How one mom-to-be dealt with her heartburn during pregnancy
Pregnancy can be one of the most intimidating phases of your life, especially when it comes to all the body changes — and we’re not just talking about your changing shape! From the morning sickness to the bladder pressure, it can be uncomfortable at times.
Between 17 and 45 percent of women report getting heartburn during their gestation — wild, right? If you’ve got this as one of your symptoms, know you’re not alone. We spoke with Kaitlyn S. from San Diego, CA, who just gave birth to her first baby, and like many women, she had heartburn.
“I got heartburn when I was pregnant with my son Kellen; it was in the morning when I woke up,” she said. “It was usually brought on by laying down after eating.”
Noticing that eating dinner right before bed occasionally resulted in painful heartburn at night and in the morning, Kaitlyn tried a number of remedies to mitigate her pain. Here’s what she did to find relief so she could focus on what matters most: growing a healthy baby. (Prior to treating heartburn and other conditions during pregnancy, you should get your doctors advice on what is and is not appropriate for you.)
Tips to Relieve Heartburn During Pregnancy
1. A soothing tonic
It turns out that despite what you may think, carbonated water can help relieve heartburn.
“I drank sparkling water with a drop of juice for flavor,” said Kaitlyn. Some moms have turned to apple cider vinegar for heartburn relief, but the clinical evidence is lacking. However, there is some evidence that vinegar could help with digestion, which could potentially provide some relief.
2. Adjusting sleeping position
An elevated sleep position and sleeping on your left side can help ease heartburn. “I’d sleep at an incline to reduce the acidity coming up,” said Kaitlyn. Try propping yourself up slightly with some pillows to ensure you’re comfortable and symptom-free.
For fast-acting heartburn relief that starts to work in seconds, turn to an antacid, like Tums.
“I’d buy packs of Tums when I was pregnant — Tums were LIFE,” remembers Kaitlyn. If you’ve just begun your healthy pregnancy (or you’re in the thick of it!) it’s a good idea have an antacid like Tums available. Antacids are proven to relieve occasional heartburn.
4. Eat earlier
Having a big meal close to lights out is a sure way to experience heartburn at night. “Making sure I put a good amount of time between meal times and sleeping was so important,” Kaitlyn said. “I made dinner time earlier and went to bed a little later.” You may also want to eat smaller meals throughout the day as this could potentially ease your symptoms as well.
“I heard an old wives’ tale tons of times that lots of heartburn meant the baby would have lots of hair,” she said. “It was so true — my son Kellen had a full head of hair when he was born!” And the best part? “Once I gave birth, the heartburn went away. I’m so happy I had tools to manage my heartburn while I was pregnant, and I know that when I have my next baby, I’ll be prepared!”
Disclosure: If pregnant, consult your doctor or medical professional before using any type of medication.