safe motherhood



Heartburn is an unpleasant burning sensation in your oesophagus (gullet), felt at intervals during the day and night. It is often worse when you have eaten, or are lying down. About half of all pregnant women get heartburn and most find it gets better within hours of giving birth.

Heartburn is caused by small amounts of stomach acid leaking from the top opening of the stomach. The muscle controlling this opening is usually tightly closed, but it becomes looser when pregnancy hormones make all your muscles relax a little. Upward pressure from your growing baby adds to the problem.

What might help

• Avoid eating and drinking at the same time.
• Eat six small meals, rather than two or three large ones.
• Avoid eating late at night.
• Avoid fatty and spicy foods.
• Dairy produce may help, for example, plain yoghurt or milk.
• Bend your knees and crouch down to pick things up (instead of bending over).
• Try sleeping propped up on several firm pillows.
• Ask your midwife or GP to prescribe an antacid drug.
• Ask a qualified herbalist about safe herbal remedies