Updated: Apr 24, 2019
It’s not uncommon to experience heartburn when you’re pregnant, and it is not a cause for concern.
Heartburn, indigestion and bloatedness can masquerade as chest pain during pregnancy.
Heartburn in pregnancy
Heartburn occurs because of progesterone hormone, which relaxes muscles of the gut and the sphincters. This results in a reflux of gastric juices back up into the esophagus. The womb also occupies space and compresses on the stomach, increasing the pressure. Thirdly, gallstones also worsen heartburn during pregnancy.
Burning sensations in the chest, especially after full meals, are common and caused by slowing of gut and relaxing of the sphincters. This causes acid reflux or heartburn.
8 highly effective ways to reduce heartburn
#1 Avoid spicy food and caffeinated drinks that upset your stomach.
#2 Eat frequent and small meals to replace 3 big meals.
#3 Chew gum which stimulates saliva flow to neutralise gastric acid.
#4 Eat early dinner, best before 8 pm. This gives time to digest before you sleep.
#5 Sleep propped up with 2 pillows.
#6 Wear loose, relaxed clothing; no tight jeans or dress please!
#7 Take some heartburn medicines eg. antacid that contains magnesium may ease discomfort. These medicines are effective and safe.
#8 Quit smoking. Smoking worsens reflux and heart burn. (If you're having trouble quitting, get into a smoking cessation program.)