How to Get Rid of Heartburn During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a beautiful journey, but it can also come with its own set of discomforts, one of which is heartburn. Many women experience heartburn during pregnancy due to hormonal changes and the pressure that the growing baby places on the stomach. However, there are ways to alleviate this common issue and make your pregnancy more comfortable.

One of the most commonly searched phrases by expectant mothers is “how to get rid of heartburn during pregnancy.” Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. This can cause a burning sensation in the chest or throat, especially after eating or when lying down. Understanding why heartburn happens during pregnancy is essential in finding effective ways to manage it and prevent discomfort.

While occasional heartburn may be manageable with simple lifestyle changes, severe or persistent symptoms should not be ignored. In this article, we will explore the causes of heartburn during pregnancy, typical symptoms experienced by expectant mothers, dietary adjustments that can help reduce discomfort, safe remedies and medications for relief, tips for better sleep despite heartburn, and when it might be necessary to seek medical help for severe symptoms.

Let’s dive into understanding and addressing heartburn during pregnancy to ensure your digestive health while expecting a little one.

Causes of Heartburn During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, heartburn is a common symptom experienced by many women due to the hormonal changes and physical pressure exerted on the digestive system. Understanding the specific causes of heartburn during pregnancy can help in effectively managing and preventing this discomfort. Here are some key factors that contribute to heartburn during pregnancy:

  • Hormonal Changes: The hormone progesterone, which relaxes smooth muscles including the lower esophageal sphincter, can lead to stomach acid flowing back into the esophagus, causing heartburn.
  • Physical Pressure: As the baby grows, the enlarging uterus can push against the stomach, forcing stomach contents upwards and increasing the likelihood of experiencing heartburn.
  • Slow Digestion: Pregnancy hormones can slow down digestion, leading to food staying in the stomach for longer periods of time and increasing the chances of acid reflux.

In addition to these primary causes, certain lifestyle factors such as diet and eating habits can exacerbate heartburn symptoms during pregnancy. By making some dietary changes and lifestyle modifications, pregnant women can effectively reduce and manage heartburn. To learn more about how to get rid of heartburn during pregnancy by addressing its causes, continue reading below.

  1. Avoiding large meals and eating smaller portions throughout the day
  2. Staying upright after eating to help prevent acid reflux
  3. Wearing loose-fitting clothing to relieve pressure on the abdomen

Symptoms and Signs of Heartburn in Pregnant Women

During pregnancy, many women experience heartburn, a common symptom characterized by a burning sensation in the chest and throat. This discomfort is caused by stomach acid flowing back into the esophagus due to hormonal changes and pressure exerted on the digestive system by the growing baby. It is important for pregnant women to recognize the symptoms and signs of heartburn to effectively manage and alleviate this condition.

Some of the common symptoms of heartburn in pregnant women include a burning sensation in the chest that may worsen after eating, regurgitation of food or sour liquid, difficulty swallowing, and a persistent cough or hoarseness. These symptoms can be particularly bothersome during the second and third trimesters when the uterus grows larger and puts more pressure on the stomach. Understanding these signs can help pregnant women take proactive steps to relieve their discomfort.

To get rid of heartburn during pregnancy, it is essential to make certain dietary changes such as eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day, avoiding spicy and acidic foods, and staying upright after eating to prevent stomach acid from rising into the esophagus. Additionally, lifestyle modifications like wearing loose clothing, elevating your upper body while sleeping, and practicing relaxation techniques can help reduce episodes of heartburn.

In some cases, safe remedies like chewing gum or taking over-the-counter antacids may provide temporary relief from heartburn symptoms during pregnancy.

Dietary Changes to Reduce Heartburn During Pregnancy

Choosing the Right Foods

During pregnancy, it is essential to make conscious dietary choices to reduce the occurrence of heartburn. Some foods can trigger acid reflux and aggravate heartburn symptoms. It is advisable for pregnant women to avoid spicy, acidic, fried, and fatty foods as they can relax the lower esophageal sphincter and increase stomach acid production. Instead, opt for high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that can help in digestion and minimize heartburn.

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Eating Habits

Apart from choosing the right foods, paying attention to eating habits can also play a significant role in reducing heartburn during pregnancy. To prevent acid reflux, it is recommended to eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of three large meals. Slow down while eating, chew food thoroughly, and avoid lying down immediately after eating. Additionally, staying upright for at least an hour after meals can help in preventing stomach acids from flowing back into the esophagus and causing discomfort.

Stay Hydrated

Proper hydration is crucial for overall health during pregnancy and can also aid in reducing heartburn symptoms. Drinking plenty of water between meals helps in diluting stomach acids which may help alleviate heartburn. However, it is essential to avoid drinking large amounts of fluids during meal times as this can contribute to gastric distension and trigger acid reflux. Opt for sipping water throughout the day rather than gulping down large quantities at once.

Lifestyle Modifications for Managing Heartburn During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, it is common for women to experience heartburn due to hormonal changes and the pressure exerted on the stomach by the growing baby. While it may be uncomfortable, there are lifestyle modifications that can help manage and alleviate heartburn symptoms. Here are some tips on how to get rid of heartburn during pregnancy:

1. Eat small, frequent meals: Instead of three large meals a day, opt for smaller meals spread throughout the day. This can help prevent your stomach from becoming too full and triggering heartburn symptoms.

2. Avoid trigger foods: Certain foods can exacerbate heartburn during pregnancy. Some common trigger foods include spicy or fatty foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, onions, chocolate, and caffeine. Avoiding these triggers can help reduce the frequency of heartburn episodes.

3. Stay upright after eating: To prevent stomach acid from flowing back into your esophagus, try to stay upright for at least 30 minutes after eating. This can help gravity keep the contents of your stomach where they belong and reduce the chances of experiencing heartburn.

In addition to these lifestyle modifications, pregnant women can also benefit from wearing loose-fitting clothing, avoiding tobacco smoke, and maintaining a healthy weight to help manage heartburn symptoms during pregnancy. Making these changes can make a significant difference in reducing discomfort and promoting digestive health for both mom and baby.

Safe Remedies and Medications for Heartburn Relief During Pregnancy

Heartburn during pregnancy is a common issue that many expecting mothers face. It can be uncomfortable and sometimes even painful, but there are safe remedies and medications that can help alleviate the symptoms. One of the first steps in finding relief from heartburn during pregnancy is to make dietary and lifestyle changes. Certain foods and habits can trigger or worsen heartburn, so it’s essential to be mindful of what you consume.

When looking for safe remedies to ease heartburn during pregnancy, many women turn to natural remedies first. Drinking ginger tea, chewing on almonds, or having a glass of milk can help neutralize stomach acid and provide some relief. Additionally, eating smaller meals throughout the day instead of large ones can also prevent heartburn flare-ups. It’s crucial to avoid triggers like spicy, acidic, or fatty foods that can aggravate heartburn symptoms.

If natural remedies aren’t providing enough relief, there are over-the-counter medications that are generally considered safe to use during pregnancy. Antacids like Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox can help neutralize stomach acid and provide quick relief from heartburn discomfort. However, it’s essential to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any medication during pregnancy to ensure safety for both you and your baby.

Safe Remedies and MedicationsFor Heartburn Relief During Pregnancy
Drinking ginger teaCan help neutralize stomach acid
Eating smaller mealsAvoid large meals which could cause flare-ups
Antacids (Tums, Rolaids)Neutralize stomach acid for quick relief

Tips for Sleeping Comfortably With Heartburn During Pregnancy

Elevate Your Upper Body

One of the most effective ways to alleviate heartburn symptoms while sleeping during pregnancy is to elevate your upper body. You can achieve this by using extra pillows to prop yourself up or investing in a wedge pillow specifically designed for this purpose. By keeping your upper body elevated, you can help prevent stomach acid from creeping up your esophagus, which is a common cause of heartburn.

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Avoid Eating Before Bedtime

To reduce the likelihood of experiencing heartburn at night, it’s advisable to avoid eating large meals close to bedtime. Try to have your last meal at least two to three hours before going to bed to give your body enough time to digest food properly. Additionally, steer clear of spicy, acidic, or fatty foods that are known triggers for heartburn. Opt for lighter, more easily digestible snacks if you do feel hungry before bedtime.

Sleep on Your Left Side

Another tip for sleeping comfortably with heartburn during pregnancy is to sleep on your left side. This position can help keep stomach acid in your stomach where it belongs, reducing the likelihood of it flowing back up into your esophagus and causing discomfort. If you’re having trouble staying on your left side throughout the night, consider using pillows as support or placing a rolled-up towel behind your back for added comfort and stability.

When to Seek Medical Help for Severe Heartburn Symptoms in Pregnancy

During pregnancy, experiencing occasional heartburn is common due to hormonal changes and the growing uterus putting pressure on the stomach. However, severe or persistent heartburn symptoms should not be ignored, as they can indicate a more serious underlying issue. If you find that you are unable to manage your heartburn with dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, or over-the-counter remedies, it may be time to seek medical help.

Persistent heartburn during pregnancy can sometimes be a sign of a more serious condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is when stomach acid regularly flows back up into the esophagus, causing discomfort and potential damage. If you are experiencing severe heartburn frequently, especially if accompanied by other symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, weight loss, or vomiting blood, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider.

In some cases, untreated GERD during pregnancy can lead to complications such as inflammation of the esophagus or even ulcers. Your healthcare provider may recommend prescription medications that are safe to take during pregnancy to help manage your symptoms and prevent any potential complications. It is crucial to communicate openly with your healthcare provider about your heartburn symptoms so that they can provide appropriate care and guidance on how to get rid of heartburn during pregnancy.


In conclusion, dealing with heartburn during pregnancy can be challenging, but it is important to prioritize your digestive health for the well-being of both you and your baby. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and effective remedies for heartburn, you can take proactive steps to alleviate discomfort and promote better digestion during this crucial time.

It’s essential to make dietary changes and lifestyle modifications that can help reduce the frequency and intensity of heartburn episodes. Avoiding trigger foods, eating smaller meals more frequently, staying hydrated, maintaining good posture after meals, and avoiding lying down right after eating are all simple yet effective ways to manage heartburn symptoms naturally.

If home remedies are not providing sufficient relief, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before taking any medications for heartburn during pregnancy. They can guide you on safe options for managing severe symptoms while ensuring the health of both you and your baby. Remember, taking care of your digestive health is an integral part of a healthy pregnancy journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Relieve Heartburn During Pregnancy?

Heartburn during pregnancy is common due to increased levels of hormones relaxing the muscles of the digestive tract, allowing stomach acid to rise. To relieve heartburn, try eating smaller meals, avoiding trigger foods like spicy or greasy items, and staying upright after eating.

Why Is My Heartburn So Bad During Pregnancy?

The severity of heartburn during pregnancy can be attributed to a few factors. The hormonal changes that relax the muscles in the digestive tract can lead to more frequent occurrences of heartburn. Additionally, as the baby grows, it puts pressure on the stomach which can exacerbate symptoms.

Can Water Stop Heartburn During Pregnancy?

Drinking water might provide temporary relief from heartburn during pregnancy by helping to neutralize stomach acid and wash it back down into the stomach. However, it may not completely stop heartburn since it doesn’t address the root cause of increased acidity and relaxation of digestive muscles.

It’s still important to make dietary and lifestyle changes for long-lasting relief.

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