How to Tackle Indigestion & Heartburn in Pregnancy?

How to Tackle Indigestion & Heartburn in Pregnancy?
0 13 December 2022
How to Tackle Indigestion & Heartburn in Pregnancy?

First things first, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. It is characterized by a burning feeling in the chest and throat which intensifies after eating when bending over or lying down.

It is a discomfort that is common which most people can manage with the right medications. But in some cases, it can be a frequent condition that interferes with daily routine, even tougher in the case of pregnant women as it can impact her and the offspring in multiple ways if not treated.

“Unfortunately, heartburn or indigestion is more frequent during pregnancy due to a variety of reasons”, says Dr Neelima Mantri, the top gynaecologist in Mumbai. So what causes heartburn during pregnancy and how to tackle it efficiently? Read on to know the answers:

What causes heartburn?

Heartburn occurs when the stomach acid flows back to the oesophagus – a tube that carries the food from the throat to the stomach. This can lead to a burning sensation in the chest accompanied by a mild sore sensation in the mouth. The flow back of acid is called acid reflux and the burning sensation that triggers it is called heartburn (again, it has nothing to do with the heart)

It is quite normal when it happens occasionally but in pregnant women, heartburn can frequently happen in 2 and 3 semesters. “More than 50% of the women in 3rd-semester experience frequent heartburn and acid reflux”, says a gynaecologist in Mumbai Dr Neelima Mantri.

Symptoms of heartburn during pregnancy: 

  • Burning sensation in the chest
  • Frequent burps
  • Bring up of food or vomiting
  • Frequent coughs & sore throat
  • Bloating and feeling filled-up

So why does a pregnant woman have to suffer from frequent heartburn and acid reflux? Here’s why:

Heartburn during pregnancy is common and it happens due to the following reasons:

  • Enlargement of Uterus:Heartburn is more common during the third semester because that is when the baby grows more and the uterus enlarges to the point that it pushes the stomach. And this can trigger acid reflux.
  • Change in hormonal levels:The hormonal changes during pregnancy slow down digestion which can cause bloating and cause heartburn.
  • Relaxation of Sphincter due to Progesterone: The pregnancy hormone i.e. progesterone relaxes the Sphincter which can trigger the flow back of the acid in the stomach.

How to tackle heartburn and acid reflux during pregnancy?

Pregnant women are at more risk of suffering from heartburn but there are a few factors that can trigger them, such as:

  1. Eating high-fat foods
  2. Eating caffeinated drinks or chocolates
  3. Eating big meals in a short time
  4. High physical activity after eating
  5. Anxiety and as usual hormone surges

So one can easily prevent heartburn during pregnancy by eating smaller meals, avoiding physical activities, and sudden movements, ensuring relaxed and stress-free environments and avoiding the above foods. Maintaining a right sleeping schedule, avoiding caffeine, and sleeping on the left side can help too. For more information on reducing the heartburn and acid reflux during pregnancy, you can contact a lady gynaecologist in Mumbai Dr Neelima Mantri here: