You’ve possibly had heart burn some time in your life before now, but it often gets worse during pregnancy. This is mainly due to hormonal changes which relax the valve to your stomach so acid can pass back into your oesophagus.
Your growing uterus pressing against your stomach can also increase the symptoms of heartburn, especially in your third trimester. It’s more likely to strike you after a meal, but don’t be surprised if it sneaks up on you at other times too.
What can I do to ease it?
Heartburn and indigestion aren’t dangerous to you or your baby, but that doesn’t make it comfortable! It can be painful and it can make it difficult for you to relax and get a decent night’s sleep. There are a few tips to try to ease it, but if it’s a major problem you can ask your doctor or lead maternity carer for advice, or talk to a pharmacist about over-the-counter options that are safe for pregnant women.
In the meantime, try these tips to be more comfortable:
- Perfect posture – as tempting as it might be to laze on the sofa during a meal, sitting up straight while you’re eating can help by taking pressure off your stomach.
- Take a break from rich food – things like fried or spicy foods can trigger an attack of heart burn, try foods with less fat, and spices.
- Graze – try eating smaller meals more often, rather than three big meals a day.
- Love milk – a cold glass of milk can work wonders for soothing heart burn.
- Sit up and snooze - sleeping in a semi-upright position can sometimes help, just make sure you’re well propped up on pillows so you’re still comfortable.