5 Foods That Cause Heartburn During Pregnancy

Soothe the pain of pregnancy heartburn with these smart food substitutions.

What causes heartburn in pregnancy?

Has heartburn become a problem for you during pregnancy? As the uterus enlarges, especially after about the 20th week, it pushes the stomach up against the diaphragm, condensing stomach contents and moving them up the esophagus. This can lead to acid reflux. To avoid reflux, you'll want to eliminate common trigger foods from your diet. But what if the trigger foods are healthy foods? You don't want to lose the benefits of folic acid and other nutrients by avoiding, say, orange juice, says Pat Baird, RD. She suggests you find ways to help your stomach deal with them. Here are fixes for those foods most likely to bring on the burn.

Citrus Foods

Foods like oranges, grapefruits and tomatoes can all bring on that burning sensation after meals.

The solution: Eat tomatoes on a turkey sandwich instead of in a salad. Try low-acid orange juice after you've had your morning cereal.

Coffee and Soda

Caffeinated beverages are known heartburn triggers.

The solution: In addition to limiting your coffee and soda intake (and limiting caffeine is good for pregnancy anyway) always put something else in your belly before drinking caffeinated beverages (like a bagel), or simply opt for decaf versions.


The solution: This is a no-brainer -- no drinking during pregnancy.

Fatty foods

Fried and fatty foods tend to bring on heartburn because they take longer to digest, making it easier for food and stomach acids to slosh back up into the esophagus.

The solution: Choose leaner cuts of meat and low-fat dairy products; bake instead of frying.


The solution: Eat less. Try limiting your intake to a drizzle of chocolate sauce or only two squares of a chocolate bar -- and not on an empty stomach.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles