Indigestion in Pregnancy

Learn about the reasons behind indigestion in pregnancy, discover easy-to-follow self-care tips, and find out about the specialised treatments we offer in our clinics to alleviate this frequent but bothersome condition.

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woman experiencing acid reflux and indigestion in pregnancy

How common is pregnancy-related indigestion?

Pregnancy-related indigestion, also known as dyspepsia or acid reflux, is commonly experienced during pregnancy. Studies have reported that approximately 30-80% of pregnant women experience symptoms of indigestion during their pregnancy.

What is pregnancy-related indigestion?

Pregnancy-related indigestion, also known as dyspepsia or acid reflux, refers to the discomfort or burning sensation in the upper abdomen or chest experienced by pregnant women. 

Common symptoms inlcude:

  • Heartburn or a burning sensation in the chest
  • Acid reflux or regurgitation of food
  • Bloating and abdominal discomfort
  • Nausea or feeling sick
  • Burping or belching frequently
  • Feeling uncomfortably full after eating
  • Stomach pain or discomfort
  • A unpleasant or sour taste in the mouth, especially after eating

If you need further information, advice or reassurance, call the clinic on 07810 770347.

If you want to be seen straight away, book in online or call the number above if you prefer.

Learn more about our services here.

What are the causes of pregnancy-related indigestion?

Pregnancy-related indigestion, or dyspepsia, can be caused by several factors. During pregnancy, hormonal changes, especially an increase in progesterone, can relax various muscles. This includes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscle that usually stops stomach acid from going back up into the esophagus. As the baby grows, the uterus expands and presses on the stomach. This pressure can move digestive organs around and make acid reflux more likely. Also, the digestive system tends to work more slowly during pregnancy, which can lead to indigestion symptoms. The combination of these changes are why indigestion is common in pregnant women.

How can I help myself with pregnancy-related indigestion?

To help manage pregnancy-related indigestion, you can try the following self-care strategies:

  1. Eat small, frequent meals: Opt for smaller, more frequent meals to prevent overloading the stomach and reduce the chances of acid reflux 
  2. Avoid trigger foods: Identify and avoid foods and beverages that trigger indigestion symptoms, such as spicy or fatty foods, citrus fruits, and caffeinated drinks.
  3. Sit up after eating: Maintaining an upright position for at least an hour after meals can help allow gravity to help keep stomach acid down.
  4. Sleep with an elevated upper body: Use pillows or a wedge-shaped pillow to elevate your upper body during sleep, which can help prevent acid reflux.
  5. Consider antacids: Consult with your healthcare provider about suitable antacids or acid-reducing medications that are safe to use during pregnancy/
  6. Consider adding acupuncture to your self-help measures.

Reference: NHS. (2018). Indigestion and heartburn in pregnancy. Retrieved from


How can acupuncture help indigestion in pregnancy?

Indigestion often occurs during pregnancy. A 2009 study investigated how acupuncture could help with pregnancy-related indigestion (dyspepsia). The findings revealed that those who received acupuncture experienced notable relief from their symptoms. Additionally, this group relied less on medication and saw more improvement in their daily activities compared to those who did not receive acupuncture.

If you are struggling with indigestion in pregnancy, contact us to learn about how acupuncture at our clinics in Birmingham or Walsall can help you. 

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Frequently Asked Questions


What happens during my initial consultation?

Our priority upon your arrival is to ensure that you feel welcome, comfortable, and well-informed about your appointment. Typically, your initial consultation will last between 45 minutes to an hour. One of our experienced osteopaths will meet you and begin by attentively listening to you. We will inquire about your general health, any current pain you may be experiencing, your medical history, medications you may be taking, and review any medical examination results.
After this initial discussion, we may conduct specific tests to make a diagnosis. You may be asked to perform some gentle movements to allow us to evaluate your posture and mobility.
Using this important information, we will then create a personalized treatment plan tailored specifically to your needs.

What will happen AFTER an initial consultation?

During your second visit to our clinic, we will provide a detailed explanation of our findings from your history and examination. By the end of this session, you will be able to answer several crucial questions, including:

  • What is causing my symptoms?
  • What are the available treatment options?
  • How long is the expected recovery time?
  • How much treatment will be necessary based on your personalized treatment plan?
  • How much will your treatment cost?
  • What can I do to help myself?
  • What changes do I need to make to get better, faster?

We take the time to explain and clarify the causes of your symptoms and what can be done to alleviate them. At this stage, we will have created a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

What can I expect after my first treatment?

The response to treatment varies from person to person, as everyone is unique. The initial treatment is a crucial step in gauging the patient’s reaction to treatment and determining the best course of action to meet their individual needs.

Immediate relief may be experienced by some patients after the first session, while others may require multiple sessions to see significant progress. It’s vital for patients to realize that treatment is not a one-time fix and that it may take a number of sessions to achieve long-term results, particularly for chronic issues or long-standing musculoskeletal imbalances.

Is treatment painful?

The treatments themselves are not painful, but there might be some discomfort after the spinal manipulation as your body adjusts to the treatment and improved posture. This can result in stiffness in certain regions, which is a natural occurrence, and we recommend using an ice pack on the area for 10 minutes after your session and staying hydrated.

What causes the cracking sound during the treatment?

The cracking or popping sound heard during an osteopathic treatment is caused by the release of nitrogen gas from the joints. This is a normal and common occurrence and may not always happen depending on the technique used. The sound itself is neither significant or important to your progress.

What is the cost of the initial consultation?

The initial consultation is priced at £65, which comprises a thorough spinal evaluation including muscle and nerve testing, orthopaedic examination, as well as posture and movement analysis.

What is the cost of the each treatment?

Each treatment is £45 if you pay as you go. However, we do have discount options available depending on what works best for you.

What days and times are you open?

Monday – Friday 8am – 8pm,
Saturday – 8am – 2pm
Sunday – closed

How long will it take for me to feel better?

The length of time it will take to start to feel better varies a good deal between patients. This difference is based on several factors, including the how long you’ve had the problem and how severe it’s become, your lifestyle and demands of work and family as well as your individual capacity to respond to treatment.

Generally, patients with acute conditions (recent onset) may experience significant improvement within a few sessions, while those with chronic conditions (your symptoms have been present for more than 12 weeks) may require more treatment sessions to attain long-lasting outcomes.

The secrets to getting well are to always turn up for your treatment, follow the guidance of your practitioner and get involved in your own recovery. Don’t delegate your health to your practitioner. It is always a partnership!

What happens if I miss an appointment?

We recognize that we all have busy lives beyond the Backcare and Acupuncture Clinics, but please let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to keep your appointment, and we will make every effort to reschedule it for you. We will make every effort to accommodate your particular schedule