If the though of having to deal with heartburn slash acid reflux is enough to make you swear off lemonade and pickles for the rest of your pregnancy, you probably need to read the rest of this blog. While you might be able to handle the swollen ankles, itchy skin, and random sweating that come along with expecting, the oh-so-familiar burning from you feel bubbling up from your belly is just too much to handle – especially at night. Not only does heartburn feel absolutely icky, it also means you’ve got acid in places you shouldn’t, which, as you can imagine, isn’t really good for you.
First off – why is pregnancy heartburn a thing? Well, pregnancy hormones let the esophagus muscles relax, causing digestion to slow. Meanwhile, you’ve got a growing baby taking up a lot of space in your abdomen, pushing your stomach and, therefore, acid up into your esophagus. So, if you’re plagued with pregnancy heartburn or acid reflux, you’re not alone. Here’s what you and your fellow preggos can do to help relieve it:
- Yes, we know it’s evil to tell a pregnant woman this, but ditch the chocolate, and lay off the lemonade and pickles, too. While you’re at it, keep your hands off anything that’s spicy or contains higher levels of acid. That includes dairy, citrus, tomatoes and onions. And if you just can’t deny these cravings, your doc can likely give you the OK to take an OTC med to help as needed.
- Eat small meals. As baby grows, there’s less space in your abdomen. If you fill that space with a lot of food, it’s more likely to push the acid up to places it shouldn’t go.
- Oatmeal it up – even if it’s not your favorite, you’ll thank us for this one since oatmeal will absorb that icky acid. Research also suggests that sipping on aloe vera juice can help reduce stomach issues, including reflux and heartburn. Instead of eating citrus or other acidic fruits, stock up on bananas, apples and melon. Don’t be surprised if all you crave is bland food – here’s your queue to eat ALL the carbs and feel a bit less guilty about it
- Amazon Prime a wedge pillow to your home ASAP to prop yourself up…because who actually has 12 pillows lying around the house? If your ankles are the size of melons, propping your legs up on this pillow will also help with the swelling (you’re welcome!).
- Don’t lie down after you eat. Instead, take a walk, do the dishes, etc. Maybe use this as an excuse to go get a blow out. Daily.