Feel the (heart)burn

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

20 weeks, 3 days preggo
I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to blog — in detail — about heartburn. Maybe I’ve been trying to block it from my mind?
Since I want this blog to be a resource for other preggos — and baby-fevered soon-to-be-preggos, like I was not too long ago — I really must do my duty and mention the H-E-L-L that is heartburn.
Many pregnant women get heartburn, especially in the second half. Like everything else that’s plaguing you right now, it’s caused by the crazy number of changes your body is going through.
You want more a science-y answer? Well …
  • Your placenta is producing a hormone called progesterone, that relaxes the muscles of your uterus.
  • It also relaxes the valve that separates your esophagus from your stomach, allowing hurty gastric acids to seep back up the pipe. Ow.
  • It apparently gets worse as your pregnancy progresses (lovely news), because the bambino starts crowding your insides and slowing everything down, pushing the stomach acid up into your throat.
  • It sucks for you, but it helps the baby by causing nutrients to linger in your bloodstream longer, letting baby absorb them.
I had never, ever experienced heartburn before getting pregnant — which is surprising when you consider the amount of crap food I ate — so I was stunned the first time I felt like my throat was on fire.
It was very sporadic in the first trimester, but has amped up in the second trimester. I took TUMS, but gagged on their chalky grossness — and they didn’t help at all. Some nights it was so bad that I needed to sleep propped up on pillows, which is very uncomfortable.
So when I saw my OBGYN last week, I mentioned that my heartburn had really peaked. She gave me a prescription for a Zantac, which is totally safe in pregnancy. Since then, I’ve taken a pill at breakfast and a pill at dinner, and it’s really helped.
She also gave me a list of tips to ease heartburn:
  • Avoid rich or spicy dishes
  • Avoid chocolate
  • Avoid citrus fruit or juices
  • Avoid coffee and alcohol
  • Eat little meals, often, and chew your food slowly and thoroughly
  • Don’t drink and eat at the same time — drink any liquids an hour after eating
  • Give yourself two or three hours to digest any meals before going to bed
  • Sleep with two or three extra pillows to keep your head propped up in bed, or sleep in a chair
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing, especially around your waist
Um, give up orange juice?
And brownies?
Wear … “loose” … clothing? Like what, a muumuu?
Don’t drink my milk until an hour after dinner?
SLEEP IN A CHAIR?
I think I hear my pills calling!

One Comment on “Feel the (heart)burn

  1. I also never experienced heartburn until pregnant, tums don't seem to do much, gaviscon helps but limited to 3 a day, I def need to as my Dr. about Zantac!!

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