Indigestion and heartburn in pregnancy: Tips to help to alleviate symptoms

Indigestion and heartburn are one of those nasty things that many pregnant women experience towards the third trimester.

It’s a natural side-effect that comes from having a small human take up space inside your body, pushing on your organs, causing that delightfully awful burning acid-reflux sensation inside your throat. Feeling as though you may bring up food every time you burp is never a pleasant experience, let alone when you are pregnant. Bleurgh! It almost seems like an unfair trade-off given how beautiful and glowy we are *supposed* to be feeling. 

Avoiding indigestion and heartburn

But hoorah, here are some suggestions that may help to alleviate and even prevent indigestion

Avoid acidic and spicy foods

The following foods are known to exacerbate indigestion and heartburn, so avoiding them may help reduce your symptoms.

  • Curries
  • Tomato-based products
  • Citrus
  • Garlic
  • Onions 

Give coffee and chocolate the heave-ho

Caffeinated products have been shown to make indigestion worse, so it might be time to have a break from them to see if it helps. Sadly, this also includes chocolate, too. 


Read more about pregnancy health:


Keep upright

To avoid reflux, it’s best to keep upright after eating. Try and allow for a few hours between eating dinner and going to bed for your best chance at avoiding the nasty after-effects. If you find you’re getting indigestion long after you’ve eaten dinner, though, you can try sleeping with your shoulders slightly propped up so that your head and shoulders are higher than your feet.

Stick to loose-fitting clothing

Any clothing that is tight around your chest can cause indigestion due to the increased pressure on your belly and abdomen. To avoid making it worse, try wearing loose-fitted clothing. Get your pregnant flowy goddess vibes on. 

Chewing gum

Some research shows that chewing gum increases the saliva flow, which then reduces the acid levels in the oesophagus. So the next time you’re in the chocolate aisle … maybe give chewing gum a go, instead.  

Pregnant tummy

Munch on papaya

Pawpaw is rich in digestive enzymes known to soothe the stomach and be great for gut health. Plus, it’s delicious! It may be helpful at aiding digestion and discouraging heartburn, however, there isn’t a lot of research to back this one up – but it can’t hurt. 

Desperate times call for desperate measures

During my last pregnancy which seemed to go on for like a year and a half (and hey… 44 weeks is almost a year and a half, right?) I experienced horrible indigestion. One of the recommendations that my darling midwife kept making time and time again, but I refused, was to try was sipping a tablespoon of bicarb soda in water. Eventually out of desperation one day, I tried it. And it bloody worked! It neutralises the acid and thus, stops the burn. It wouldn’t be my first go-to regarding taste, but it probably would be in terms of efficacy, if you can hack it. 

If all else fails though, there is one remedy which has a 100 percent success rate. Are ready for it?

It’s giving birth. Good luck!

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