Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Beating Heartburn in Pregnancy

Before I had children I thought a lot about what it might be like to be pregnant. I imagined myself glowing, proud in the knowledge that my neat bump draped in stylish maternity wear was holding the miracle of life.

smiling babyI imagined nurturing my baby with nothing but healthy foods and classical music or whale sounds played near to my bump as I somehow miraculously turned into an earth mother over 9 months.

Yeah, all you folk who are pregnant or who have been pregnant can all pick yourselves off the floor and wipe the tears of laughter from your eyes now.

So what actually happened was that I lived in huge yoga trousers ( a nicer term for joggers), a tartan tent dress and denim dungarees as anything which remotely constrained my ginormous lump immediately made me nauseous or gave me indigestion.

I embraced "mommy knickers" (and in fact these are still my underwear of choice) which kept my belly-button and even a few inches north of that area warm and comfy. I was not so much glowing as sweating quite a lot and after seven pregnancies to be frank had to be a bit careful coughing or laughing.

I paint a pretty picture don't I?

What's more, not only did I look a bit of a sight during the daytime, but I let myself go still further at night.  I recall one occasion when I was browsing the nighties in one large department store then spotted that a bent, ancient, crinkled lady wearing head to toe crimpelene was choosing the same design as me. Reader, I bought it anyway.

I always suffered from heartburn in pregnancy  so ended up propping myself up to sleep with a big V-shaped breastfeeding pillow as advised my my pregnancy book. Add to that the pillow for between my knees, the pillow for under my bump and a pillow for behind my back and my poor husband ended up feeling like he was sleeping on the other side of a squishy version of the Berlin Wall.

I read somewhere that nibbling a dry biscuit before rising in the morning was a good remedy to prevent morning sickness. I took this advice enthusiastically on board and worked my way through many many packets of biscuits at all times of the day and night through all seven pregnancies.

Given that progesterone in your pregnant system relaxes the openings from stomach to oesophagus AND that the growing baby pushes everything upward too I  can't think why I ended up with heartburn........

So- my top tips for beating heartburn in pregnancy.

All joking aside, propping yourself up in bed, even slightly will help prevent heartburn. Try an extra pillow first - that might be all you need. If not, try a V pillow - it will come in handy later for feeding, propping a new baby learning to sit up and makes a nice backrest even when your children are school age to sit up and read in bed!

Eat healthily and try eating smaller portions more frequently. Avoid spicy food  if you really suffer!

You may not know that some indigestion remedies ARE suitable for use in pregnancy. Check with your doctor or midwife first but I permanently had a bottle of Gaviscon on my bedside table for post biscuit night-time indigestion and heartburn (also described sometimes as acid reflux).

It's worth making the effort, particularly if your discomfort is worse at night. Trust a mother of seven - get as much rest as you can now. The brutal truth is you'll get even less chance to rest when baby is here!

Disclaimer: This post has been written in conjunction with Gaviscon. I was rewarded for my input but views and opinions remain honest and my own.


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