Many women suffer from both heartburn (acid reflux) and indigestion during pregnancy and it tends to become more common as the pregnancy progresses.In fact, by the third trimester nearly three quarters of pregnant women can suffer from heartburn.
There are two main reasons why heartburn and, to a lesser extent, indigestion are common at this time.
- The surge in the hormone progesterone causes muscles to relax. This includes the sphincter (ring of muscle) at the entrance to the stomach. When this relaxes, stomach acids are able to travel back up into the oesophagus (food pipe) causing heartburn.
- During the latter stages of pregnancy symptoms can also be caused by the baby physically putting pressure on the woman's digestive tract.
The symptoms of heartburn and indigestion are the same for anyone else who suffers. Although harmless to you and your baby, it can be painful and leave you feeling uncomfortable. There are some simple steps you can take if you are pregnant and suffering from heartburn or indigestion.
- eating a healthy diet
sitting and/or sleeping in a more upright position
You can also talk to your health practitioner as there are some products in the Gaviscon range that are suitable for pregnant women.
Medicines can affect the unborn baby. Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medicine in pregnancy.