Foods That Relieve Heartburn During Pregnancy

Good nutrition is always the bedrock of good health, but never is it more important to eat right than during pregnancy. In fact, for baby's sake, a healthy, well-balanced diet should begin before conception. But knowing what to eat during your "childbearing year" requires a general knowledge of the basic nutrients necessary for the optimum health of both mother and child.

Folic acid is a key element of good nutrition for pregnant women, and it is recommended for all women of childbearing age to consume a minimum of 400mcg of folic acid every day in order to prevent the possible occurrence of spina bifida or other neural tube defects in infants. Examples of folic acid are found in green leafy vegetables, beans, or liver.

Getting enough protein is also very important because the amino acids in proteins make up the building blocks of both your body's cells, as well as those of your growing baby. It is currently recommended that pregnant women consume at least 60 to 70 grams of protein every day. Some excellent sources of protein would be lamb, eggs, milk, and fish.

During pregnancy, a woman experiences a sharp increase in blood volume which makes it essential to consume enough iron to support this increase. Also noteworthy is the fact that the fetus will begin to store enough iron to last for his first three to six months outside the womb. So, starting in the second trimester it is necessary to receive 30 mg of iron daily from sources such as red meat, poultry, dried fruit, or beans. However, merely taking in enough iron will do you no good if your body is unable to absorb it.

Vitamin C enhances your body's ability to absorb iron, and therefore at least 85mg are recommended. This can easily be accomplished with at least one serving of a citrus fruit or juice.

Vitamin A should be consumed at a rate of 800 retinal equivalents daily because it is required for cell formation, and can be found especially in yellow or orange vegetables and fruits.

Adequate calcium consumption is important throughout your pregnancy, but your fetus requires 66% more calcium in the third trimester than he did before. If you do not consume enough, the baby will take it from your body, and leave you calcium depleted which will open you up to possible problems later on. Daily intake of calcium during pregnancy and lactation should be 1000mg, and the best sources are milk, cheese, and yogurt.

At the top of the list of foods to avoid are high fatty foods, and sweets. These types of foods have little to no nutritional value, and tend to satisfy a craving, but leave no room for other, more nutritious foods that are so desperately needed. So skip the lamingtons or the pavlova in favor of something more substantial. This will have the added benefit of keeping the weight gain to a minimum. Caffeine is also a no-no because it acts as a diuretic and stops the absorption of vitamin C, which will, in turn, affect your absorption of iron. And of course, alcohol should not be consumed during gestation because it is highly toxic to the fetus, and could lead to fetal alcohol syndrome.

Good maternal nutrition before and during "the childbearing year" is a significant factor affecting the outcome of your pregnancy, and doesn't your baby deserve the very best?

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    What foods or drinks caused the worst heartburn for you during your pregnancy?
    I am 26 weeks pregnant, and EVERYTHING I eat or drink causes bad heartburn for me. EVEN WATER!!!

    I do take Tums, but don't like to take them a lot because they can cause kidney/bladder stones.

    What foods/drinks should I completely avoid? What foods/drinks help?

    • ANSWER:
      with my first pregnancy, i really don't recall having heartburn. with my second, i just had to look at food and i'd get heartburn. i think bread caused the worst heartburn. my doctor told me to take rolaids. i must have been popping those things like candy! i didn't leave home without a whole bottle. the only thing that finally relieved it was his birth!

  2. QUESTION:
    What can I do to relieve the vomit inducing heartburn that I am having?
    I am 31 weeks pregnant and still throwing up.

    • ANSWER:
      Heartburn (indigestion) is a burning feeling that starts in the stomach and seems to rise to the throat. It occurs during pregnancy because your digestive system works more slowly due to changing hormone levels. Also, your enlarged uterus can crowd your stomach, pushing stomach acids upward.

      Recommendations:
      1.Eat several small meals each day instead of three large meals.
      2.Eat slowly.
      3.Drink warm liquids such as herbal tea.
      4.Avoid fried, spicy, or rich foods, or any foods that seem to give you indigestion.
      5.Don't lie down directly after eating.
      6.Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of your bed. Or, place pillows under your shoulders to prevent stomach acids from rising into your chest.
      7.Don't mix fatty foods with sweets in one meal and try to separate liquids and solids at meals.
      8.Try heartburn relievers such as Tums, Maalox, Titralac, Mylanta, Riopan, or Gaviscon.

  3. QUESTION:
    Is it possible to get addicted to pain killers such as Aleve or Motrin?
    I am a gymnast, so I have a lot of pains. I take 1 aleve or motrin a day. It seems that if after maybe 2-3 weeks of taking one of these pain killers a day, if i forget to take it, or don't take it, i get sick. Sick as in high fever and vomiting. Do you think this is just a coincidence or do i get addicted to the medicine and have withdrawals?

    • ANSWER:
      Below I have given side effects for both drugs. Actually yes, you can get addicted to any drug....a drug is essentially a poison. Taken in small amounts a drug can have a temporary beneficial effect, however taken in larger doses can be harmful and even fatal (cause death).
      Drugs dull down the perceptions so one does not FEEL the aches and pains, however the aches and pains are STILL PRESENT...just you are not able to perceive them anymore. The body becomes accustomed to most drugs so that gradually the amount of drug you "need" to get the same effect is MORE, and THAT is the addictive aspect to any drug. To understand more about how drugs do this read:
      http://www.scientologyhandbook.org/SH7.HTM

      I suggest you shift to relieving your aches and pains by taking calcium and magnesium which are both minerals and not drugs, and they both are important in the body nervous system and in healing. There is a drink you can make that is a very effective way of having these minerals.
      You can often get the drink as a powder at health food shops. It works REALLY well to deal with aches and pains and would be perfect for your needs as a gymnast. Hope this helps! (Side effects of Aleve and Motrin below)

      Aleve (Naproxen) side effects:

      Naproxen can cause stomach ulcers that bleed. The chance of
      this serious problem increases the longer you take naproxen and
      with higher doses of naproxen. Stomach bleeding can also
      happen suddenly while you take naproxen. Stop taking naproxen
      and call your healthcare provider right away if you get:
      A burning stomach pain
      Black bowel movements that look like tar
      Vomit that looks like blood or coffee grounds

      Allergic reactions: Naproxen can cause serious allergic
      reactions, including asthma-like symptoms (problems breathing,
      swallowing, and wheezing) and rash.
      Liver damage: Stop taking naproxen and tell your doctor right
      away if you have nausea, vomiting, tiredness, loss of appetite,
      itching, yellow coloring of skin or eyes, flu-like symptoms, and
      dark urine.
      Kidney problems: Naproxen can cause serious kidney problems,
      including sudden kidney failure or worsening of kidney problems
      that you already have.
      Fluid retention: Naproxen can cause fluid retention (holding of
      water in your body) and swelling. Fluid retention can be a serious
      problem if you have high blood pressure or heart failure.
      Pregnancy: Do not take naproxen during your last 3 months of
      pregnancy because it may cause problems in the unborn child or
      complications during delivery. Tell your doctor if you are
      pregnant or planning to become pregnant

      Motrin Sire Effects

      More common motrin side effects may include:
      Abdominal cramps or pain, abdominal discomfort, bloating and gas, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, fluid retention and swelling, headache, heartburn, indigestion, itching, loss of appetite, nausea, nervousness, rash, ringing in ears, stomach pain, vomiting

      Less common or rare motrin side effects may include:
      Abdominal bleeding, anemia, black stool, blood in urine, blurred vision, changes in heatbeat, chills, confusion, congestive heart failure, eepression, dry eyes and mouth, emotional volatitity, fever, hair loss, hearing loss, hepatitis, high or low blood pressure, hives, inability to sleep, inflammation of nose, inflammation of the pancreas or stomach, kidney or liver failure, servere allergic reactions, shortness of breath, skin eruptions or peeling, sleepiness, stomach or upper intestinal ulcer, ulcer of gums, vision loss, vomiting blood, wheezing, yellow eyes and skin.

      Special warnings about motrin:
      Peptic ulcers and bleeding can occur without warning. Tell your doctor if you have bleeding or any other problems.

      This drug should be used with caution if you have kidney or liver disease, or are severely dehydrated; it can cause liver or kidney inflammation or other problems in some people.

      Do not take aspirin or any other anti-inflammatory medications while taking Motrin unless your doctor tells you to do so.

      If you have a severe allergic reaction, seek medical help immediately.

      Motrin may cause vision problems. If you experience any changes in your vision, inform your doctor.

      Mortin may prolong bleeding time. If you are taking blood-thinning medication, this drug should be taken with caution.

      This drug can cause water retention. It should be used with caution if you have high blood pressure or poor heart function.

      Avoid the use of alcohol while taking this medication.

      Motrin may mask the usual signs of infection or other diseases. Use with care in the presence of an existing infection.

      If you have diabetes, remember that the suspension contains 1.5 grams of sucrose and 8 calories per teaspoonful.

      Motrin chewable tablets contain phenylalanine. If you have a hereditary disease called phenylketonuria, you should be aware of this.

  4. QUESTION:
    what is the best thing to eat while acid reflux is really bad?
    Pregnant and literally have a puddle of acid in the back of my throat.
    I feel I need to eat for the babies sake.

    • ANSWER:
      Drink milk, ice cold milk. This will relieve the burning sensation for a while. You will prob need to take something for it. I live on Gaviscon tablets, have done for months now!
      Eat smaller meals more often, instead of 2 or 3 big, main meals and keep a note of what you last ate when the heartburn kicks in. This will help you work out if there are any trigger foods. For me it's chocolate!
      If it gets really bad, go and see the doc as they will be able to prescribe soemthing stronger for you to take which is safe during pregnancy.

  5. QUESTION:
    Just found out I am pregnant how many teaspoons of ginger can I have per day?
    I have heard there is a limit to the amount of ginger you should intake for morning sickness but I can't find any actual amounts. Any ideas?

    • ANSWER:
      This is what webmd.com recommends

      http://www.webmd.com/hw-popup/ginger-for-morning-sickness

      Ginger is a proven remedy for nausea and can significantly relieve morning sickness after a few days of treatment.1 There are several ways you can use ginger to relieve your symptoms. Try:
      Ground ginger in a 250mg capsule, taken 4 times a day. Look for improvement in symptoms after 4 to 7 days.2 Buy ginger capsules that are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not mixed with other substances that may harm your baby.
      Grated fresh ginger into hot water, used as a tea.
      Ginger in a sugar syrup base, available at health food stores. A 15mL dose (containing 250mg of ginger) taken 4 times daily is likely to relieve vomiting after 6 days.2
      Eating crystallized ginger, which reportedly works for some women.
      There is no known fetal risk linked to using ginger during pregnancy. Some women have reported heartburn or reflux.2
      Ginger is unlikely to help with severe, persistent nausea and vomiting (hyperemesis gravidarum).2 If you have this condition, see your health professional.
      Citations

  6. QUESTION:
    What to do about gas during pregnancy?
    I am 8 weeks pregnant and when I had my first ultrasound I was told my baby would give me a lot of gas and heartburn. I didn't think that would be so painful since I experienced both before, but early this morning I experience something that made me have short breath and lots of pressure in my stomach. I was scared too death. I'm just wondering if any of you have had this problem and what you did to relieve the gas?

    • ANSWER:
      Most pregnant women suffer from bloating and increased gas in the belly at some point during pregnancy. Gas can cause abdominal pain or discomfort.

      Causes of Gas During Pregnancy
      During pregnancy, hormones relax the muscles in your digestive tract. This slows down your digestion and can cause gas to build up. Gas leads to bloating, burping, passing gas, discomfort, and pain in the belly especially after a big meal.

      Certain foods can make gas worse. But these vary from person to person. Some people naturally produce more gas than others. Some people get a lot of gas from foods that don't bother others.

      In general, some starches (such as pasta and potatoes), some fiber-rich foods (such as oat bran and beans), and foods that contain certain sugars (such as cabbage and cauliflower) cause gas for many people. Women who have trouble digesting dairy products may have bloating and gas when they eat more of these products during pregnancy.

      Gas: What You Can Do
      The following suggestions may help prevent excessive gas:

      Reduce the amount of air you swallow. Eat several small meals throughout the day instead of a few large meals. Don t eat in a hurry. Take your time, chew your food thoroughly, and don t talk while eating. Avoid drinking from a bottle or straw. Cut down on carbonated beverages. Don t gulp while drinking. Avoid chewing gum or sucking on hard candy.
      Identify foods that bother you. Keep a food diary to help you find the foods that cause problems. Cut back on these foods, if possible, while being sure to eat a healthy diet. Cut back on fried and fatty foods, which can add to bloating.
      Ask before taking over-the-counter remedies. Talk to your health care provider before taking these, since some are not safe during pregnancy.
      When to Talk to Your Health Care Provider
      If changes in diet and habits don t help, talk to your health care provider. Contact your health care provider immediately if:

      Gas ever feels like labor contractions (coming and going regularly, every 5-10 minutes).
      Gas pain is accompanied by blood in your stool, severe diarrhea, or increased nausea and vomiting
      source: http://www.marchofdimes.com/pnhec/159_15246.asp

      Why do I seem to have so much gas now that I'm pregnant?
      Everyone, pregnant or not, has some gas. The average person produces between 1 and 3 pints of gas each day and passes gas about 14 times a day. That said, you may experience even more gas than usual during pregnancy.

      Don't be surprised if you find yourself belching like a champion beer drinker or having to unbutton your pants to relieve bloating weeks before you begin to show.

      Why does this happen? The primary reason is that during pregnancy you have much higher levels of progesterone, a hormone that relaxes smooth muscle tissue throughout your body, including your gastrointestinal tract. This relaxation slows down your digestive processes, which can lead to gas, bloating, burping, and flatulence and generally create miserable sensations in your gut, especially after a big meal.

      In later pregnancy, your growing uterus crowds your abdominal cavity, further slowing digestion, and pushes on your stomach, making you feel even more bloated after eating. During pregnancy, you may also start to experience heartburn or constipation, even if you've never been bothered by either one before.

      Where does gas come from?
      Gas gets caught in the digestive tract in two ways: when you swallow air and when bacteria in your colon (large intestine) break down undigested food. Most stomach gas results from swallowing air and is typically released by burping, though a small amount can continue down to the large intestine to be released as flatulence.

      Most of the gas that causes flatulence is produced when bacteria in the large intestine break down food that was incompletely digested by enzymes in the stomach and small intestine. Certain carbohydrates are the main culprits. Protein and fat aren't major gas producers, although fats, because they slow down digestion, can contribute to a sense of bloating.

      How does pregnancy figure in? Pregnancy slows digestion, which gives the bacteria more time to work on the undigested material before it's excreted. More time leads to more fermentation and, as a result, more gas.

      Actually, anything that slows down bowel function can mean additional gas, so constipation can also make you feel more gassy and bloated.

      Some people get a lot of gas from foods that don't bother others at all. For example, people who are lactose intolerant don't make enough lactase the enzyme that breaks down lactose (the sugar in dairy products) so they can get bloated and gassy if they have too much milk or ice cream. Individual variation in the balance of bacteria in the colon may also affect how much gas you make, according to some experts.

      Can I get some relief by changing my diet?
      The most effective way to reduce gas may be to cut back on the foods that are most likely to cause it. But if you eliminated everything that might cause gas, it would be hard to eat a balanced diet.

      So start by cutting out the most common culprits, and if that gives you relief, begin adding those foods back into your diet one by one to try to pinpoint what's causing the problem for you. Keeping a food diary can help you see the relationship between eating certain foods and having more gas.

      The foods most likely to cause gas are beans, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and asparagus. All contain the sugar raffinose, which causes gas for a lot of people. Other people have trouble with onions, pears, artichokes, and sodas and fruit drinks sweetened with fructose. Sodas and fruit drinks should be avoided anyway, as they are empty calories and the carbonation in sodas can contribute to bloating.

      Certain starches such as pasta and potatoes, but not rice can cause gas for some people. And certain fiber-rich foods such as oat bran, beans, and many kinds of fruit cause gas because they're normally broken down in the large intestine.

      One exception is wheat bran, which passes through your digestive system without getting broken down. This makes wheat bran a winner if you have constipation and need more fiber but also suffer from flatulence.

      People who are lactose intolerant will find that dairy products give them gas. If you're highly lactose intolerant, you probably knew this before you got pregnant, since dairy may give you diarrhea and abdominal pain.

      But if you're only somewhat intolerant and thus unaware of the effect dairy has on you, a dramatic boost in your consumption of dairy products during pregnancy may cause you some distress. To avoid this problem, look for lactose-free milk or calcium-fortified soy milk in your supermarket. If you aren't drinking any kind of milk, you'll probably need to take a calcium supplement.

      Finally, try to steer clear of very fatty and fried foods. They don't cause gas, but they slow down digestion, leaving you feeling bloated.

      source: http://www.babycenter.com/refcap/pregnancy/prenatalhealth/247.html

  7. QUESTION:
    What are some great foods to consume during pregnancy?

    • ANSWER:
      I love pears, watermelon, leafy green veggies. My junk cravings are Icees and McDonalds french fries. Foods high in Fiber is great because it keeps things moving that your hormones may slow down.

      Grains: 6 Ounces per Day
      1 ounce of grains is equal to:

      1 slice bread
      1 cup ready-to-eat cereal
      1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta or cereal
      1 small pancake (4 1/2" in diameter)
      1 small tortilla (6" in diameter)

      Vegetables: 2 1/2 Cups per Day
      1 cup of vegetables is equal to:

      1 cup raw or cooked vegetables
      1 cup vegetable juice
      2 cups raw, leafy greens
      1 medium baked potato (2 1/2" to 3" in diameter; go easy on the butter, bacon bits and sour cream)

      Fruits: 1 1/2 to 2 Cups per Day
      1/2 cup of fruit is equal to:

      1/2 cup 100% fruit juice
      1/2 cup fresh, frozen or canned fruit
      1/2 a fruit (small orange, apple or banana)
      1/4 cup dried fruit
      16 grapes

      Milk Products: 3 Cups per Day
      1 cup of milk products is equal to:

      1 cup milk
      1 cup yogurt
      1 1/2 ounces natural cheese (examples: cheddar, parmesan)
      2 ounces processed cheese (example: American)
      Proteins: 5 to 5 1/2 Ounces per Day
      1 ounce of protein is equal to:

      1 tablespoon peanut butter
      1/4 cup cooked dried beans
      1 ounce lean meat, poultry or fish
      1 egg
      1/2 cup nuts (12 almonds, 24 pistachios)

      Take Folic Acid
      Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord (called neural tube defects). All women of childbearing age should take a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid every day before pregnancy and during early pregnancy, as part of a healthy diet.

      Your healthy diet should include foods that are good sources of folic acid and folate (the form of folic acid that occurs naturally in food). Examples are:

      Fortified breakfast cereals
      Enriched grain products
      Beans
      Leafy green vegetables
      Orange juice
      Healthy Eating Hints
      Meals: Eat four to six smaller meals a day instead of three bigger ones to help relieve the heartburn and discomfort you feel as your baby grows bigger.

      Snacks: Cheese, yogurt, fruit and vegetables are good, healthy snacks. Peanut butter and nuts are also good, if you aren't allergic to them.

      Liquids: Drink at least six to eight glasses of water, juice or milk every day.

      Vitamins: Take a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin every day. Ask your health care provider if you need to take an iron or calcium supplement, too.

      Caffeine: Limit the caffeine you get each day to 200 milligrams. That's about the amount in one 12-ounce cup of coffee. Caffeine amounts in coffee depend on the brand you drink and how it's made. So check the label on the package, or ask at your coffee shop. Instead of drinking regular coffee, try coffee that's decaffeinated (has a smaller amount of caffeine). Caffeine is also found in tea, chocolate, soda and some over-the-counter medicine. Read labels on food, drinks and medicine to know how much caffeine you're getting.

      Foods to Avoid
      Some foods can make you and your baby sick. Avoid these foods that can cause food poisoning or contain harmful chemicals.

      Raw fish, especially shellfish.

      Soft-scrambled eggs and foods made with raw or lightly cooked eggs.

      Unpasteurized juices.

      Raw sprouts, especially alfalfa sprouts.

      Unpasteurized soft cheeses, such as brie, feta, Camembert, Roquefort, queso blanco, queso fresco and Panela.

      Unpasteurized milk and any foods made from it.

      Herbal supplements and teas.

      Fish that can be high in mercury, like shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. It's OK for pregnant women to eat a limited amount of fish that have small amounts of mercury. You can eat up to 12 ounces of these fish a week. The 12 ounces can include:

      Shrimp, salmon, pollock, catfish and canned light tuna
      Albacore (white tuna): Don't eat more than 6 ounces of this tuna in one week
      Always check with your local health department before you eat any fish you catch yourself.

      Raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood and hot dogs. Deli meats (such as ham and bologna) can cause food poisoning. Avoid them or reheat them before eating.

      Refrigerated pates, meat spreads or smoked seafood. Canned and shelf-stable versions are safe.

      For more information, read Food-borne Risks in Pregnancy and Food Safety.

      Nonfoods
      Never eat nonfood items like clay, starch, paraffin or coffee grounds. Eating these things can cause problems for you and your baby.

  8. QUESTION:
    How can i have my baby before induction?
    I'm 38 weeks today and I have high blood pressure so if it doesn't go down my doctor wants to induce me Dec 22. I don't want to be induced I want my baby to come on his own, I'm only 1/2 cm dilated and thinning...thats all my doc says. If you have any advice on getting my cervix to dilate and thin more please let me know, and sex isn't an option and walking isn't doing anything :[ I Wong try Castor oil!!! Help!!!

    • ANSWER:
      Food
      This is a topic steeped in old wives tales and personal tales of heartburn, indigestion and stomach upset. Are there really foods that induce labor? As maintaining appropriate nutrition is an essential component of a healthy pregnancy, it should not be neglected in the later weeks in attempts to self-induce labor.

      Nipple Stimulation
      Using nipple stimulation to induce labor is a less familiar method, although one of the most effective of the natural ways to induce labor. While it may not be commonly known, it can also be utilized as one of the most effective techniques for stabilizing regular contractions once labor begins or getting a stalled labor back on track.

      Herbs
      Before artificial means of labor induction such as pitocin and cervidil were available, women in need of induction turned to herbs. Midwives and family physicians understood that certain herbs induce labor and the appropriate quantities in which to administer them. Unfortunately, much of this herb lore has been lost through the ages and widespread environmental pollution has robbed many herbs of their historic potency, limiting their current effectiveness as labor inducing agents.

      Acupressure
      Using acupressure to induce labor is the most comfortable, enjoyable technique to attempt. Acupressure serves many purposes during pregnancy from alleviating common aches and pains to relieving nausea and morning sickness symptoms. Like the other methods, it is only effective when the body is demonstrating signs of readiness. As it carries no known adverse effects, it can be attempted at a later date if unsuccessful initially.

  9. QUESTION:
    Any tips to stop worrying during pregnancy?
    Hi, I posted earlier about pains Ive been having, did anyone else have period like pains for a few weeks in early pregnancy? Everything Ive read suggests this is normal for maybe a day or two but not for a few weeks? I had a scan at 5 weeks (a few days ago) and its definately not eptopic; Im sure lots of women have had anxiety at the beginning of pregnancy, how did you all cope? My partners convinced all the worrying will harm the baby, please help me to relax...x

    • ANSWER:
      First of all, he's right....stress is not good for you and especially your baby...Some short-term achiness in the belly is normal during pregnancy. Severe cramping or pain never is. Don't hesitate to call your health care provider when you feel strong pain, especially if your pain doesn't go away or if you also have cramps, bleeding from your vagina, fever, chills, lightheadedness, faintness, or discharge from your vagina.

      There are different causes for mild achiness or pain in the abdomen during the different stages of pregnancy. For example:

      * Implantation. Many women have low, period-like pain or cramps for a day or so early in pregnancy around the time the embryo is embedding itself in the lining of the uterus.
      * Stretching of ligaments. In the second trimester, the muscles and ligaments that support your uterus stretch. (Ligaments are tough bands of tissue.) This can cause a dull ache across the belly or a sharp pain on one side. Many women feel this pain most severely when getting up from a bed, chair, or bathtub or when coughing.
      * False labor. In the second and third trimesters, you may feel contractions or an irregular tightening of your uterus muscles, often called Braxton-Hicks contractions. These are usually painless, but can sometimes be painful. They tend to increase in the weeks right before your due date and can be confused with early labor. How can you tell the difference? Braxton-Hicks contractions are irregular. Labor contractions are regular, coming every 5-10 minutes.
      * Cramping. In the last weeks of pregnancy, cramping may be a sign that labor is almost ready to begin. At the start of labor, you may have strong cramps that:
      o Come regularly every 5-10 minutes
      o Feel like a bad backache or menstrual cramps

      Normal abdominal pain may also be caused by:

      * Gas pains and bloating caused by hormones that slow your digestion
      * The pressure of your growing uterus
      * Constipation
      * Heartburn

      Abdominal Pain: What You Can Do
      When you feel abdominal achiness, sit down, put your feet up, and relax. Resting comfortably should quickly relieve your symptoms. Other tips include:

      * Avoid quick changes in position, especially turning sharply at the waist.
      * When you do feel a pain, bend toward the pain to relieve it.
      * Walking, doing light housework, or changing position may help relieve gas pains

      When to Talk to Your Health Care Provider

      Severe pain. While some pain or achiness is normal, severe abdominal pain or cramps could be a sign of a serious problem. Many conditions can cause this type of pain, whether you're pregnant or not. Severe pain may be a sign of stomach virus, food poisoning, appendicitis, urinary tract infection, kidney infection, kidney stones, gallbladder disease, or complications of pregnancy (such as preeclampsia).

      Ectopic pregnancy. During the first three months of pregnancy, abdominal pain can be a sign of ectopic pregnancy.
      In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg is implanted outside of the uterus. This serious condition requires immediate medical attention. Call your health care provider right away if you notice slight, irregular vaginal bleeding a week or more after you miss your period. The bleeding is often followed by pain in the lower abdomen, usually on one side. Without treatment, the pain will get worse and may be accompanied by shoulder pain, faintness or dizziness, nausea or vomiting.

      Preterm labor. Before the 37th week of pregnancy, abdominal cramping can be a sign of preterm labor. Call your health care provider or go to the hospital right away if you experience abdominal pain that includes any of the following:

      * Contractions (your abdomen tightens like a fist) every 10 minutes or more often
      * Pelvic pressure the feeling that your baby is pushing down
      * Cramps that feel like your period
      * Abdominal cramps with or without diarrhea

      Other signs of preterm labor are:

      * Change in vaginal discharge (leaking fluid or bleeding from your vagina)
      * Low, dull backache

      False labor. Abdominal pain during the second and third trimesters can be caused by Braxton-Hicks contractions. These contractions tend to increase in the weeks right before your due date. You are probably having false labor if the contractions:

      * Stop when you walk
      * Are irregular
      * Don't get stronger or closer together over time

      Labor. Call your health care provider when:

      * Your contractions are between 5 and 10 minutes apart.
      * Your water breaks, especially if the fluid is stained dark, greenish brown.
      * You have bleeding from your vagina.
      * You can no longer walk or talk during contractions.
      * You are concerned about your health or the health and well-being of the baby.

  10. QUESTION:
    Does apple juice cause or relieve heartburn?
    I'm almost 29 weeks pregnant, and I get the nastiest heartburn, I still can't figure out what foods are causing it, if any do at all. I was told the acid in apple juice counteracts the acid from heartburn and can help, but I'm reading different online. Can someone give me their experience with this if they know? I'm in a huge need of relief right now. Can't make it to the store for the rest of the night. Any advice is appreciated.

    • ANSWER:
      Acid doesn't counteract acid, it just adds to the problem. If the heartburn is something you've only experienced during pregnancy then it's probably a side-effect of being pregnant, and a supply of anti-acid indigestion pills will probably be enough to counter-act the symptoms.

      If you suffer from heartburn outside of pregnancy then it's probably best to go to a doctor and find out what's causing the problem rather than just trying to treat the symptoms.


foods that relieve heartburn during pregnancy

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