By Ben Franklin
Acid reflux treatment in pregnancy can be a little tricky. Balancing cures, diet and exercise with what’s good for both avoiding reflux and sticking to doctor’s orders for the baby’s sake can be tough.
Let’s face it, sleeping can be difficult enough during pregnancy and the third trimester’s the worst. Unfortunately, this is generally when acid reflux tends to rear its ugly head.
That’s right. That awful burning feeling in the back of the throat, discomfort that feels like fire and a general sick feeling that makes sleeping almost impossible.
To deal with reflux in pregnancy, it’s a good idea to understand first why it is so common. There are a lot of reasons acid reflux and pregnancy go hand-in-hand along with the typical heartburn many experience right out of the gate.
First off, pregnancy hormones can simply wreak havoc on the body and then there’s the simple fact that the wonder of life that is your baby can, and does, press on organs in ways a first-time mother could never imagine. Sleeping can be hard enough without acid reflux, but it’s an unfortunate side effect that can hamper the last few weeks.
So, what’s a mom-to-be to do?
The first thing is to relax. While acid reflux is a nightmare, keep in mind that unless it’s a medical condition that was present before the pregnancy, it will likely go away as soon as the baby is born. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
When trying to treat reflux in pregnancy, remember pregnant women cannot or should not take a lot of the medications that are suggested for acid reflux under normal conditions. Thus, some pre-emptive strikes to avoid the condition are in order.
Here are some things that can help a pregnant woman avoid horrible bouts of acid reflux and things to do to relieve the symptoms if they start:
How to avoid an attack:
* Stay away from foods that can cause reflux. This means just say no to chocolate! Sorry. It also means steering clear of acidic foods such as juices and fruits, tomatoes, vinegar and fried and fatty foods.
* Since you’re pregnant and should already be staying clear of caffeine this hopefully won’t be an issue, but if you’ve been having a few sodas or coffees a day, cut that out of your diet right away.
*Limit food intake. Don’t overeat.
*Don’t eat right before bed.
*Drink tons of water. This is not only good for helping stave off an acid reflux attack, it’s also good for you and the baby.
*Elevate yourself when you sleep. Acid reflux involves a “backflow” of stomach contents into the esophagus, stop it before it starts by careful placement of pillows.
Even the best-laid plans don’t always work for a woman nearing term. If acid reflux strikes, check with your doctor about what you can take. Some find that pregnancy-friendly Tums help, others find getting up, walking around for a little bit followed up by some water does the trick.
Don’t get discouraged and just do your best to relax and let the symptoms pass. Remember, acid reflux in pregnancy tends to go away completely after the baby’s birth. Think of it as a little bump in the road on the way to something fantastic and you’ll do fine!
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