10 Pregnancy Pains and Their Solutions

A pregnant woman experiencing back pain

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Pain during pregnancy is usually nothing to be worried about unless it is associated with preeclampsia or pre-term labour. These body aches and pains are usually due to the body changes that take place and also due to the increase in body weight during pregnancy.





Common Types of Pains and Aches Experienced during Pregnancy

A pregnant woman suffering from abdominal pain

Pregnancy has its share of woes. It comes with a whole lot pains and aches. Listed below are some of the common pregnancy pains and aches that one may experience while pregnant.

1. Abdominal Pain

Usually, this kind of pregnancy pain symptoms is absolutely normal. It could be due to gas, heartburn, constipation and even due to the growing baby inside. The pain could also be due to implantation cramping when at the very beginning of pregnancy. Another reason could be due to the stretching of round ligaments that support the uterus. False labour or Braxton-Hicks contractions, an 8th month pregnancy pain can also be one of the reasons for abdominal pain. During true labour too, most of them experience severe cramping.




Solution

Abdominal pain during pregnancy due to minor issues can be reduced by avoiding quick waist movements, bending towards the pain, drinking water as much as possible, stretching a little or walking around to release gas.





When to Consult a Doctor?

If pain persists for a long time, with or without vaginal bleeding or white discharge, you should consult your Gynaecologist.




2. Back Pain

There are two types of back pain that can occur during pregnancy. One is the Lumbar or lower back pain, and the other one is the Posterior pelvic pain. A backache during pregnancy can be for a number of reasons like weight gain, bad posture, hormonal changes, separation of the muscles due to the expansion of the uterus and of course stress.

Solution





Back pain can be managed with proper posture while sitting and standing, exercises which are appropriate at that stage of pregnancy, and sleeping on your left side with a pillow in between the two legs. Acupuncture can also be effective in relieving pregnancy-related back pain. Applying hot and cold pads on the affected area can also go a long way in curing the pain.

When to Consult a Doctor?




If your backache during pregnancy is accompanied by fever, it could be a sign of infection. A pain that goes from bad to worse or severe pain which makes it difficult for you to even urinate should be discussed with your doctor right away.

3. Vaginal Pain

Vaginal pain is one among the few early pregnancy pains. The reason could be the expanding of your uterus and the increase in the volume of blood in the pelvic region. Even constipation (which can be a result of pregnancy hormones and the iron vitamins prescribed during pregnancy) could be a reason behind the pain.





Solution

If constipation is a concern for you during pregnancy, include more of fibre-rich food in your daily diet and also drink as much water as you can. You can also ask your doctor for pregnancy safe stool softeners. Practising few pelvic exercises can help you to ease the pain. Get pregnancy safe massages from a trained therapist and also take a soothing warm bath. You can also try out pregnancy support garment which supports the belly thereby taking away the pressure from the pelvic region, hips and lower back area.




When to Consult a Doctor?

You should look for danger signs of vaginal bleeding along with pain, severe pelvic pain that walking around becomes difficult, severe headache, light-headedness, body swelling, fever or chills. If you find any of these symptoms along with vaginal pain, consult your doctor.





4. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Pain in the wrist, finger joints along with numbness in the fingers with a tingling sensation are the common symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. During pregnancy, this usually occurs in the second, third trimester and can even continue post-delivery. At times, the pain becomes so severe that it is almost impossible to hold the baby!

Solution




Getting a massage by a trained therapist could help in healing the pain. Cold and hot compresses on the affected area, rotating and shaking the wrists time to time or wearing a splint while doing activities that increase the pain are some other reasons that can give some relief from the pain and numbness of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

When to Consult a Doctor?


Severe pain in the wrist or extreme numbness which makes grasping or holding things difficult can be a thing of concern. Therefore, in conditions like this, consult a doctor. You can also call on your doctor if the symptoms persist way post delivery.

5. Headaches

It is common to suffer from headaches during the early pregnancy phase. However, it becomes infrequent or completely stops in the last two trimesters.

Solution

Cold compresses, head massages, drinking lots of water, getting good sleep, going for walks and relaxing to be stress-free are some of the ways to cure a headache during pregnancy. You may also take some painkillers but only after consulting your doctor.


When to Consult a Doctor

At times headaches during pregnancy could mean something serious. Therefore always consult your doctor when with a severe headache you have blurred vision, flashes in your eyes, severe pain below the ribs, nausea, and body swelling. These could be signs of preeclampsia.

6. Leg Cramps

Leg cramps is a stinging pain that shoots up all of a sudden. At times you may even need help from someone to straighten your leg. These cramps cause pain in the calves and even at the back of the thigh. Bad circulation in the leg and thighs could be the reason behind such sudden cramps.

Solution


As soon as you get a cramp, get up and try to stretch your leg. You could even ask somebody to help you to do so. Then stand and try to move your leg and foot while holding onto something or someone. It is also suggested that magnesium supplements can help in reducing muscle cramps. You can take food rich in magnesium instead of the supplements.

When to Consult a Doctor?

You can call on your Doctor if you have frequent and extremely painful leg cramps.

7. Sciatica

The hormone relaxin starts preparing the pelvis for childbirth. As a result, the ligaments loosen, and the sciatic nerve gets squeezed in between. This is when there is shooting pain down the buttocks and the back of the legs.


Solution

Homoeopathy can give relief from sciatica pain. Other than that, you can take a bath with warm water or apply heating pads on the affected area.

When to Consult a Doctor?

As soon as you experience a shooting pain down your buttocks and the back of your legs, you should go visit your doctor.

8. Haemorrhoids

One of the reasons of Haemorrhoids during pregnancy is the common and severe constipation problem due to hormonal changes.

Solution

The first thing that one should do to cure haemorrhoids is to prevent constipation. It can be cured by drinking lots of water and including lots of fibre-rich food in the diet. The food should be healthy and less spicy. Taking warm baths with baking soda can increase blood circulation in the area. In order to get relief from the itch in the haemorrhoids, you can apply baking soda paste in the area. Witch Hazel and lemon juice can cure the swelling and bleeding in the Haemorrhoids.

Non-surgical solutions include Bipolar coagulation, Haemorrhoidal Arterial Litigation, Rubber Banding, and Freezing. Surgery may be required when bleeding from the Haemorrhoids cannot be controlled, or there are multiple haemorrhoids, both internal as well as external.

When to Consult a Doctor

Consult a doctor when you experience severe pain and bleeding.

9. Rib Pain

It usually occurs during the last trimester. However, some may experience it in the early trimesters as well. The pain is a result of the baby getting bigger and pushing against the rib while trying to adjust itself.

Solution

You can get some relief from rib pain only after the 36th week when your uterus and baby drops slightly. Till then, one has to make do with temporary pain relief by wearing loose clothes, maintaining correct posture, using pillows, walks, yoga and warm baths.

When to Consult a Doctor?

You should consider talking to your doctor and ask for medication if you have severe pain in your rib cage.

10. Breast Pain

Breast tenderness can occur in any of the trimesters or all of the trimesters. This is basically due to the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy. The pain during the third trimester is also on account of the milk glands preparing themselves to manufacture colostrum.

Solution

Breast tenderness is common during pregnancy, and there is no permanent way to relieve the pain. However, the pain can be reduced by wearing a supportive bra and gently washing instead of vigorously scrubbing the area during baths.

When to Consult a Doctor?

When the breast feels extremely sore with reddish skin or rash, you should consult a doctor.

Almost all the aches and pains that you experience during pregnancy are normal and nothing to be worried about. However, some might require medical intervention. Therefore, if you feel a hitch, always make sure to share your concern with your doctor.