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    Body Pains During Pregnancy and What They Mean

    Pregnancy

    Body Pains During Pregnancy and What They Mean

    Updated on 27 March 2024

    Once upon a time, you were just a woman who thought pregnancy was all about food cravings, morning sickness, baby bump and childbirth. But now as you battle bloating, frequent urination and body pains during pregnancy, you’re realizing that pregnancy never was a joy ride. As you wobble your way to the end of the pregnancy journey, you’ll discover new pains every few weeks. But don’t worry, in this article, we will understand the reasons, types and remedies for body pain in pregnancy.

    Is it normal to experience body pain in early pregnancy?

    Yes, it is common to experience different types of body pains and changes in early pregnancy. In fact, as soon as implantation occurs, one of the first pains you might experience is abdominal cramping. Along with that, you may also experience tenderness and pain in your breasts and nipples in the initial few weeks of the pregnancy. Usually there’s nothing to worry about, but if the pain intensifies or persists and you notice some warning symptoms along with it, then don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.

    What are some common body aches during pregnancy?

    During your 9-months-long pregnancy journey, a lot of hormonal and physical changes will take place in your body. These changes can give birth to certain aches and discomforts, including:

    1. Headaches

    Starting early on, headaches continue to bother expecting mothers throughout the pregnancy. They are primarily caused by the surge of hormones and blood circulation in the body. Additionally, stress may also lead to headaches.

    2. Backaches

    As your pregnancy progresses through the second and third trimester, your baby grows, and the uterus expands to make room for the fetus. This, in turn, will put additional weight on your back and lead to lower back pain.

    3. Pelvic pain

    As the pelvic area prepares for childbirth, the surrounding ligaments and muscles begin to stretch and relax. This contributes to growing discomfort and pain in the pelvic area and surrounding organs.

    4. Round ligament pain

    During your second trimester of pregnancy, you may also feel sharp, stabbing pain on the sides of your abdomen. This is called round ligament pain and is caused when the ligaments supporting your uterus stretch. It can be a recurring pain as your uterus will continue to expand throughout the pregnancy.

    5. Leg cramps

    With all that weight gain during pregnancy, your legs end up bearing a lot more weight than they are used to. This can lead to leg cramps and pain in the calves, ankles and feet, especially at night, because of the extra stain on your legs’ muscles.

    What are the causes of body pain in pregnancy?

    Let us now understand some common reasons for body pains during pregnancy. Knowing the reasons can help you differentiate whether the pain is normal or not and seek medical attention timely.

    1. Hormonal changes

    The release of certain pregnancy hormones like relaxin causes the ligaments and joints in your body to loosen up, which becomes a common reason for pain and discomfort in the hips, back and pelvis.

    2. Posture changes

    As your baby takes more space in the uterus, it expands and causes your center of gravity to shift. This inevitably results in postural changes, which end up taking a toll on your back and pelvis.

    3. Weight gain

    Most of the pain in your legs, back and hips can be attributed to the extra pounds you gain during pregnancy. The additional weight exerts pressure on these body parts, leading to body ache.

    4. Stress on joints

    Talking about the extra pressure on the weight-bearing joints like knees and hips, also becomes a constant cause for pain, especially during the third trimester when you’re carrying the maximum weight.

    5. Digestive issues

    As a pregnant woman you are not new to digestive issues like gas, bloating, heartburn and constipation. All these problems also lead to abdominal pain and discomfort.

    How to relieve body pains during pregnancy?

    Enough about pains and discomforts, let’s talk about solutions and cures. Here are some of the most effective ways you can deal with body aches during pregnancy:

    1. Engage in prenatal exercises

    To avoid some of the body pains that are going to come your way during pregnancy, it’s best to start exercising early on. Whether it’s Yoga, stretching, walking or swimming, make sure to engage in some form of prenatal exercise approved by your doctor. This will help strengthen your muscles, improve your flexibility and even prepare the body for childbirth.

    2. Maintain proper posture

    It is essential to maintain a good posture throughout the day whether you’re working, eating or sleeping. Additionally, avoid sitting or standing for too long, lift objects correctly, use the stairs carefully and get in and out of bed safely to ensure you don’t exert any unnecessary pressure on your body.

    3. Apply a pain relief oil

    Now that you’re pregnant, you’re strictly off medicines and painkillers but applying an Ayurvedic pain relief oil on the affected areas may prove to be quite beneficial. Just ensure that you use an oil that is pregnancy-safe and made with natural ingredients like the Mylo Ayurvedic Pain Relief Massage Oil.

    4. Apply hot or cold packs

    Applying a heat pad or ice pack on the affected areas can also help reduce any soreness, swelling and pain that you’re experiencing. Heat and cold therapy are proven to be quite effective in pain reduction. Just ensure that the temperature of the hot and cold packs is safe for pregnancy.

    5. Use a pregnancy pillow

    If the body aches have been keeping you up all night, then a pregnancy pillow can come to your aid. Using a C or U-shaped pregnancy pillow while sleeping can support your body, maintain proper posture and establish comfort.

    6. Get a prenatal massage

    Getting a pregnancy massage from an experienced professional can be a great way to alleviate your body aches. Just ensure that the practitioner has worked with pregnant women and also, take an approval from your gynecologist.

    7. Wear supportive footwear

    Ladies now might be the time to avoid those heels and switch to comfortable slippers or sneakers. Wearing cushiony, supportive footwear can help improve your posture and even reduce the strain on your legs and back.

    You may also like: Breast Pain During Pregnancy: What to Expect and How to Find Relief

    FAQs

    1. Why am I feeling flu like body aches in early pregnancy?

    With all those hormonal changes, increased blood circulation and significant body changes, it’s normal to feel fatigue and body aches similar to those you may feel during a flu or fever.

    2. Can I take medicine to treat body aches early pregnancy?

    Most over-the-counter medicines are deemed unsafe for use during pregnancy. So, consult your gynecologist before taking any medicine to treat body aches during pregnancy. It’s best to look for natural alternatives.

    The Bottomline

    Your body is nothing short of a miracle vessel right now, growing life inside it. With a responsibility that huge, it’s common to battle some body pains during pregnancy. But don’t worry, it will all be worth it when you hold your baby in your arms for the first time. So, rely on remedies, strengthen with stretches and power your way through pregnancy. You got this!

    References

    1. Kesikburun S, Güzelküçük Ü, Fidan U, Demir Y, Ergün A, Tan AK. (2018). Musculoskeletal pain and symptoms in pregnancy: a descriptive study. Ther Adv Musculoskelet Dis.

    2. Ramachandra P, Maiya AG, Kumar P, Kamath A. (2015). Prevalence of musculoskeletal dysfunctions among Indian pregnant women. J Pregnancy.

    3. Shah S, Banh ET, Koury K, Bhatia G, Nandi R, Gulur P. (2015). Pain Management in Pregnancy: Multimodal Approaches. Pain Res Treat.

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    Written by

    Anupama Chadha

    Anupama Chadha, born and raised in Delhi is a content writer who has written extensively for industries such as HR, Healthcare, Finance, Retail and Tech.

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