Heartburn During Pregnancy

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Heartburn during pregnancy .

Although pregnancy is indeed the miracle of creating a new life, this miracle does not come without its inconveniences. Pregnant women have to deal with the weight gain, the swollen ankles, with purchasing maternity clothes, and a multitude of other annoyances, big and small.

One common problem that some women seem surprised to learn about, once it happens to them, is the link between pregnancy and heartburn symptoms. In fact, many women experience heartburn for the first time when pregnant. There are a few reasons for this.

The Hormones

One of the reasons that pregnancy and heartburn symptoms seem to go hand in hand is because of the different hormones that are in the body during pregnancy, particularly progesterone. This hormone increases in the system when pregnant, and leads to the relaxation of smooth muscle tissue in the body, which aids in the labor process.

However a consequence of this is that the smooth muscle in places other than the uterus is affected, which includes the sphincter at the end of the esophagus. When this happens, acid can get pushed through and into the esophagus, which causes heartburn, a definite link between pregnancy and heartburn symptoms.

The other, less direct link between pregnancy and heartburn symptoms is that the production of progesterone also slows the actions of peristalsis, which are the rhythmic contractions of smooth muscle that move food down the esophagus and through the intestines. Because this is slowed, food tends to stay in the stomach longer, which is a condition that encourages heartburn.

The Baby

Of course, hormones aren’t the only problem. As the baby grows during the course of pregnancy, the abdominal cavity grows more crowded, with the stomach getting pushed up slightly. This is a common link between pregnancy and heartburn symptoms during the second half of pregnancy, since with the stomach forced to be compressed slightly, it’s easier for acid to push out of the stomach and into the esophagus, causing heartburn.


While the discomfort of heartburn is certainly not anything a woman wants, the fact is, particularly because of the physical reasons it happens, it will probably come and go throughout the end of the pregnancy. The best bet to minimize this discomfort is to avoid caffeine, alcohol, smoking, and any foods that seem to further irritate the stomach.

Antacids can be used, but it is best to check with your physician before use, as some contain aluminum or aspirin, which you want to avoid when pregnant. Unfortunately, it’s hard to avoid heartburn while pregnant, but given the end result, a new life, its certainly worth the added discomfort. If you’ve liked the video give it a thumb up, leave a comment and share with your friends.

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