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What can I do if I face heartburn and indigestion during pregnancy?

Hormones and the pressure of the growing uterus cause indigestion and heartburn. Pregnancy hormones slow down the muscles of the digestive tract. So food tends to move more slowly and digestion is sluggish. This causes many pregnant women to feel bloated.

Hormones also relax the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. This allows food and acids to come back up from the stomach to the esophagus. The food and acid causes the burning feeling of heartburn. As your baby gets bigger, the uterus pushes on the stomach making heartburn more common in later pregnancy.

Eat 6 to 8 small meals instead of 3 large meals — eat slowly. Drink fluids between meals — not with meals. Don't eat greasy and fried foods. Avoid citrus fruits or juices and spicy foods. Do not eat or drink within a few hours of bedtime. Do not lie down right after meals.

Symptoms do not improve after trying these suggestions.

This information is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.