Pregnancy Week 19: Hello Heartburn

Heartburn due to baby with lots of hair? Not for this mama.

Heartburn due to baby with lots of hair? Not for this mama.

As I’m enjoying my second trimester, I have become good friends with the pregnancy symptom known as heartburn. This is quite inconvenient when I am craving spicy, hot foods. Chicken wings and pico de gallo are on the top of my list this week. As many as 50 percent of expecting moms will experience heartburn during their second trimester.

What Causes Heartburn?

Heartburn is a burning sensation that can go from the bottom of your throat to your breastbone. It’s caused by the acid in your stomach rising. There are a number of factors that cause heartburn in pregnancy, including increased levels of progesterone, which will slow down digestion and cause food to sit longer. Progesterone also causes your muscles to relax more, including the one that keeps everything in your stomach and out of your throat. Your stomach also has less space now, thanks to baby.

Easy Cures

You can decrease heartburn if you pay attention to what you are eating and drinking. Are you eating large meals? Eating smaller meals and more frequently will help. Be careful when you eat. I really enjoy eating snacks before bedtime, but this can cause heartburn easily. Elevating your head while you sleep is an easy fix. Try sitting or standing after mealtimes. Drinking small amounts of liquids will help, too. Ginger, apple cider vinegar, and coconut water are recommended as natural cures. If all else fails, turn to a safe antacid. I have been chewing Tums quite frequently. If you’re still uncomfortable, talk to your midwife or provider about other ideas. A food journal could also help you keep a record of what your food triggers may be. Natural cures for heartburn in pregnancy are preferred to acid-reducers and prescription medications. This is because pregnancy is a temporary condition, and taking medications could alter your body’s production of acid in the long term, not just during pregnancy.

What Could Heartburn Really Mean?

We’ve all heard that a lot of heartburn means a baby with a head full of hair. I had a fair amount of heartburn with my daughter, and she still doesn’t have much hair at 19 months. I have seen some babies born with tons of hair, and their moms claim they really suffered with heartburn. Most likely, heartburn just means that your hormones are going crazy and you need to pay attention to what you’re eating.

So, mommas, did you suffer much with heartburn during your pregnancies? To me, heartburn is one of the least uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy.  If it means I can still eat my pico de gallo, I will just be more careful with when I eat it and how much I’m consuming. Who knows? Maybe I will have a baby with a full head of hair?

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of 1 and 1 on the way. She lives and writes in Northeast Indiana. She could eat Mexican food every day if her family would let her. 

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