Got heartburn during pregnancy? Not fun. But here’s all you need to know about it. And we’ve got some tips to get rid of it, too.
Heartburn is a bit icky at the best of times.
Heartburn during pregnancy?
Not exactly ideal, we know.
However, it’s all for a good cause.
Despite the aches and pains, you’ll soon be gifted with a tiny little beautiful bundle of life.
Before they arrive, though, you’ve probably landed here with some questions about heartburn while pregnant.
And yep, we’ve got the answers.
In this article: 📝
- What does pregnant heartburn feel like?
- When does heartburn start with pregnancy?
- What does having heartburn mean while pregnant?
- What relieves heartburn while pregnant?
- When should I be worried about heartburn during pregnancy?
What does pregnant heartburn feel like?
Call it whatever you like: indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn.
It’s all the same thing.
And the symptoms of heartburn while pregnant are much the same as heartburn while not pregnant.
Nope, they’re not our favorite feelings either:
- A burning sensation in the chest or in the throat.
- Food coming back up.
- Fullness, heaviness, or bloating.
- Burping or belching.
- Feeling sick – or, at times, being sick.
As you’ll probably know, they’ll come on after eating or drinking usually – although it needn’t be right away.
These things can take a little while after eating to make themselves felt.
When does heartburn start with pregnancy?
So how early in pregnancy does heartburn start?
You can, of course, feel these symptoms at any time (you lucky thing).
Many mamas-to-be feel them right from the starting line – and will complete the whole course with this nasty collection of symptoms.
However, according to the UK NHS, they’re most likely to kick in hard around 27 weeks or after.
How long did your pregnancy heartburn last?
So if you’re in the throes of acid reflux in pregnancy, when can you expect it to end?
We’re sorry to say there’s no one answer for this ‒ heartburn during pregnancy can last anywhere from 9 months to just a few days here and there.
It depends on your body, your diet, and, sometimes, just luck of the draw.
What does having heartburn mean while pregnant?
It means that your little squirt inside you is sat on your stomach, that’s what it means!
As your uterus expands, there’s a fierce competition for space going on inside you.
And that means your stomach gets a bit squashed, squeezing out its contents like a tube of toothpaste.
However, it’s not all down to baby starting to grow.
Your pregnancy hormones are starting to make you relax, too.
And while that helps everything work as it should, it also means that the tight lid of your gastrointestinal system doesn’t close quite how it used to.
And that means it’s a little more likely to leak.
Plus, those pregnancy hormones can cause food aversions, which can also be a trigger of pregnancy heartburn.
Does heartburn mean your baby has hair?
There is an old wives’ tale that if you have heartburn during pregnancy, baby will be born with hair.
This isn’t actually the case ‒ while one very small study in 2006 showed that there could be a link between heartburn during pregnancy and baby being born with hair, it doesn’t show a cause.
So no, having heartburn in pregnancy won’t mean that baby will definitely be born with hair.
But it also doesn’t mean they won’t be born with hair, either.
Is heartburn a good sign in pregnancy?
It’s a question we hear a lot.
A good sign? Not really (it probably doesn’t feel like a good sign, does it?).
But a bad sign? Absolutely definitely not.
Heartburn is just one of those things that can happen in pregnancy.
And, by the way, it’s more likely to happen in women who have had heartburn before.
So if heartburn is a familiar feeling before you get pregnant, then it could be worth looking into preventative measures as soon as you can.
Why is my heartburn so bad at night in pregnancy?
If the hour is late and you’re awake wondering when your heartburn will let you sleep, you’re certainly not alone.
Heartburn at any times, but especially during pregnancy, is often worse when you’re lying down.
This is because you’re already experiencing acid reflux, where the stomach acid is already traveling higher than it should be, but gravity is further bolstering the heartburn.
This can also make you feel more nauseated and more uncomfortable.
But sleep is so important in pregnancy, so what can you do to get your precious shut-eye?
How can I sleep with heartburn while pregnant?
If you’re already experiencing heartburn while pregnant and you’re trying to sleep, there’s only really one thing you can try to ease the burn:
- Use pillows to prop yourself into a more upright position, to encourage the stomach acid to travel back down where it belongs.
But if you’ve already had heartburn (during pregnancy or before), it’s all about preventative measures:
- Avoid eating at least 2 hours before bed.
- Avoid rich or fatty foods before bed.
- Eat your meals while sat upright, not hunched over or slouched.
- Try eating smaller meals more often, rather than bigger meals less often.
- Try to avoid bending over within 2 hours of eating, too ‒ once the stomach acid has started to make it’s way up, it’s harder to stop it.
What relieves heartburn while pregnant?
Heartburn sucks, yes indeed.
And heartburn while pregnant really sucks.
But just because it happens, doesn’t mean that you have to simply grin and bear it.
Here are some tips on how to stop heartburn in pregnancy.
- Watch what you’re noshing. You might notice that you get particularly bad heartburn after eating certain foods. For some that’s spicy stuff, for others deep-fried, greasy meals. Whichever it is for you, consider avoiding. It’ll be there again once baby’s arrived on the scene.
- Keep meals small and slow. If you’re full to the brim after every meal, you’re more likely to feel the effects of heartburn. If you eat very quickly, that’ll worsen symptoms too. Keep it chill – and try not to gulp down drinks either.
- Stay upright after meals. Lolling around after dinner might make heartburn symptoms more likely. Maybe go for a little stroll or do some tidying instead. That means no late-night dinners either.
- Find some home remedies for heartburn during pregnancy. Chewing gum can help neutralize acid in your throat – while almonds, ginger, milk, and papaya are said to help, too.
What can I take for heartburn while pregnant?
This is for those who want to know how to get rid of heartburn during pregnancy fast.
What can you take?
Antacids are a classic cure for heartburn.
Generally, meds like these – and similar alginates – work great.
However, in pregnancy, many docs recommend that you stay clear of certain types of medicines containing sodium bicarbonate, aspirin, and magnesium trisilicate.
These are not always safe for mamas-to-be.
If in doubt, who ya gonna call?
The doctor, yes, or your healthcare professional.
They’ll be able to advise on the best thing for your discomfort.
Meaning you can better focus on getting prepped for the imminent arrival!
What can I drink to relieve heartburn?
There are some drinks that help with heartburn during pregnancy, but their effectiveness varies from mama to mama.
So while some of these certainly work for our Peanut moms-to-be, they may not work for you ‒ it can be a bit of trial and error:
- Milk (plant-based or dairy, and add a little honey for another pregnancy heartburn home remedy)
- Herbal teas (green tea and chamomile are favorites)
- Coconut water
- Lukewarm or ice-cold water (drunk in slow sips)
What are foods that won’t cause heartburn during pregnancy?
As explored earlier, every pregnancy and every mom-to-be is different, with different food tolerances.
So some heartburn-safe pregnancy foods for other mamas might not be as effective for you.
But here are some of the top pregnancy foods that don’t tend to cause heartburn while pregnant:
- Whole grains (like brown rice, whole meal bread, and oatmeal)
- Leafy greens (like spinach, broccoli, kale, and Swiss chard)
- Almonds ‒ these seem to be a pregnancy heartburn superfood, so if you’re experiencing heartburn right now (and you’re not allergic to almonds), grab a handful of these to chew on (slowly and thoroughly)
- Yogurt with honey
- Raw ginger or ginger sweets (like these on Amazon)
When should I be worried about heartburn during pregnancy?
There are a few rare cases when heartburn during pregnancy can be a precursor to something else, or it can cause health problems for you or your baby.
So if you’re experiencing any of these, speak with your doctor as soon as you can (better to be safe, mama, and your health matters):
- Non-stop heartburn for 12 hours
- Really bad heartburn during pregnancy that means you can’t keep food down or you’re doubled over in pain.
- Chest pains accompanying your heartburn.
- If you get sudden heartburn when you’ve never had it before.
- You get heartburn that feels different from usual.
The main thing with heartburn during pregnancy is not to worry, mama.
It’s one of the most common pregnancy symptoms, particularly in the second and third trimesters, as baby grows and puts more pressure on your organs.
But if you are at all worried about your pregnancy acid reflux, you’re allowed to ask your doctor for advice.
Or if you’re after other pregnancy heartburn home remedies from other moms who have been there, why not ask our Peanut community of moms and moms-to-be?
We think you’ll fit right in.