For what ails you

24 January 2010 at 7:15 pm Leave a comment

I’ve had some terrible heartburn this pregnancy. The last time around I only got it when I ate entirely too much or when I ate a few particularly spicy foods. This time around, right upon entering the 3rd trimester, I started to have heartburn all time, no matter what or how much I ate. I took tums last time, but didn’t like them, particularly since as the weeks went by I needed to eat more and more of them to feel relief. And since then I’ve heard that other pharmacological remedies might be preferred (for example) during pregnancy.

I happened to mention my heartburn to our midwife two weeks ago. She suggested that it might be because I was drinking too much water with my meals, which would be diluting my stomach acids resulting in both slowing down in digestion and leaving more fluid to rise up and burn my throat. Yuck. She advised I not drink anything about a half hour before a meal and then for about two hours after. I’d never heard of this before, but remembering how much I didn’t particularly like tums, I figured I’d try it.

Well, let me say that it seemed totally crazy to me, but it worked! And it made me reflect on how far that we, as a society, have removed ourselves from “home” remedies in favor of “medical” ones. Don’t get me wrong, if this method hadn’t worked, I eventually would have tried mylanta, or zantac, or rolaids or tums again. But how easy it was to just change my habits a little bit instead — and no yucky, chalky after taste, no first three, then five, then eight, minty- or fruity-fresh tablets to have to ingest, and not even any (however incidental) cost to me.

It’s just such a nice change, this time around, so have someone who thinks first of natural ways to treat some of the discomforts of pregnancy before automatically writing a prescription. Once again it makes me feel so much more like pregnancy is a natural part of life that I make room for by making small changes here and there as we get ready to meet our baby, rather than a condition I have I need to be “cured” of by modern medicine.

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