Why do pregnant women get heartburn and indigestion and what exactly are they?

Heartburn is sudden burning pain caused by the relaxing of the valve which joins the stomach to the oesophagus. This allows the acid from the stomach to escape into the oesophagus, splashing onto its sensitive lining and causes the burning feeling. Indigestion is usually not as distressing as heartburn, and is an uncomfortable feeling in the stomach which sometimes makes you feel sick after a meal. Both are made worse in pregnancy because the growing womb puts pressure on the stomach preventing it emptying properly, and hormones such as progesterone further slow the speed at which your stomach empties.
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