File photo: A trial is under way, involving 120 expectant women with the condition, to help researchers understand more about how the drugs may help.

Pills for heartburn may help prevent miscarriages caused by pre-eclampsia.

This occurs when blood vessels in the placenta don’t develop properly, pushing up blood pressure and reducing oxygen and nutrients to the baby. The placenta then releases toxins that damage the baby’s organs.

Researchers at Melbourne University in Australia have found that proton pump inhibitors — which ease heartburn by reducing the stomach’s production of acid — can stop the release of these toxins at the first sign of pre-eclampsia, according to a study in the journal Hypertension.

A trial is under way, involving 120 expectant women with the condition, to help researchers understand more about how the drugs may help.