I feel like I have no right complaining about anything, because overall my pregnancy has been easy. And maybe because it’s been relatively easy, I notice the small complaints more.
Third trimester sleep is a biggie for me right now. I sleep fine, it’s just the interruptions to my sleep that get me down.
First, there’s the belly, which, in bed at night, feels like having a giant turtle shell strapped to your torso and filled with sandbags. It’s weight, shape and placement mean no comfy tummy sleeping, back sleeping can make you dizzy (compression of your abdominal aorta, how’s that for dramatic-sounding?) and to flip from side to side is a gynmastic feat (especially considering you have to bring whatever pillowage is propping up your belly and knees…).
Then there’s the peeing. My bladder has no room, and my body’s carrying a few pounds of extra fluid around, so bathroom trips are frequent – 4 times a night is normal.
Then there’s the hunger. I was having low blood sugar issues in the mornings, feeling horrible and cranky. My midwife said I need to eat in the night – a glass of milk, a few spoons of peanut butter, or some hummus, every time I get up to use the bathroom. It makes a world of difference, but it’s also that many more minutes awake at night.
(And before you say “Get used to it!” or any of the other things all third-trimester moms are SICK of hearing, restrain yourself. We KNOW the baby will be waking us up at night. It’s not a secret or a fact we just forgot about. Just let us have some sympathy for this moment, kthanx.)
And finally, the point of this post, the reflux. Ick. It’s even a gross word, for a gross condition. Stomach acid backing up your esophagus, because hormones are slowing digestion and baby is pressing your tummy up into your chest. Some moms feel heartburn, but I just get a “backed up” feeling and bad taste in the back of my mouth.
SO – I talked to Claudia, my awesome birth assistant, about this one and she had a couple suggestions, which I share with you all now.
Ways to relieve third trimester reflux:
- Don’t fill up with water in the last hour or so before bed. This was my habit, because I tend to drink more water at home in the evening than I do at work during the day. I need to switch that around, and slow down my drinking in the evening. Water mixes with stomach acid and creeps upward when I lie down in bed.
- Before bed, have a glass of milk, or even better, yogurt as a snack. Milk and yogurt help neutralize the acid, apparently. I was especially pleased by the yogurt suggestion because of my need to take in more calories at bedtime. Plain Greek yogurt can give me calories and protein without the sugar, and apparently calm my tummy and curb the reflux to boot.
Given my sense that I also need to include more whole grains in my diet right now, I hunted down a recipe for Swiss muesli created for the organization I work for (American Institute for Cancer Research) and plan to make some this weekend for bedtime/midnight snacks. You can read more about the recipe here, and the only change I’ll be making is to use Greek yogurt instead of regular.
Swiss Style Muesli
- 2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
- Approximately 2 cups water (enough to cover the oats)
- 2 Tbsp. raisins
- 2 Tbsp. dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup dried apricots (optional)
- 1 Granny Smith green apple, diced (or 1 cup seasonal fruit)
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar (optional)
- 1 tsp. cinnamon (1 tsp. apple pie or pumpkin pie spice may be substituted)
- 3 cups plain low fat yogurt
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds, chopped coarsely
Place oats in bowl with top. Cover oats with water. Cover bowl. Refrigerate overnight.
In morning, drain any excess water.
Combine dried and fresh fruit, honey, sugar, spice and yogurt. Gently stir to mix.
Sprinkle almonds on top. Serve chilled and enjoy.