Acid Reflux

Heartburn and Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

You are more than likely to experience acid reflux (also known as heartburn) during pregnancy. Feeling the burn of stomach acid during pregnancy is quite different to how reflux is normally experienced; heartburn and acid reflux can be a lot more intense. Heartburn during pregnancy causes many sleepness nights.

There are many home remedies for treating heartburn which are safe during pregnancy. Read further to find out more about what causes heartburn symptoms and treating heartburn

What do heartburn symptoms feel like?

Let me tell you, Feeling the burn of acid rising from your stomach, up through your esophagus and into your throat for hours is a really unpleasant experience. Sometimes the burning sensation lasts for hours before it settles down. Some nights heartburn or acid reflux can keep you awake for hours before it settles down (see Sleeping).

Often in pregnancy you just want to eat something like a yummy pizza. Big mistake. You will be feeling the burn from the cheese for the next 2-3 hours in your stomach and throat. Chocolate is another one of those crave-for foods that will most likely leave you regretting eating it when it triggers heartburn symptoms.

Heartburn Pregnancy

Learn what what causes heartburn during pregnancy

  • In early pregnancy, nausea and vomiting can trigger heartburn symptoms from the acid being pushed up from your stomach.
  • As your baby grows, your stomach gets gradually pushed upwards closer to your throat (see the video Internal Organs). This means that your stomach acid is a lot closer to your throat than you are used to, which causes the burning sensation to rise up higher. Heartburn symptoms are more common for women in their third trimesters.
  • According to experts, pregnancy hormone changes (the Relaxin hormone) could cause the muscles in the esophagus to relax more frequently and therefore allow stomach acid to rise up easily, instead of keeping the acids inside of the stomach.

Heartburn and Acid Reflux during pregnancy

Avoid these as they increase the risk of heartburn symptoms:
  • Fatty foods
  • White rice
  • White pasta
  • White breads
  • Caffeine
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Tight fitting clothes

Home remedies for treatment of heartburn

Food recommendations to ease acid reflux symptoms during pregnancy

  • Eat acid-neutralising foods such as plain yoghurt, oatmeal and bananas
  • Drink acid-neutralising almond milk to settle heartburn symptoms
  • Eat a healthy diet with regular meals during the day
  • Keep a note of which foods have caused reflux so you can avoid them in the future – learn what causes heartburn for you as each body reacts differently to different foods
  • Eat smaller meals throughout the day and opt for frequent small meals during the day. Avoid eating close to bedtime. If you get hungry during the night, keep small snacks such as bananas by your bed, to avoid triggering heartburn symptoms during the night.
Heartburn pregnancy

Sleeping tips to ease acid reflux symptoms during pregnancy

Sleeping tips for reducing heartburn
  • Sleep with your head and body elevated – keep your stomach lower than your throat and esophogus. It is often easier to sleep sitting up in order to keep your stomach lower down
  • Invest in a good sized pillow – allowing you to sleep with your head elevated and supported. You need to be able to sleep comfortably so it is worth buying a pillow which will keep you well supported
  • Wear loosefitting clothes, especially around your waistline
  • Some remedies are available over the counter, for example, calcium carbonate. Ask your doctor which overthecounter antacids are safe to take for acid reflux during pregnancy

If you are having serious problems with reflux, then definitely check with your doctor to be sure it is not damaging your health. More severe heartburn could be a symptom of gerd, a gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Try a bed wedge or pregnancy pillow for  elevating yourself in bed

There are two different widths, so measure yourself from shoulder tip to shoulder tip to decide if you need a slightly wider wedge.

Acid reflux in pregnancy can be a pain when you want to sleep. Sleep with your head and upper body elevated above your stomach level. This helps to ease acid reflux by keeping stomach acids down.