Heartburn during pregnancy
At some point during pregnancy, you may feel an uncomfortable burning sensation in your chest. This could be heartburn.
What causes heartburn during pregnancy?
Heartburn, also called acid indigestion or acid reflux, is a burning sensation that often extends from the bottom of your breastbone to your lower throat. During pregnancy, your placenta produces a hormone called progesterone. Progesterone relaxes the valve that separates your esophagus from your stomach, allowing gastric acids to seep up, causing that burning sensation. Later in pregnancy, your growing baby crowds your abdominal cavity, pushing the stomach acids back up into the esophagus.
How can I relieve heartburn?
Avoid carbonated drinks, chocolate, acidic foods like citrus and tomato, and spicy or fried foods. Try to eat smaller meals throughout the day, instead of three large ones. Try chewing gum after eating; it stimulates your salivary glands, and saliva can help neutralize acids. Avoid eating two to three hours before bedtime and sleep propped up with pillows or a wedge.
When should I contact my healthcare provider?
If these tips don't help, talk to your healthcare provider about over-the-counter antacids or prescription medications that are safe to take during pregnancy. But try not to worry – heartburn is very common during pregnancy.