Heartburn during pregnancy

Heartburn is the feeling or burning or pain in the chest, it is caused by stomach acid travelling back up towards the throat.



  • Burning or pain in the chest especially after eating or drinking.
  • Increased burping.
  • A dry cough.
  • Bringing up small amounts of food / vomit into the throat or mouth.
  • Your symptoms may worsen when you lay down too quickly after eating or if you bend over.


  • Change in hormones.
  • Increased pressure from growing baby.
  • Increased stress (often associated with pregnancy) evidence shows that stomach acid increases with stress.


Here is what the evidence says about the treatment options during pregnancy:


Medication – From the little evidence there is regarding heartburn remedies in pregnancy, it seems that medication is still the best option, but there is not enough data to say which medication is best and often it can come down to personal preference).


Yoga – As stress can influence stomach acid, it is thought that Yoga can be beneficial to the symptoms. There is evidence available for its uses and we know that yoga can help other pregnancy related symptoms also. Yoga has no known negative side effects in pregnancy, therefore it is definitely worth a try if you are suffering with heartburn and want to avoid medication.

There are lots of Online Yoga programmes available, have a look at our Top 5 here (and why we love them)!  You can also read our blog on how yoga can help in other ways.



Probioticsevidence suggests that probiotic use can be beneficial for symptoms such as regurgitation and heartburn. A study in 2021 also reported positively on the safety of probiotics during pregnancy and when breastfeeding so they are a good option if you are struggling with these symptoms. There are many different types of bacteria associated with improved gastro-oesophageal issues but look for Lactobacillus,  Bacillus subtilis and Enterococcus faecium in particular.

For all the information you need on which probiotics and why, have a look here and for our top picks of probiotics, click here.


Acupunctureevidence is limited for the benefits of acupuncture on heartburn, but it is available (if you dig deep). This study found that acupuncture improved the ability to sleep and eat in women suffering with heartburn but it did not compare to regular heartburn medication. If you would like to try acupuncture as a treatment option then give your local Physiotherapist clinic a call and ask if they have AACP registered Physiotherapists. Alternatively seek out a local traditional acupuncturist but make sure they are trained in pregnancy safe procedures.





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Please Note:
Although the posts on this site are written by fully qualified Physiotherapists, the advice is of a generalist nature and could not take into account the particular physical or medical condition of individual audience members. The information given is meant to be practical and informative but is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. The information available is not meant to replace any relationship that exists between an audience member and their GP, hospital specialist or other healthcare professional. If you are after individual advice or you are concerned about any of your symptoms you must consult your own therapist or healthcare provider.

About The Author

Abigail Taylor qualified as a Physiotherapist in 2005. She has a special interest in Women’s health Physiotherapy and research. Abigail is the founder of ‘Pain in the Bump’ which she developed whilst on her maternity leave with her second baby.