Heartburn During Pregnancy. Ouch!

I have been pregnant for 37 weeks now. Ever since the very start of my pregnancy, my body has been going through many changes. Pregnancy signs are different among everyone; and every pregnancy is different.

Throughout my pregnancy, I've had the majority of all classic pregnancy signs, but one of the WORST signs I've had throughout the whole second half of my pregnancy (at least) is heartburn.

My heartburn has been so terrible that I actually get tears in my eyes because it burns so badly. I especially feel it up in my throat. I feel like a dragon: I feel like if I open my mouth, I could blow fire out. I've tried that, but so far, I haven't had any success.  It's been terrible!

I've noticed that I don't normally get heartburn until later on in the evening or during the night (even though I can get it at any time). I'm not sure if I tend to have heartburn so late in the day because of the food I eat. It probably is. There are so many foods that can trigger heartburn.

What Foods Cause Heartburn?

Needless to say, I've done my research on heartburn during pregnancy, as well as asked my doctor what can be done to help my problem.

I noticed that I was eating a lot of the foods that can cause heartburn. Here's a list of things to avoid consuming if heartburn is a problem for you:

  • Avoid things with caffeine. Being pregnant, caffeine should be minimized anyway. I like having a cup of coffee in the morning (which my doctor said was okay since it's a moderate amount). Ever since I started getting heartburn all of the time, I only drink a cup of coffee twice a week instead of once a day. By the way, this also includes things such as tea or soda.
  • Spicy foods. I try to avoid things such as peppers and anything with tomato sauce in it. This can sometimes cause problems, such as when I want spaghetti or pizza. I have to admit that I do end up giving in a lot because I love my Italian food!
  • Avoid greasy, fatty, or fried foods. I don't really like to eat greasy or fatty foods to begin with. Even before I became pregnant, I tried to stay away from this kind of stuff just because it is unhealthy for you. Well, it also causes heartburn!
  • Avoid citrus. This can include oranges or orange juice, lemons or lemonade, etc. After she found out I was pregnant, my mom used to buy me orange juice by the gallon (just for me) and she made sure I drank at least a cup per day. She said "it's good for the baby", which may be true, but it also causes heartburn!

How To Prevent Heartburn

Aside from avoiding certain foods, there are other ways to prevent heartburn.

  • Try eating smaller, more frequent meals instead of big meals. This is something that can not only help heartburn, but it is a good way to help prevent excessive weight gain (more weight gain than needed during your pregnancy).
  • Don't eat right before going to bed or laying down. Try to not eat for about 2-3 hours before going to bed. This also is not only good for heartburn, but it's a good way to avoid gaining too much weight.
  • Drink plenty of water. You should drink at least 8 glasses per day, anyway. Water is beneficial for so many reasons, and this is one of them.
  • If you are pregnant and haven't done so already, quit smoking and drinking.  Both are not recommended during pregnancy and both can cause heartburn.

I Tried To Prevent It, But Heartburn Found Me. How To Get Rid Of It

As I said earlier, I did my research and I also talked to my doctor about my heartburn problem. Here is a list of medications for heartburn that he said that I could take while being pregnant:

  • Gaviscon
  • Mylanta
  • Tums
  • Low Sodium Maalox
  • Zantac 75 MG
  • Prilosec OTC

The list I was given specifically says to avoid Pepto Bismal.

**Even though my doctor said that these medications are safe to take during pregnancy, it is always best that you ask your own doctor which ones you can take. Every person is different and so your doctor might not recommend some of these medications.**

I am one of those people who don't like taking medications during pregnancy unless I absolutely need to. If you are like me, let me fill you in on a trick I learned. Aside from this list of medications, I have found that chewing gum helps when I get heartburn. It turns out that chewing gum has been proven to increase your alkaline saliva, which neutralizes acids. It also pushes the digestive juices back down. If you use this method often, try using sugar-free gum to avoid cavities.

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