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Pregnant woman suffering with heartburn

Is heartburn a part of your pregnancy?

One of the most uncomfortable, annoying and unfortunately common pregnancy symptoms is heartburn. Luckily, it is completely harmless, but that doesn’t mean you don’t want to avoid it.

You may have never suffered from heartburn before, but chances are that once you are more than 20 weeks pregnant you will begin to experience heartburn, which is also known as acid indigestion or acid reflux. Heartburn will then probably be a part of the rest of your pregnancy and will probably also give you trouble sleeping.

Simply put, heartburn is an unpleasant burning sensation that you feel from the bottom of your chest up to your lower throat. It is caused by both your pregnancy hormones and your ever-expanding uterus. During pregnancy, your progesterone levels increase in order to relax your uterine muscles. However, progesterone also relaxes your stomach muscles and the muscular valve which keeps your gastric acid in your stomach. This means these gastric acids can be released from your stomach and they are what cause that burning sensation in your chest. Later in pregnancy, your ever-growing baby pushes on your digestive organs which causes the release of more gastric acids.

How do I avoid heartburn during pregnancy?