If you’ve ever propped yourself up in bed at night willing yourself to ignore the burning in your chest while watching your partner snore blissfully beside you this is the blog for you. While fantasizing about ways to wake your partner with the most shock value is helpful some of the below suggestions might actually help you sleep to. Hot tip though, pick the villain from the film your partner is most scared of, dress up as that character and wake them. In my house that would be the woman from The Grudge… your welcome.
My first pregnancy I suffered severe heart burn from 13 weeks and took prescription medication vomit from 15 weeks because it was affecting my ability to eat. I had done my research at the time it was Class B untested with no recorded side effects to baby. I had a reflux baby. Fortunately he would just vomit and be fine, so it was messy but not too hard to deal with. However friends on the same medication comment also on having reflux babies sometimes to the point of being hospitalised. My friends also suspect the medication was a factor. This is pure anecdote and in no way scientific at all but I was determined second time round to hold off prescription medication until at least the third trimester and minimise use over the counter remedies.
This time round I managed to avoid prescription medication completely and irregularly used Gaviscon from around twenty weeks and a few times a week from twenty nine weeks. Every pregnancy is different so I will admit I may have just fluked it but I do believe my dietary choices helped a lot.
I happened to go on the ‘I Quit Sugar’ a few weeks before I got pregnant. Once morning sickness kicked in I found the program really easy and pregnancy made me have issues digesting carbs so right from the get go a few things changed.
Giving up soft drink would be my first port of call. If you have difficulty transitioning from this try soda water with lime. I drank coke every day of last pregnancy – not a healthy choice but I felt really tired and thought I needed it. I definitely had issues with heartburn after drinking soft drink but I kept doing it. Water is definitely a better choice. If you need a little something else try juice. Apple was the only juice that didn’t irritate my heartburn. Orange and Pineapple, any really acidic juices should definitely be avoided at all costs.
Sorry but you will need to say goodbye to chocolate. As part of quitting sugar chocolate was already gone from my diet but over Christmas a few pieces made their way to me. I couldn’t believe how immediately I was affected with heartburn. I found having a smoothie with banana, spinach, cacao powder and milk of choice to take away the chocolate craves really helpful. Subbing out cow’s milk with Almond milk will help if dairy is causing your heartburn to flare up. Coffee may be a no go as well. I don’t drink coffee so I can’t say either way!
Have small meals and often will help. As soon as your stomach gets over full it puts pressure on the oesophagus and forces stomach acid up. So changing from 3 large meals and 2 small snacks to 6 – 7 smaller meals really helped. It takes planning though. I had to make sure every time I left the house I had something on hand to eat as soon as I got hungry to stop me overeating. I kept a lot of carrots / celery with dips (sometimes really nutritious like hummus and sometimes cheese and chive because… pregnancy). Fruit and nuts are a great option. Grainy crackers with avocado. These are some great options that I found easy to have on hand. I would more often than not eat salad for lunch, eggs on toast for breakfast and normal family dinners but a nice small portion. It was work but I was grateful everytime I was caught up at work and could just grab something and know I was feeding myself and the baby as nutritiously as possible. I am not saying I never chowed down on my guilty pleasure of salt and vinegar chips but I did it in moderation.
The other major change I made was toothpaste. It sounds so simple but really made a huge difference to me. I noticed after using my toothpaste that the reflux was really bad and one night not wanting to face it I picked up my son’s toothpaste. So changing down to a 2 – 5 toothpaste with a much milder mint flavour was a saviour to me. I made sure I was still flossing everyday as well because dental hygiene is very important in pregnancy.
These were the things that I think made the biggest difference in my heartburn this time round and hope they help you. Everything I have suggested above are the kind of things I would talk to a friend about. At the end of the day I do not have a medical background and you know your body and your needs better than anyone. If you do feel you need medication please have a discussion with your care provider. I do not ever recommend suffering through various pregnancy ailments just because you are pregnant. Just remember to use your B.R.A.I.N.S so you can make an informed decision on the best course of action for you.