Coping With Aches and Pains of Pregnancy

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Dr. Manu Lakshmi

24 Dec 2021

Aches and pains of pregnancy are a part and parcel of the special time. Best Gynaecology hospital in Chennai has been seeing pregnant women experience different kinds of pains, aches, cramps, and numbness. Aches and pains can occur at any stage of pregnancy, but the third trimester seems to be the most bothersome stage because the baby gets bigger and heavier. Different women can have varied aches and pains depending on their activity level. An active pregnant mother may have pains that get worse by the end of the day due to fatigued muscles whereas a sedentary mother may experience pains from certain positions and prolonged periods of stationary posture.

Know the cause of aches and pains during pregnancy

Body aches and pains in pregnancy are considered completely normal as they are usually a reaction to the changes that the body is going through. Muscles and ligaments of the body are relaxing, changing, and adapting to accommodate the growing foetus. There is increased space created between pelvic bones and spine by the ligaments that stretch also making loosely held bones move against each other with difficulty thus causing clumsy and painful movements. Finding the right kind of pain relief Coping with aches and pains during pregnancy means understanding what might be causing it and finding the appropriate relief measures, considering the safety of the baby.

First-trimester pain can be caused by:

  • Stretching of the uterus
  • Formation of cyst in corpus luteum after the ovary has released the egg
  • Breast tenderness

Pain experienced when pregnancy progresses to the second trimester could be due to:

  • Shift in centre of gravity through the body
  • Loosening of joints and connective tissue by chemical changes
  • Strain caused by changes in posture and sleep position
  • Carrying extra weight of the baby and additional weight gain can add to the strain
  • Pregnancy hormones make the muscle or sphincter between the stomach and the oesophagus loose, allowing acid to easily reflux into the lower oesophagus.

During the third trimester, the compression of nerves can cause several types of pain during pregnancy. This type of pain occurs when:

  • There is swelling of tissues around the nerves
  • Radiating pain from nerve compression caused by baby’s head pressing against the back
  • Abdominal pain caused by the growing uterus compressing the nerves to the skin
  • Deficiencies leading to leg cramps or restless leg syndrome

It is important to know that pregnancy aches and pains usually affect only a particular region of the body instead of the whole body, and they are not typically associated with other symptoms of infection such as fever or chills. Pain may be almost constant throughout pregnancy but pain that doesn’t fade or ease away should be reported to the best gynaecologist in Chennai for evaluation.

Measures to cope with common aches and pains in pregnancy

Here are some tips that can help cope with some common pains and aches faced during pregnancy:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Rest or a warm bath/shower can relieve from stretched abdominal muscles and ligaments.
  • Regular, monitored exercise can strengthen and tone abdominal muscles.
  • Backache
  • Keep weight gain on check through proper diet and exercise
  • Use heating pad to relieve back pain
  • Strengthening the abdominal muscles can also reduce back pain
  • Avoid high heels
  • Maintain good posture while sitting
  • Sleep on the side with pillow between the legs
  • Sleep on a firm mattress
  • Don’t stand for prolonged periods
  • A gentle back massage in sitting position can help
  • Avoid or be cautious while lifting heavy loads
  • Breast tenderness
  • Wear a comfortable bra to well support the enlarged breasts
  • Nerve pain
  • Wear a wrist band to relieve nerve compression in case of carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Physical therapy and stretching exercises like yoga can relieve sciatica pain
  • Find comfortable positions  suitable to ease discomforts like tingling pain or numbness
  • Heart burn
  • Lie completely flat at night with the head propped up on pillows
  • Taking antacids prescribed by the doctor can help combat heart burn

General guidelines to ease aches and pains during pregnancy

Physiological changes during pregnancy are accompanied by physical discomfort and even intense pain in many women. There is a good explanation for the symptoms sometimes but otherwise not. Total relief from discomforts may not be possible until the baby is delivered. However, there are a few ways that can ease the aches and pain at least a little.

Walking and exercise – A nice slow walk and light exercise as a routine can energize the body and help cope with sores and aches.

Eating right – Nutrition management can increase energy levels, keeping weight gain in check for an overall advantage to the body.

Rest and relax – There is nothing to be ashamed of about laying back and relaxing when feeling like it. Keeping the legs raised can help blood flow and reduce the risk of clots and swelling.

Swimming – Just being in the pool or swimming can be soothing as the weightlessness of water can help ease some of the pressure on the body and allow low-impact exercise.

Heat packs – Placing heating pads and hot water bags can help soothe the soreness of the low back.

Massage – The body releases pain-blocking chemicals called endorphins when getting a massage from the partner. This can keep the mind off the aches by increasing feelings of intimacy.

Use cushions – Body pillows and cushions can make sleep more comfortable. Soft cushions under the small of the back lying flat or between the legs on side-lying can be very comforting.

Alternative therapies – yoga, acupuncture, acupressure, reflexology, or meditation are some of the alternative techniques that can help relieve undue strain.-

Pregnancy aches and pains are considered normal, but really severe discomforts that restrict movement or include swelling or redness can be signs of a possible ailment. The Chennai gynaecologist can assess and guide if pains and aches are normal or need medical intervention.

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Disclaimer: The content of this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended for use as diagnosis or treatment of a health problem, and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a healthcare professional. If you have questions or concerns or you feel that you have symptoms regarding a health or medical condition, you are recommended to contact your physician or get in touch with for proper treatment.

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