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11 Common Pregnancy Pains And Tips To Deal With Them

11 Common Pregnancy Pains And Tips To Deal With Them

It is not uncommon to experience body aches and pain during pregnancy. In early pregnancy, these pains are caused due to hormonal changes, while during the later stages, the expanding uterus exerts pressure on adjacent organs and nerves, leading to these aches and pains. 

Additionally, during pregnancy, a hormone called relaxin is released in the body which causes musculoskeletal pain and leads to the loosening of the ligaments. Although these changes are sometimes extremely painful, they occur as the body prepares itself for childbirth. The good news is that there are effective ways to treat and prevent these pains, such as taking medicines (as per your doctor’s recommendation), stretching regularly, and administering heat and cold therapy to the pain-affected areas.

11 Common Pregnancy Aches And Pains

Pregnancy pains and aches can be resolved with some rest and relaxation

Headaches

Headaches can be quite common during pregnancy. We recommend you seek your doctor’s advice in case you have persistent headaches during pregnancy. These persistent headaches, especially after the second trimester, could be associated with preeclampsia and gestational hypertension. 
How to ease headaches during pregnancy: Headaches can be resolved with some rest and relaxation techniques including light physical exercise. You may also take acetaminophen or paracetamol as per your doctor’s recommendations.

Breast Pain

Hormonal fluctuations can cause breast pain during pregnancy. Breast tenderness and soreness are more common during the first trimester and can be felt on both breasts. You may seek medical care if you experience symptoms like severe pain, nipple discharge, or redness on the breasts. 
How to ease breast pain during pregnancy: Use a supportive maternity bra to reduce breast soreness. You may also try a hot or warm compress to relieve the pain.

Dental Pain

Pregnancy hormones can also affect your teeth and gums. Therefore, dental pain and sensitivity during pregnancy can be caused by tooth decay and gum problems. Additionally, an increase in sugary food cravings are also a reason for dental pain in pregnant women.
How to ease dental pain during pregnancy: Avoid sugary foods and brush twice a day to promote dental health. You may also go for regular dental check-ups to ease your pain.

Backache

Backache is one of the common pains experienced by most pregnant women, especially in the later months. It usually occurs due to the relaxation of ligaments and posture changes during pregnancy. Also, as the growing uterus shifts to the centre of gravity, it exerts pressure and stretches the abdominal muscles, leading to back pain. In addition to these changes, an increase in weight can also cause strain on the back. 
How to ease back pain during pregnancy: Backache can be relieved by regular walking and stretching. You may also wear low-heeled shoes and avoid standing for too long. Maintaining optimal weight can also reduce the risk of back pain.

Wrist and Hand Pain

Wear special splints to provide relief to your wrists and hands

Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause tingling, numbness, and pain in the hand and arm. This symptom occurs when the median nerve running to the hand is squeezed or compressed. During pregnancy, the blood vessels swell up due to doubled blood volume. These swollen blood vessels compress the nerves in the carpal tunnel area, causing wrist and hand pain.
How to ease wrist and hand pain during pregnancy: Give ample rest to your hands and use special splints to keep the wrists straight. You can also try rotating your wrists slowly for 4-5 times and then give a rest. 

Chest Pain

Acid reflux or indigestion are common causes of chest pain during pregnancy. Additionally, hormonal changes and the pressure exerted by the growing uterus can cause a burning sensation or pain in the chest. You should seek immediate medical care if you experience sharp or stabbing pain in your chest. 
How to ease chest pain during pregnancy: Chest pain due to indigestion can be solved by changing your eating habits. Avoid oily and spicy foods and eat small portions of more frequent meals than large meals. Also, always sit upright after your meal.

Round Ligament Pain

Round ligaments connect the uterus to the pelvis and help keep the uterus in place. As your pregnancy progresses, the uterus grows and shifts its position causing the ligaments to stretch. This pain is usually felt in the abdomen, near the groin area, and hips. It can be felt as an ache, pulling, or stabbing sensation. 
How to ease round ligament pain during pregnancy: Start wearing maternity belts that support the baby bump to reduce round ligament pain. You may also try prenatal yoga and stretching to reduce the pain.

Leg Cramps

Leg pain during pregnancy can be due to the involuntary contractions of the leg muscles. It is experienced by nearly half of pregnant women. Since the growing uterus presses the blood vessels to the lower parts of the body, there is a diminished supply of blood to the legs, causing pain and cramps. Some women may experience these cramps due to calcium deficiency. Leg pain can increase as your pregnancy advances. 
How to ease leg pain during pregnancy: Leg pain can be relieved by stretching, rotating, and bending your foot and legs. You may also keep the legs elevated to improve blood circulation.

Foot Pain

Foot pain is common, especially during the last trimesters of pregnancy. This occurs because the growing belly exerts pressure on the feet. In addition to the growing uterus, swollen ankles and feet due to low venous return can also cause foot pain and discomfort. 
How to ease foot pain during pregnancy: Wear supportive footwear regularly and get sufficient rest. You may also try a gentle massage using a natural foot cream with ingredients like shea butter and almond oil to reduce swelling and ankle pain.

Anal Or Rectal Pain

Constipation and haemorroids can cause pain in the buttocks or anal area. This can be increased during bowel movements. A tear in the anal tissue can also be the reason for pain during bowel movements. 
How to ease anal or rectal pain during pregnancy: Add fibrous foods in your diet and drink 8-10 glasses of water every day to ease your bowel movement and prevent constipation and haemorroids.

Sciatica Pain

Sciatica pain is usually felt in the lower back and can be relieved with regular stretching or a gentle massage

Sciatica is nerve pain caused by compressing or pinching the sciatic nerve in the lower back. The compressed nerve can cause shooting pain in the lower back, legs, and buttocks. In addition to this, pressure from the growing uterus and changes in posture can cause sciatic pain during pregnancy. 
How to ease sciatic pain during pregnancy: Sciatica pain can be improved by taking rest and stretching regularly. Gentle massages can also help soothe the pain.

Body aches and pains are common during pregnancy. Practicing stretching, yoga, and prenatal exercises from the early stages can help reduce pain in some women. If you are facing major discomforts, discuss with your doctor to know more individualised measures to relieve body aches and pains during pregnancy. However, do not self-treat pains with over-the-counter medications, as they can harm you and the baby. Instead, consult with your doctor and keep them posted about your health. 

20 May 2022

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