I am now nearly 16 weeks pregnant. Slowly getting past the sickness stage, as you all know, I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum which has caused me a lot of illness in the first stages of pregnancy. To be honest, I am glad the first stage is over and that I am now into the full swing of the second trimester as it means that I can enjoy my pregnancy a lot more now the worry is over and since the sickness is easing.
But, in my mind, never too far away from my thoughts, is the next bad stage that most mums will know about. Yes, heartburn. Getting heartburn while pregnant is very common and even though you'd imagine it as a bit of discomfort, in pregnancy it can be significant;y worse. Lucky us eh?!
Heartburn usually starts around the middle of pregnancy and slowly gets worse right until the end, sometimes even in to motherhood too. It's right at the point where you are struggling to sleep because your bump is wide awake, you can't get comfy and need the toilet more often than not. Well, lets face it, by the end of pregnancy, you might as well move your bed into the bathroom as that's where you spend most of your time.
The symptoms of heartburn are usually the feeling of a burning sensation coming from your stomach right to the back of your throat sometimes leaving an acidic taste in your mouth. Nearly three quarters of pregnant women will suffer from heartburn by the third trimester of pregnancy and one in three of them will also suffer with indigestion. This is where you may feel bloated and uncomfortable and get pains in your chest and stomach. All part of the joys of pregnancy.
You can treat heartburn in a variety of different ways such as:
- Eating healthier, trying not to eat acidic foods
- Using more pillows to sleep in an upright position
- Keeping your weight down
For me though, I've found that the best remedy is to buy products such as Gaviscon, which I practically lived off during my last 2 pregnancies and no doubt will do this time round too.
Once you fall pregnant and have been certified by a midwife, you can apply for what is called a 'Maternity Exemption Certificate' which gives you free NHS prescriptions throughout your whole pregnancy and for the twelve months after that too. This then means that you can then get remedies, such as Gaviscon, on prescription to save you those extra pennies to spend on your impending baby.
Above all, try to keep stress free. Yes, pregnancy is a pain in the bum sometimes. Sickness, heartburn, constantly needing to pee. But you'll miss it once it's over, so remember to capture as much of it as you can.