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Throughout pregnancy, there are a lot of changes happening in your body – both visible and not visible. What foods you used to love may now make you feel nauseous and what activities you used to find fun may now feel impossible.

Heartburn and indigestion is something many pregnant women suffer with so we asked four women what they found hardest when they were pregnant when it came to unruly stomach acid.

“Heartburn and acid reflux is definitely not one of the fun and beautiful things that happen to your body while pregnant. Your uterus gets bigger and squashes your stomach so your stomach acid is actually pushed upwards.

I had heartburn throughout both of my pregnancies and the first time I went to my doctor about it and actually just ended up sleeping upright for the last month and a half of my pregnancy.

By the time my second pregnancy came around I was more prepared. I started eating smaller, more regular meals. I ate slower and wore baggy clothes at all times. It was a lot more bearable than my first time round, that’s one thing!

If you are pregnant and suffering from heartburn then don’t let it get you down and ruin this time for you. There are plenty of ways to help combat it and many over the counter medications are safe for pregnant women.”

  • Catherine; Mum of Two; 35

“I don’t want to tell people what they should and shouldn’t eat when they are pregnant and suffering from heartburn or indigestion but what helped for me was avoiding the following:

  • Tea & Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Carbonated Drinks
  • Fried, Fatty & Spicy Food
  • Tomatoes & Mustard
  • Citrus Fruits & Drinks

I know it sounds like you are giving up a lot but I honestly felt a lot better when I realised that these are some of the main triggers for heartburn and indigestion – even for people who aren’t pregnant! It might be a case that one or two of these things may be the cause of your heartburn but it’s always good to be safe rather than sorry, I find.”

  • Julie; Mum of One; 28

“When I was suffering with heartburn while I was pregnant, I thought it was the worst pain I could experience – until I went into labour of course. It took me a few weeks to realise that I could take medication to help ease it and another few weeks after that to realise there are actually ways you can prevent it too.

Staying away from certain food and drink, of course, was a massive part in preventing heartburn for me. I also found that if I left a long time between eating and laying down then I wasn’t as likely to suffer. Although, admittedly, sometimes I did not stick to this rule.

When you are laying down, it makes it easier for your stomach acid to rise back up into your esophagus, which is what apparently causes the pain. Let gravity do its job for a while and stay sat up for as long as possible after eating would be my advice.”

  • Patricia; Mum of Two; 33

Consider over-the-counter (OTC) medication

If you are pregnant and you are experiencing heartburn, then you should not proceed with it. Of course, if you are unsure, then it is better to see your doctor or general practitioner but you can try over the counter medication options by contacting a health care provider. If symptoms are severe or prolonged, you should see a doctor or pharmacist.

* This article is intended for educational purposes. All information presented is not intended to diagnose or prescribe.

Article published 25 March 2021