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Throughout pregnancy your body goes through a lot of changes, both physical and hormonal. While some of these changes are visible, others are not and can affect you in ways you might not have expected. Heartburn and indigestion is something which lots women suffer from during their pregnancy, with as many as 8 out of 10 women experiencing indigestion at some point during their pregnancy.[1]

Symptoms of heartburn & indigestion during pregnancy

If you suffer from heartburn and indigestion during pregnancy, the symptom are the same as for anyone else with the condition. Often heartburn and indigestion is more noticeable after eating a meal, however at times there can be a delay before symptoms begin. Signs of heartburn and indigestion can include:

  • Feeling bloated or full
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Feeling a burning sensation in your chest

While it is possible to experience heartburn and indigestion at any point during your pregnancy, symptoms may become more severe during the later stages of pregnancy, from 27 weeks onwards.[2]

Causes of heartburn & indigestion during pregnancy

Indigestion occurs when stomach acid comes into contact with the lining of your digestive system.[3] When this stomach acid leaks into your oesophagus this can result in heartburn. As your body changes during pregnancy, you are more likely to experience symptoms of heartburn and indigestion for various reasons including:

  • Hormonal changes to your body.
  • As your baby grows, your growing womb may put more pressure on your stomach. This is turn can lead to symptoms of heartburn and indigestion.
  • During pregnancy the lower oesophageal sphincter can relax; this can make it easier for stomach acid to leak back up into the oesophagus.[4]

How to help heartburn & indigestion during pregnancy

Suffering from heartburn and indigestion is not fun, especially when you are pregnant, but you don’t need let it get you down. There are plenty of ways to help combat symptoms of heartburn and indigestion so that you can enjoy your pregnancy. Here are some examples, of a few lifestyle changes you could make:

  • Certain foods have been linked to triggering heartburn and indigestion. You may find that avoiding the following foods will help to alleviate symptoms of heartburn and indigestion:

-          Tea & Coffee

-          Chocolate

-          Cola

-          Fried, Fatty & Spicy Food

-          Citrus Fruits & Drinks [5]

  • Eating smaller meals more regularly throughout the day, rather than three big meals could also help to prevent symptoms of heartburn and indigestion.[6]
  • Leave at least 3 to 4 hours after eating before laying down, or going to bed. Allowing your body enough time to digest your food properly can help you to avoid heartburn and indigestion.[7]
  • Take Gaviscon. If heartburn or indigestion does strike whilst you are pregnant you could try taking Gaviscon, which is suitable for use if you are pregnant. Gaviscon works by neutralising excess stomach acid and forming a protective barrier on top of the stomach. This can help to relieve symptoms of heartburn and indigestion.

If you are pregnant and you are suffering with heartburn then you don’t need to continue doing so. Of course, it is always best to see your doctor or GP. Many Gaviscon products are suitable for use during pregnancy. Always read the label. Medicines can affect the unborn baby. Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any-medicine in pregnancy.

All information presented is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. Gaviscon for heartburn and indigestion. Always read the label. Suitable from 12 years old. If symptoms are severe or prolonged you should contact a doctor or pharmacist.