Heartburn, while painful, is harmless. It feels like a burning sensation that often extends from the bottom of your breastbone up to your lower throat.
Heartburn is very common when you’re pregnant. Up to 8 out of 10 pregnant women develop heartburn at some point. The symptoms usually disappear after giving birth.
Certain positions and movements can trigger heartburn. Some of the following strategies may give you some relief:
Avoid high-fat or spicy dishes, chocolate, citrus fruits or juices, and coffee. (No alcohol either—which is bad for your baby anyway.) Choose food and drink that’s easy to digest instead.
Break down your meals into smaller portions. Try eating less at more regular intervals so there is less time for the acid to build up in your stomach.
After eating, try to sit up straight and stay upright for at least an hour. You may notice that heartburn symptoms are worse if you bend over or slump.
For some, the heartburn is worse at night. To manage this, do not eat or drink anything (except water) three hours before bedtime.
Have the head of your mattress raised by about four inches. Place cushions under your mattress or raise the head of the bed by placing sturdy objects under the feet.
Use gravity to keep your stomach acids down. Make sure the bed is steady and safe before you get in. Do not prop yourself up with pillows because it might put pressure on your abdomen.
Ask your doctor about medications you are taking. Some medicines can make heartburn worse.
Smoking also causes heartburn. If you haven’t stopped yet for the sake of your baby, stop now.
Your doctor can also prescribe some treatments for relief. Not all heartburn remedies are safe, especially if you are at risk for high blood pressure or pre-eclampsia. Consult with your doctor to get the right prescription that is safe for your pregnancy and is right for your symptoms.