Pregnancy is a beautiful time in a woman’s life. Another life is growing inside of you. What a wonderful miracle! But, before that bundle of joy appears, you have nine months of varying degrees of discomfort to go through.
Pain is not necessarily a bad thing. It can warn us of a problem. There are many pains that crop up during pregnancy from the changes to your body as it adjusts to the life you’re supporting. Don’t panic if you have noticed these aches and pains. By learning what they are you can decide if it is a matter for the doctor or something simple that you can handle. Listed here are several of the pains of pregnancy you may experience before the pleasure of greeting your little bundle of joy.
- Backaches – Even if you had perfect posture before, just the fact that you are carrying around a living, moving, kicking baby inside will make it hard to sit or stand for long periods of time. As the weight of the baby shifts during pregnancy, pressure is put on your lower back. One way to counteract this is to wear low heel shoes with good support, like walking shoes. Keep your center of gravity low. When you sit, place a pillow behind your lower back to alleviate the pressure. Some women feel relief when they’re sitting by placing their feet (or one foot) up on a low stool instead of on the floor.
- Headaches – Pregnancy isn’t just about the changes you see but is also about hormones. Headaches can result from hormonal changes, tension in your body as you carry your baby, nasal congestion and other conditions that may develop during pregnancy. Before reaching for Tylenol or Ibuprofen, try natural remedies. Lavender oil rubbed into the temples can reduce the severity of your headaches. A damp cloth on your forehead along with closing curtains to shut out the light for a few minutes can be a great comfort. Deep breathing, meditation, easy yoga moves, and a relaxing shower, are just a few more methods to relieve stress and the pressure of a headache.
- Swollen gums – Teeth often suffer during pregnancy. They can become tender to the touch and bleed even when you use the same pressure when brushing that you used before you became pregnant. Consult your dentist for proper care of bleeding and swollen gums. Even though this may seem like a simple inconvenience, bleeding and swollen gums may lead to infections, which is something you most likely do not want when you are pregnant.
- Leg pain – You may find yourself simply walking normally and all of a sudden your legs just seem to get weak, wobbly, or just “give out.” This may happen due to the pressure of the baby on the nerves and vessels in your back, torso, and legs. This sensation may get worse the later into your pregnancy you get, and it may even feel like you have a painful case of sciatica. To find relief, try sleeping in a semi-sitting position, propped up in bed or even in a recliner. Find a qualified massage therapist and get routine pregnancy massages to help keep blood flowing to your lower extremities which will reduce the cramping feeling.
- Hemorrhoids – This problem is often the most bemoaned! Blood vessels in the anus can become swollen and painful due to increased pressure on the rectum. Constipation can cause even more distress to the hemorrhoids, which in turn causes increased pain and burning, which can then cause even more constipation as a woman may tend to avoid having regular bowel movements. It’s a vicious cycle! Stop this cycle from starting by consulting with your doctor about increasing fiber in your diet to help prevent constipation. If hemorrhoids continue to cause pain and burning, ask your doctor for simple over-the-counter remedies. This is one pain that is very irritating but very treatable. Don’t suffer a moment longer than you have to – call your doctor immediately at the first signs of hemorrhoid discomfort.
If you are feeling any or all of these pains during your pregnancy, seek help. You don’t have to suffer in silence. There are remedies, or at least relief, for most of these pregnancy aches and pains. The trick is to not let the pain go too long without getting advice from your doctor. Learn how to take care of yourself so you feel the best you can during your entire pregnancy.