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Heartburn during pregnancy is very common. Most pregnant women experience it at some stage. Despite heartburn being a harmless symptom though, it can still be considerably uncomfortable and even painful.
You may feel heartburn as a burning sensation in your oesophagus or food pipe. This happens when acid rises from your stomach and up into your throat. It may even leave a nasty taste in your mouth.
As soon as your baby is born and your uterus starts to go back to its original size, heartburn and indigestion should disappear. For some women this is almost straight away.
Like bloating in early pregnancy, heartburn is often thanks to the increased levels of progesterone in your body.
Progesterone relaxes the smooth muscle tissue throughout your body, including the valve that separates your oesophagus from your stomach. This means that your stomach contents can easily splash back up and burn your oesophagus and the insides of your throat.
In the later months of your pregnancy, your uterus will start to push on your digestive organs. This will also contribute to heartburn and force stomach acid up your oesophagus.
Your persistent heartburn may be avoided with a few subtle changes to your eating habits and positioning.
To avoid heartburn from flaring up, consider taking some of these preventive measures:
Like many pregnancy symptoms managing them involves paying attention to your body. The first step is figuring out which foods and daily habits cause you heartburn or make it worse. You can then try to avoid them and reduce your chances of having heartburn.
When heartburn strikes, try these simple tips to give yourself some relief:
If none of the above methods give you relief from heartburn, ask your healthcare professional for some more specific advice.