sit for a while after finishing your meal. Allow your stomach to settle and digest your food for some time before lying down to prevent acidity and heartburn during pregnancy.

  6. Keep your head and upper body elevated when sleeping – This is an important step and can help you prevent acidity and heartburn largely. Either put blocks under the bed on the side you lay your head, or buy a special pregnancy pillow; but sleep with your head elevated 6 inches to prevent acid from creeping up the oesophagus. 

  7. Avoid selected foods and drinks – Avoid carbonated drinks, alcohol, vinegar and coffee during pregnancy. Usually spicy, fried and fatty foods, meat, chocolates, spearmint and peppermint are termed as acidity triggers. Avoid them as much as possible.

  8. Pay heed to what foods trigger your acidity or heartburn – In many cases, the foods that cause acidity or heartburn are different woman to woman. Pay special attention to what foods you ate before you got acidity or heartburn and then try to avoid them. 

  9. Wear loose and comfortable clothes – Clothing also has a great impact on acidity. In fact, tight clothes can worsen the burning sensation rising up your throat. It is better for pregnant women to wear loose-fitting and comfortable outfits even when stepping out of their home.

  10. Avoid bending from the waist – Only do light housework whilst pregnant. If you need to bend, ensure that you do not bend from your stomach. Bend with your knees and not from your waist.

Medications to treat Acidity and Heartburn during Pregnancy

It is important to understand that not all antacids or anti-heartburn medications are safe for pregnant women.  In fact, most are not.  It is best to check with your doctor before popping these medicines indiscriminately in your mouth. If none of the above-mentioned remedies help, you may ask your doctor to prescribe some low sodium antacids to be taken sparingly.

Remember, that you are not the only pregnant woman to suffer from acidity and heartburn. So relax. If you take the above mentioned precautions and follow your doctor’s orders properly, there is no reason why you should not have an acidity and heartburn free pregnancy!

What foods cause acidity and heartburn during pregnancy? What precautions can pregnant women take to prevent acidity and heartburn? How to soothe acidity and heartburn during pregnancy?
Discuss here.

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ginna.5 years ago
these are common complaints during pregnancy. Most often the diet is the culprit. If we eat healthy and frequent meals, then we would not have this problem even during pregnancy.
afshan.9 years ago
i'd like to ask if its alright to take eno i find it to b the only source of relief...will it harm my baby..i'm in my 30th di suffer from acidity every night---despite taking regular small meals
deep.9 years ago
i get a lot of burps.....

i eat small meals, ad i get burps even ifi have not eaten anything at all... plz help.
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