Health & Advice

Why is Heartburn a Common Pregnancy Problem?

Around 80% of all pregnant women suffer heartburn by the third trimester of their pregnancy.1 Apart from causing the pain associated with heartburn, there should be no other ill effect to either you or your baby. There are two main reasons for this condition however – hormonal changes and the growing baby.

Hormonal changes

The hormone progesterone can cause muscles to relax. There is an increase in the levels of this hormone during pregnancy. One of the muscles that can be affected is the muscle (sphincter) at the entrance to your stomach. This muscle is responsible for opening to allow food to pass down into the stomach and closing to keep the contents in place.

So, if it relaxes, your stomach contents, including stomach acid, can pass up (reflux) into the oesophagus (the gullet or food pipe). The lining of the oesophagus can't withstand the effect of the acid in the same way the stomach lining can, so the pain of heartburn can result.

The growing baby

As your baby grows, it puts pressure on the digestive tract, stomach and intestines. Physical pressure on the stomach can result in pushing acid upwards and into the oesophagus. Again, this can cause heartburn.

Preventing heartburn during pregnancy

As we've already said, most pregnant women suffer heartburn, but here are some tips to help you try to keep its occurrence to a minimum:

  • Eat small meals often to help prevent the stomach from becoming too full
  • Try to eat slowly and sip liquids during meals
  • Sit or stand after a meal rather than lying down. Try not to do anything too active straight away, especially if it involves bending forward
  • If you can, avoid known triggers for heartburn, such as spicy foods, fatty foods, caffeine and chocolate
  • Wear loose clothing to avoid putting any extra pressure around your waist and abdomen.

These tips should help. But you may still suffer from occasional heartburn. Reassuringly however, there are some treatments that are suitable throughout your pregnancy to relieve the symptoms of heartburn.

Treating heartburn during pregnancy

Gaviscon Double Action is indicated for use during pregnancy*. It isn’t absorbed into your bloodstream, and it doesn't need to be in order to provide effective relief.

Gaviscon works in your stomach in 2 ways:

  • It forms a raft over the stomach contents and helps keep stomach acid in place
  • It neutralises stomach acid.

Furthermore, Gaviscon Advance also gets to work instantly and lasts up to twice as long as antacids.

Pregnancy should be a special time for all concerned, although heartburn can be painful and troublesome for you. However, if you follow the tips for prevention and remember there is a treatment to help relieve symptoms, they can help you to keep your discomfort to a minimum.


*Medicines can affect the unborn baby. Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medicine in pregnancy.

Related Articles

Keen & Green Fries

Keen & Green Fries   Courgette fries with rosemary salt INGREDIENTS Rosemary salt 10g rosema...

PH- FC Burger

PH Neutral recipes: Buttermilk and hazelnut fried chicken with watermelon and sauerkraut in a bri...

The New York Cabby

PH Neutral recipes: Burnt sweetheart cabbage bagel with beetroot borani, beetroot crisps, dill, c...

Sign up to newsletters and get access to
Sign up via Facebook
Sign up via email
Please enter your name
Please enter your email
Would you like to receive personalised offers and tailored information from RB UK Commercial Ltd, ("RB", "we", "our") about Gaviscon and our other health brands and receive updates on exclusive events and competitions based on your purchase history and browsing history? As this information may relate to your health, which is sensitive information, we need your explicit consent:
I consent to RB sending me personalised communications by email and tailoring content based on my purchase history and browsing history, including information which may relate to my health. You can withdraw your consent to this processing and stop receiving emails at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in any of the emails we send you.  Please see our privacy policy  for more details how we use your personal data.
To continue please agree to the above terms
Thank you, you have successfully signed up!
Please use the voucher code below at the check-out on
Thank you, please use the voucher code below at the check-out on


file_copy Copy to clipboard Copied


you've signed up
If you'd like to receive FREE DELIVERY on your purchase of Gaviscon products at Your-Pharmacy. Please remember to tick the offer terms before you click the submit button.
You can also use your free delivery on any of the products on
Explore the other brands available:
We are processing your request...