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Five Ways to Handle Heartburn
by Rebecca Garland

If heartburn is rearing its fiery head, you don’t have to take it lying down. In fact, you shouldn’t be lying down at all if you ever want to rest without the feeling of fire in your throat and chest.

Sleep Sitting Up
Heartburn is caused by acids coming back up the esophagus from the stomach. If you sleep lying down, you’re inviting those acids to come back up more easily causing more heartburn. To avoid this as much as possible, fluff up some pillows and sleep in a reclining position. It might feel awkward at first, but it will be heaven if you can sleep without heartburn during the night.

Buy TUMS in Bulk
Talk to your doctor before taking any antacid while pregnant. But once you’ve been cleared for TUMS, buy them in bulk and carry them with you. Soon, you’ll start to appreciate that slightly peppermint flavor of the white chalky tablets. Some moms prefer the original flavor while others try to shake things up a bit with variety. Whichever you prefer, always have them ready and don’t be ashamed to chomp down on one at any time. In fact, you can be proud that you’re getting so much healthy calcium for your baby as well.

Keep a Full Tummy
Heartburn is worse for some pregnant women when their stomachs are empty. Perhaps the empty tummy causes the acid to leap about more freely. Whatever the reason, the simplest way to

keep your tummy calm in this scenario is to keep it fed. While fruit and and vegetables might work to contain the acid, your best bet is carbohydrates that would qualify as comfort foods – breads, pasta and crackers are nice to use as a stomach soother – they seem to soak up that extra acid the best.

Don’t Fill Up
You might be keeping your stomach full at all times to keep away from empty-stomach-induced heartburn, but by that same token, you should avoid it becoming too full. If you fill up your stomach, you’re helping to force extra acid up the esophagus causing you even more heartburn. The muscle that should be keeping the acid down is just as relaxed now as your other muscles. This is why it’s so easy for that acid to sneak by.

Avoid Extra Flavor
Spicy foods make sense as something to avoid when pregnancy is causing your heartburn to flare up. But really it is anything with an especially strong flavor that seems to make heartburn worse. Avoid garlic, peppers, spices, heavy sauces or anything else that could be described as rich, succulent, flavorful or spicy. At this point, you have enough flavor in your mouth and throat without adding more. Oatmeal has likely never sounded quite so good. You can rest assured, however, that you won’t be on a bland diet forever. As your baby grows, he will shift in position and finally fall into your pelvis releasing some of the pressure on your stomach. Then you can enjoy richer foods again.

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