First of all, the picture has nothing to do with heartburn other than the fact that the baby I am looking at in my belly is causing my heartburn. That was a week ago.
I had this plan to write this post on remedies for reflux/heartburn while pregnant and then realized my ideas are pretty weak. I think they are ideas pretty much everyone knows. Just in case not, I will share. Or if nothing else, it will get the "obvious" out of the way to make room for the life-changing ideas I hope you have for me (hey, no pressure).
Reflux during pregnancy is something I have basically always just suffered through. I have had it quite severe with each pregnancy. For my current pregnancy, the burning isn't so bad, but the effects of the coughing due to the burning of my lungs are pretty, um, annoying to say the least. Here is my list of ways to deal with it.
- Mylanta: This has been my go-to since Brayden. My doctor said Mylanta (remember those commercials? Well, he did). He also said I could drink a whole bottle at once and not hurt the baby, so I felt good with Mylanta. I still use Mylanta today.
- Avoid Reflux Foods: There are certain foods that will cause you to have more heartburn than others. Avoid those if possible. Sometimes, I just crave something I know is going to cause me issues later on and so I still eat it, but most of the time I anti-crave the reflux rousers. My neighbor swears that Tabasco sauce reduces her reflux. Swears. So you might be surprised what works for you and what doesn't.
- Stay Propped Up: Just like you do for a baby, you keep yourself in an upright position for as long as you can after eating. You might also need to prop yourself while sleeping. I find this to be uncomfortable, but sometimes it is the only chance I have to sleep.
- Don't Eat Late:: Along a similar train of thought, I avoid late night food. I eat dinner and that is it unless I have some huge craving. I even limit water, which works well for the whole bathroom-visits-in-the-night thing. The effects of what I eat when and when I lay when are very obvious to me this go-around with the coughing. The coughing is an immediate effect, so I am careful and sensitive about what I eat when and how long I stay up (lots of coughing with a weakened pelvic floor is bad news. Enough said).
- Eat Smaller Meals: Eating less more often might help you minimize the reflux.
- Don't Get Empty: Same train of thought, don't let your tummy get empty. Except for at night when you will be sleeping all night (hopefully!).
- OTC Reflux Medication: With the coughing, my doctor (you might remember, new doctor with McKenna since my previous OB moved to the East Coast) suggested I take some OTC reflux medication like Zantac or Prilosec OTC. That makes a big difference for me. I take one pill once a day.
- Stay Ahead: I used to wait until the burning was terrible until I took Mylanta. By the time McKenna was pushing on my stomach, I learned to stay ahead of the pain. At the first sign of heartburn/reflux, I take some Mylanta. I don't get bad flares anymore. Staying ahead of it works SO.MUCH.BETTER than fighting the fire once it is there.
Those are my 8 tips.
Now, what tips and tricks work for you? Even if something I said worked--or didn't work--, please share that so other moms know what is most likely to help them in this situation. I would love to hear some new remedy I have never heard of though (speaking of, I was just reading through this post from when I was pregnant with McKenna and there are several interesting reflux helps ideas there--so read those comments for more ideas)!