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Why Do I Have Heartburn During My Pregnancy?

Heart Burn

For many women heartburn can become quite the nuisance during pregnancy, even if they rarely experienced heartburn in the past. Many women experience frequent and/or very bothersome acid reflux. This is because the weight of the baby in the stomach – and the shifting of all the organs to accommodate the pregnancy – puts a lot of pressure on the stomach.  As a result, the acid of the stomach goes up to the esophagus and causes the burning sensation known as heartburn. 

Here is some helpful information to help you manage your pregnancy heartburn.

How common is heartburn during pregnancy?

On average, roughly 10% of women experience heartburn during pregnancy. 

Is Pregnancy heartburn dangerous?

You don’t need to be concerned for you or your developing baby if you experience acid reflux during pregnancy. This symptom is mostly just a bother and particularly uncomfortable for a pregnant individual who is likely already dealing with other bothersome pregnancy symptoms.

However, it is important to note that a symptom of preeclampsia, a complication that causes high blood pressure in pregnant women often has similar symptoms to heartburn. If you experience sudden abdomen or shoulder pain along with acid reflux symptoms and it doesn’t seem to subside after some time, we recommend contacting any of our Garden OBGYN offices in Long Island, Queens, or Manhattan to be safe. We can provide you with a consultation to check for signs of preeclampsia and give you peace of mind.  

How can pregnant women get relief from acid reflux?

If you just ate a meal and are concerned about experiencing pregnancy heartburn, resist the urge to lay down for one hour after a meal. This may mean you need to try your best to organize your meal schedule to not be right before a meal or nap. If you find yourself trying to sleep but experiencing heartburn, prop yourself up on pillows to lay at a comfortable incline.

If the acid reflux is really bothersome and you feel you need the assistance of an over the counter medicine that’s safe for pregnancy,  you can take some Mylanta or Tums.

Does the size or frequency of meals impact pregnancy heartburn?

If three normal sized meals seems to induce heartburn, you may want to try switching to five smaller meals. This may help reduce the production of acid in the stomach. Also try to avoid foods that you notice trigger the burning sensation. This may be fatty foods, spicy foods, citric fruits, carbonated drinks, acidic foods. 

Manage your heartburn during pregnancy

Managing your heartburn can help you to feel as comfortable as possible during your pregnancy. Our obstetric providers are available to help you figure out the best way to get relief from this unwanted symptom, and can offer tips on how to prevent it from occurring if its not something you have experienced yet. 

Our offices are open seven days a week to help you feel well taken care of, at your convenience throughout your pregnancy journey. If you have any concerns about heartburn or other pregnancy symptoms, we encourage you to schedule a consultation to talk to your Garden healthcare provider. 

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