Pregnancy comes with dozens of aches and pains, which are to be expected. Your body is rapidly growing and creating new life. That doesn’t come pain-free! You’ll want to know about the different pregnancy aches and how to deal with them. There is no way to get rid of the pains entirely, but you can suffer just a bit less.
Remember, if the aches are severe, seek medical attention. The pain could be normal, but it is always wise to get checked out.
One of the first aches you might experience is in your abdominal region. Chances are you will get worried because they can feel like menstrual cramps. Don’t fret unless blood accompanies the pain. Your uterus is stretching, and that can cause cramping and discomfort!
Abdominal aches can also come from implantation, which takes place very early in pregnancy. The stretching of ligaments can cause pains; look at the section below about round ligament pains.
If you have strong abdominal aches towards the end of your pregnancy, it could be a sign of labour or Braxton-Hick contractions.
Talk to your doctor about your abdominal pains. They could be from gas, bloating, constipation, or just your growing baby. Make sure you avoid quick movements. Increase your fluid intake, walk to relieve gas and bloating, and take a warm bath.
Back Pains and Aches
Back pain can come at any point in your pregnancy, but you are most likely to experience back pain during your third trimester. It is an unfortunately normal part of pregnancy.
Back pain starts for several reasons. Your body has to accommodate the growing baby such as widening your hips. The pains also could be from changing hormone levels and having to learn to walk differently.
If your back pain is suddenly severe, don’t ignore it. The pains can be from preterm labour, a miscarriage, infection or sciatic nerve pain.
Luckily, you have several routes to try to treat back pains during pregnancy.
- Lying down
- Improving posture
- Heating pads, warm compresses or a warm bath
- Cold packs
- Maternity support belts
- Better quality shoes with a supportive sole
- Pain medication like Tylenol
Round Ligament Pains
Only pregnant women understand round ligament pains. They are very common but frustrating. Your hips and uterus area can ache and feel painful. Remember, your body is growing a human and stretching to accommodate that little human. Round ligaments support your uterus, and a growing uterus makes that difficult. You have round ligaments on either side of your body attached to the groin area at one end and the uterus at the other end.
You can try to treat round ligament pain with heat. Use a heating pad or a warm compress. A warm bath may also reduce the pain. Try moving positions because sometimes the pains come from how you are sitting or lying. Don’t lift heavy objects and don’t make sudden movements.
Feet and Ankles
No one expects their feet and ankles to ache, but they definitely can! Ankles swelling are a result of fluid retention brought on by the pregnancy. Pregnancy increases the fluids in your body by 50% to nourish the baby. That is why your feet, ankles, legs, hands, and face might swell. Fluid retention can lead to aches and discomfort.
Swollen feet can be a normal part of pregnancy, but make sure you always mention swelling to your doctor. Aside from fluid retention, additional causes might be:
- Heat or humidity
- Low potassium in your diet
- Too much salt
- Too much caffeine
- Preeclampsia or eclampsia
There are several ways to treat swollen feet and ankles.
- Rest as often as possible
- Elevate your feet at least 12 inches above your heart level while resting
- Increase your water and other fluid intakes during the day
- Lower your salt and sodium intake
- Eat healthily
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid warm, humid environments
- Avoid tight clothing
- Use cold compresses on the swollen areas
- Wear comfortable, supportive shoes
Many women never have a single headache throughout pregnancy, while headaches plague others. Some pregnant women experience migraines during pregnancy that promptly stop after delivery!
Headaches happen during pregnancy because your body increased the volume of blood significantly. The increased amount of blood can add pressure to your brain. Plus, a change in hormone level can lead to headaches.
You should mention migraines to your doctor because he can prescribe you medication. For a simple headache, you can try some pain medication such as Tylenol, laying down with your eyes closed, a cool washcloth on your neck or forehead or taking that ponytail out of your hair!
Dealing with the Different Pregnancy Aches
Pregnancy can bring one or all of the different pregnancy aches. Learn how to deal with each one as they come. Luckily, pregnancy is only 40 weeks long and will be over before you know it!
About the Writer:
Hi! My name is Veronica Mitchell. I am a mother of two adorable little girls and a handsome little boy. I spend my days caring for my children, packing lunches, reading aloud, kissing boo-boos, and working as the Chief Editor of MyParentingJourney.
Thanks so much, Veronica for a fab guest post! I know all about those pregnancy aches but holding your little one is all worth it in the end!