Aches & Pains During Pregnancy
Along with many body changes some aches and pains are common during pregnancy. These aches and pains occur as your body gets ready to make room for your growing baby. Knowing what to do when these common pains and aches occur is important for all pregnant women. Here is what to do.
Headaches commonly occur during pregnancy. Practicing some relaxing techniques will help you deal with common headaches.
Headaches can be a sign of preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy). Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) and take rest to get relief. If your headache doesn’t go away or gets worse even after taking the medicine and rest, call your doctor.
Lower Abdominal Pain
Lower abdominal pain mostly happens between 18 and 24 weeks. Slow down your movements and change positions slowly if you feel stretching or pain.
Mild lower abdominal pain for a short period of time is normal. Call your doctor right away if you have constant, severe lower abdominal pain, possible contractions, or you have pain and are bleeding or have fever. These symptoms can be indicative of the following severe problems:
- Preterm labor
- Placental abruption (separation of placenta from the uterus)
- Gallbladder disease
Lower Back Pain
Expansion of your body to accommodate the growing baby strains your back and posture. Do the following to avoid or reduce lower back pain:
- Maintain physically fitness.
- Walk and stretch regularly.
- Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes.
- Sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs.
- Sit in a chair with good back support.
- Don’t stand for long periods of time.
- Bend your knees when picking things up. DO NOT bend at the waist.
- Don’t lift heavy objects.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- If your back is sore, use heat or cold to help with it.
- Have someone massage or rub the sore part of your back. Professional massage therapist will do a better job.
- Do back exercises that your doctor suggests to relieve back stress
- Maintain a healthy posture.
Leg Cramps & Pain
Your additional pregnancy weight and pressure from the expanding uterus can make your legs and back hurt. There can be swelling and pain in the legs. If you experience swelling and pain in only one leg, call your doctor right away, as this can be a sign of a blood clot.
Your body will also make a hormone that loosens ligaments throughout your body to prepare you for childbirth. These looser ligaments are more easily injured, most often in your back. For this reason, you need to be careful when you lift any object or exercise.
Leg cramps commonly occur in the last months of pregnancy. Sometimes stretching your legs before going to bed will reduce the cramps. Request your doctor to show you how to stretch safely.
Numbness & Tingling
Expansion of your uterus may press on the nerves in your legs, causing some numbness and tingling (sensation of pins and needles) in your legs and toes. This is normal and will go away in a month or so after you give birth.
You may also experience numbness or tingling in your fingers and hands, particularly when you wake up in the morning. This will also go away in a few weeks after you give birth.
If numbness and tingling becomes uncomfortable, wearing a brace at night will help control it. If it persists, consult your doctor, who will check up to see if there is a more serious problem.