Body Aches and Pains during Pregnancy and How to Treat Them
“I’m going to be a mother!”
The news spreads ripples of happiness throughout the household. I can very well imagine the joy and glow on the face of the mom who gets the news. Pregnancy, no doubt, is bliss for couples; they are going to be complete, after all. But the pregnancy period is, by no means, an easy time for the mother. She is going to hold another being inside her body for almost nine months, and if anyone thinks it’s an easy job… well, think again!
Body Soreness during Pregnancy
Every pregnancy comes with its fair share of soreness, discomfort, and pain. It is because the body is experiencing something completely different than common diseases and prepares itself accordingly. On the onset of pregnancy, the body undergoes hormonal changes, which affects the muscles and tendons. The release of progesterone causes the ligaments to loosen and stretch to have room for the constantly expanding uterus. The breasts get tender and swollen in preparation for breastfeeding. Extreme fatigue, frequent urination, morning sickness, heartburn, constipation, vaginal discharge, light bleeding, lightheadedness, irritability, mood swings…. a lot comes with being pregnant. But the good news here is that your baby is growing, so you will have to put up with all this. Better get ready!
Common Body Aches and Pains during Pregnancy
Pregnancy aches and pains are quite common in women around the globe. These are all normal symptoms of pregnancy and are not matters of any concern. However, consulting your doctor is always advisable to decrease the risk of any complication. Common body aches and pains that pregnant mothers usually go through include:
A common problem that every expectant mother faces during her early pregnancy period is headache. However, you need not worry: headaches are harmless and are quite a common symptom in pregnant mothers. Headaches are mainly caused because, in early days of pregnancy, the body experiences a sudden surge of hormones and an increased level of blood volume. Other than this, stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, low blood sugar level, and high blood pressure may also trigger headaches. However, it is always wise to consult your doctor just to be on the safe side.
Are you experiencing heartburn after eating the spicy food you have always eaten, and it has never happened before? Relax: you are alright! Nothing is wrong with your heart. Nothing is out of ordinary. During pregnancy, the hormone progesterone causes the valve between stomach and esophagus to relax allowing the stomach acid to pass into the esophagus causing heartburn. The condition is more common during the third trimester when the constantly growing uterus puts a lot of pressure on the stomach and intestines pushing the contents of food back up the esophagus. You just need to tone down the spices; that’s all!
3. Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is another common problem mothers face during pregnancy. In most cases, this pain is harmless and quite normal. It is just a manifestation of the changes the body is undergoing currently. When a mother gets pregnant, her uterus expands and ligaments stretch to make room for another being it has to accommodate. Morning sickness, constipation, and gas may also be some other causes of a stomach ache. In all these cases, it is quite normal to feel pain in the lower belly area. However, if the pain is accompanied by bleeding or strong cramping, it is time to see your gynecologist.
4. Back Ache
Almost 50 to 70 percent women experience back pain or discomfort during pregnancy, especially in the later stages when the baby gains more weight. Hormone changes in the mother’s body cause the joints and ligaments to loosen in preparation for the birth process. When the ligaments that support the spine loosen, it causes pain and discomfort. Pregnancy weight gain, posture changes, and stress are additional causes of pain in lower back.
Cramping (a sharp, stabbing pain in the lower abdomen) typically occurs when the growing and expanding uterus causes the surrounding muscles to stretch. This stretching and pulling get more noticeable when you a cough, sneeze or change position. Gas and constipation may also result in cramps. Cramps are a normal part of pregnancy and are rarely a cause for concern. However, if the cramps come with vaginal spotting or bleeding, extreme pain in upper abdomen or high blood pressure, it is a red flag. See your doctor immediately!
6. Pelvic Pain
Like most of the pregnancy pains, pelvic pain is also caused by stretching ligaments, changing hormones and shifting organs. By the time you reach your third trimester, the baby has put on a considerable weight and presses down hard on the nerves running from the vagina into the legs. This also causes pain in the pelvic region. All of these symptoms are normal and fairly common. However, if the pain persists or is accompanied by unusual vaginal discharge, bleeding or severe cramping, immediately call your obstetrician.
Pregnancy Aches and Pains: Remedies
Your gynecologist is the one who can properly guide you on what to do in case you are facing pregnancy aches and pains. However, you will have to book an appointment first which may take quite some time. You may not feel like waiting since the pain is too much for you to handle. Worry not: certain remedies have been in use for quite a long time and have proved to be quite effective. Let’s see how we can help you in this regard!
Pregnant Stomach Ache Remedies
Take rest. Try to spend most of the time off your feet and relax. Your body needs time to handle that pain.
Take a warm bath. The hot water will help relieve the soreness in your muscles.
After taking guidelines from your doctor, do regular exercise. It will tone your abdominal muscles making the pain and discomfort bearable.
Stay adequately hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
What helps with Cramps during Pregnancy
If you are standing, sit down. If you are sitting, lie down. If you are lying, change position. The shift in body posture or position provides relief from cramps and contractions.
Spend some time in a warm bath.
Wrap a hot water bottle in a towel and place it on the spot where you are aching. The welcome heat from the bottle will help relieve the pain.
Attempt relaxation exercises (Talk to your doctor first!) regularly. Exercise is an effective pain reliever during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Backache Relief
I sympathize with you but you’ll just have to say goodbye to those fancy heels. They are not going to help you in that painful condition. Wear flat and comfortable shoes.
Keep your weight under control through proper diet and exercise (Don’t try to be a doctor yourself! Get proper guidance from a professional before trying anything).
In case you have to sit for a long period of time (which is not good for you, if you ask me), using a lumbar support pillow is a good option. It will provide necessary support to your back muscles preventing any additional discomfort.
Try using an elastic sling or pregnancy girdle to support your abdomen. It proves to be an effective source of pregnant pain relief.
Get a gentle back rub or, better yet, a thorough massage to relieve the soreness in your body and loosen the stretched muscles.
Instead of sleeping on your back, try lying on your side with a pillow between your legs.
A Final Word
All the remedies mentioned above are for information purpose only. By no means are they a replacement of proper diagnosis and treatment. On the first signs of pregnancy pains, aches or discomfort, consult your doctor to ensure everything is fine and that you and your baby are completely fine. Get a detailed examination and follow the treatment suggested by the physician meticulously. It doesn’t cost much to be thorough.