Heartburn and Headache

My tummy is getting really big, but it’s not working any better. I had pretty bad heartburn last night, and it’s started up again today after a breakfast of multigrain toast and coddled eggs. And coffee, which might be the culprit. I’ve already cut back on coffee but I don’t really want to give it up altogether, and I’m afraid if I did my headaches would get worse.

Speaking of which, clever auntie Nina has tracked down some medical research suggesting the cause of the headaches might be a calcium-to-magnesium imbalance in my prenatal vitamins. Apparently my prenatal vitamins are not unusual in providing less than the recommended amount of magnesium. I bought some extra magnesium supplements so we’ll see if that helps.

Lunch will be leftovers from the couscous-with-olives-and-sauteed-zucchini that I made the other night. I’m thinking I may want some kind of creamy soup for dinner.

5 Responses to “Heartburn and Headache”

  • Madeline Says:

    I had terrible heartburn in pregnancy, and it didn’t seem to matter how blandly and carefully I ate. The pregancy hormones (I think relaxin is the culprit here, if I remember right) relax your digestive system, so just about anything can splash back up (ugh). And then the baby eventually smooshes your stomach, of course.

    I found that popping Tums at the first sign of symptoms helped a lot (though I guess then you’d really need that magnesium to balance the calcium carbonate.) Dairy seemed to help me, too.

    And you could always try a couple of cups of strong black tea with milk instead of the coffee–much easier on the stomach, and it would hopefully prevent caffeine withdrawal headaches, which are so horrible. I know it’s not quite the same as coffee, though…

    Heartburn actually led to one of my most annoying (out of many) encounters with nosy, obnoxious strangers while I was pregnant. A total stranger approached me and lectured me in the co-op because she saw me buying a roll of Tums. She claimed it, like any other “unnatural” mainstream medicine, was bad for the baby (it’s just *chalk*, for pete’s sake), and that the heartburn was my fault: “I never had heartburn when *I* was pregnant,” she informed me, “so you must be doing something wrong.”

  • Madeline Says:

    Oo! I thought of something else that might help. You could get one of those cold-brew coffee makers, which make coffee with much lower acidity than regular coffee. My brother has one of these and loves it–he can’t drink coffee ordinarily, because his stomach can’t handle the acid. It’s also very convenient, because it makes a coffee syrup that you keep in the fridge and mix up when you want it (good for iced coffee, too!).

  • shannon Says:

    “I never had heartburn when *I* was pregnant,” — OMG, how utterly, utterly obnoxious. I suppose *she* never had strangers offer her their ill-informed, insulting, and unwelcome advice, either.

    I think I’m still in that stage where strangers are like “Is she pregnant? Or is she just fat??” Nobody’s interacted with me at all in a pregnancy-related way, which is both an advantage and disadvantage — nobody gives me their seat on the bus, either.

    Morning tea is a very good idea. I used to drink tea almost every morning when I was in high school, and we have some good tea in the house. We also have one of those cold brew coffee makers! We haven’t used it in a while because we like chicory coffee, and for some reason that tastes best drip-brewed. But maybe I’ll buy some beans and go back to the cold brew method.

  • Nina Says:

    Geez, that is a whole new level of obnoxiousness. Although I’m not sure I would defend myself against such a foe by saying “it’s just chalk”. She may not realize that eating chalk is a good thing. No, I think the best way to reply to her would be with a BOOT TO THE HEAD.

    I hope the Mg helps your poor keppala!

  • Madeline Says:

    I didn’t defend myself to the woman in any way–not with my chalk defense, or with your MUCH better suggestion, Nina–I was too flustered and furious to respond at all. Later, I thought of lots of snappy comebacks, of course.

    I also had another total stranger tell me that because of the way I was carrying the baby (high up and far out in front), “don’t be surprised if you have the same problem I did,” which was the very obscure problem of insufficient amniotic fluid. “They’ll probably have to inject artificial amniotic fluid into you toward the end of the pregnancy,” she informed me.

    And of course there are all the people who come up and touch your belly, uninvited, and tell you that you’ll deliver early, or late, or have a boy, or a girl… And in the last month, people constantly saying, “Are you SURE you’ve got another month? Looks like you’re about to pop!” or “Are you STILL here?” (a bizarre but constant comment).

    That said, there are definite perks to being visibly pregnant, like the seats on the bus, and a lot of other positive attention and care. If you rest your hands on your belly and look beatifically maternal, I bet they’ll be scrambling to give you their seats.

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