Indigestion or heartburn during pregnancy affects about half of all pregnant women because during pregnancy the muscle that closes off the upper part of the stomach from the oesophagus (gullet) loosens and allows digestive juices from the stomach to flow back up the oesophagus and irritate it. In late pregnancy the enlarging uterus presses on the stomach and aggravates the condition.
Heartburn can be very uncomfortable but is not harmful. Symptoms may be reduced by eating small, frequent meals so that there is never too much food present but always enough to absorb the stomach acid. Antacids can usually be taken safely at most stages of pregnancy, and may be used to relieve more severe symptoms. The problem disappears when the baby is born.