ADVERTISEMENT: This post is a collaboration with Rennie®. All thoughts and opinions are genuine and my own.
Whenever I hear someone croak, “I have heartburn.” my face screws up in a highly unattractive, yet deeply sympathetic response. In fact, if you’re not nodding, and your own face doesn’t take on a pitying look, you’re practically a monster in my books. Heartburn hurts.
What is Heartburn?
So what is heartburn? It’s basically acid reflux – stomach acid creeping into places it shouldn’t be. I always thought it was a random attack kind of issue, like heartburn strikes when it feels like it, but according to Rennie’s it actually isn’t. There are a variety of triggers and causes, and heartburn symptoms can be different for all of us – but it’s unpleasant for everyone – the good news is that we can take care of ourselves.
Heartburn and My Body
I’m no stranger to heartburn. In fact, there were times during my pregnancies that I never thought I would survive it and I even suspected that there might be some dragon genes on my side of the family, I felt that I was breathing fire so often.
It even made me cry, I got so worn down from it at times. There are so many old wives’ tales surrounding pregnancy and heartburn features quite prominently in one of them – that if you
have a lot of heartburn whilst pregnant, your children allegedly will be born with a full head of hair. At least there would be some payout, I consoled myself. Imagine how I felt when my first two boys came out practically hairless and remained that way for nearly two years each. Hero came out with quite a bit of hair so I felt that at least my suffering during that pregnancy had been recognised by the heartburn fairies somewhere. Seriously though,
heartburn can be debilitating in a way I never imagined. I couldn’t sleep, wanted to breathe cold air in to fan the flames in my throat, and generally felt powerless. I took Rennies on
occasion to help me – and if you’re experiencing heartburn in pregnancy then always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medicine during pregnancy, remember to always
read the label [and if symptoms are severe or prolonged, talk to your doctor or pharmacist again].
Medicines can affect the unborn baby. Always talk to your pharmacist or doctor before taking any medicine in pregnancy.
Post partum, I still experienced heartburn infrequently – after a stressful day rushing about eating on the go, I’d bend over forwards and feel the stomach acid [apologies if you’re eating
reading this] traveling up my oesophagus.
Loving Your Body
Can You Love your way to a heartburn-free life?
Well, this year I’ve become kinder to and more appreciative of my body. Instead of hating it and everything it doesn’t look like, I’ve taken care of it, especially my tummy – which to be honest really does look like a deflating balloon after three near ten pound boys grew inside it, all two weeks overdue – and been grateful of everything it does do.
I decided to partner with Rennie on this particular campaign because firstly, I know how awful heartburn can be, but secondly, because they are encouraging everyone to be more loving towards themselves – and whilst you won’t find my tummy all over my Instagram grid or see me in my Instagram stories wearing just pants and telling you I’m body positive, I’ve come to realise that whilst being kind to others is a virtue that I want my boys to possess, and is something I constantly talk about with them, being genuinely kind to themselves is equally as important, yet twice as hard to achieve. Simply paying lip service to the body positive
campaign doesn’t help you. We have to actively help and love our bodies – all of our bodies.
Reducing the likelihood of heartburn is one way we can all help ourselves to feel better. So here’s how I’ve helped myself.
I had no idea that there are particular foods that increase your chances of heartburn. Saying that, during my late teenage years I would inhale fish and chips on a Friday night with my family before getting ready to go out with my friends and inevitably end up with heartburn and indigestion and lay on the sofa in what I deemed agony [clearly I had no idea what was waiting for me in childbirth] taking deep breaths and sipping water, trying to put out the imaginary flames rising in my throat half an hour later.
Herby, Not Spicy
Spicy foods can affect acid production and lead to heartburn – which explains my pain after a night out at the delicious local Indian restaurant. Rennie suggest switching from spices to
herbs – basil and oregano for instance – to add flavour without the risk of triggering heartburn.
Thankfully citrus fruits, garlic and onions aren’t a trigger for me, but reading through the list of potential heartburn triggers on the Rennie website, I found fizzy drinks, spices, and fried foods are my main ones. Luckily I don’t drink fizzy drinks, but I know the pain I experience when I do. I can’t give up spices but I’m much more aware of any effect that they are having on me now.
As my heartburn and indigestion are also prone to strike after eating – and because we eat quite late in our home, I try to make sure that I relax and watch TV before bed to wind down, and that seems to help a great deal. Rennie recommends not lying down for at least 3 hours after eating [which probably explains a lot about heartburn in my twenties] and not wearing tight clothes around your middle when eating either. Honestly [and in the loveliest of
oversharing ways] I like to eat my evening meal in my pyjamas on the sofa. I’m comfy, happy and heartburn free.
Stress and Mom-life
I also have more heartburn – although not much at all lately, which is comforting – when I’m stressed. One of my most successful ways of beating stress is to write down everything I
have to do each day the night before. Not just because I feel like I’ve actually achieved the next day but because I often build things up in my mind into mountains. Listing exactly what I need to do helps me to see that my life isn’t quite as calamity riddled as I thought.
When Mom-life stress gets the better of me on occasion and I get heartburn [let’s not pretend we’re all saints who can handle everything] Gav will send me out for a walk to take deep
breaths through my mouth of fresh cool air to try and fan the flames – and if that doesn’t work, I reach for a Rennie Peppermint for heartburn and indigestion.
So I’m learning more about my tummy, heartburn and having a less painful relationship with my oesophagus – if you’re fanning the flames too, keep a diary and try to discover what your triggers are; it’s helped me enormously.
This post is in conjunction with Rennie®. All thoughts and opinions are genuine and my own. Rennie Peppermint for heartburn and indigestion.
Rennie Liquid Heartburn Relief Oral
Suspension. Rennie Heartburn, Indigestion & Wind Relief Chewable Tablets. Always read the label.