What to do when heartburn pain takes over.
What is an expectant mama to do when that fiery sensation known as heartburn rears its ugly head during pregnancy? Here are a few tips that may help.
Eat Less and More Often
Research has shown that overeating can exacerbate heartburn. There is less room for your stomach to expand when pregnant so maintaining a diet of more but smaller meals can help to stave off heartburn. Aim for six mini-meals a day, rather than three regular meals. Don’t eat more than 1 ½ cups of food during each “meal.” Smaller meals are easier for your body to digest.
Eat Less Solid Foods
Foods that incorporate liquid are less likely to cause heartburn problems than solid foods as they move through the stomach faster. Incorporate smoothies, soups, protein shakes, and/or puddings in your diet. Make sure you are getting plenty of protein.
Eliminate Trigger Foods
Write a food diary to identify which foods intensify your heartburn and eliminate those from your diet. Common triggers include acidic foods, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, spicy foods, coffee, chocolate, greasy or fried foods and carbonated beverages.
Night time heartburn seems like the worst. You are already exhausted because pregnancy sleep is rough but you can’t get comfortable. You try to stay still and quiet, hoping you can just sleep through it but nothing works. Trying to get it to go away can be even more exhausting. To fight away nighttime heartburn, try to avoid eating anything for at least three hours before you go to bed. Elevate your bed to keep stomach acids from traveling uphill so easily and try to sleep on your side.
- Olivia, mom & a pediatric nurse
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