With a woman's body undergoing a massive change throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy, it is no wonder that today's mamas-to-be are afflicted with a variety of pains. Fortunately, there are ways to tell whether the pain is simply an ache or if it is really something that needs medical help. Read on to find out more about the various kinds of aches and pains that are common afflictions for the pregnant mother.
One of the most common kinds of pregnancy pains is often described as abdominal pain. While you should tell your healthcare provider of any new or lingering pains, this abdominal pain is usually nothing more than a pair of round ligaments that are being stretched beyond their wildest dreams. Think of it this way. Your uterus is, on a day-to-day basis, the size of a small pear. The round ligament holds the uterus in suspension, and, as your uterus grows, these ligaments are stretched taut like a rubber band. Thus the discomfort.
While round ligament pain is the most usual cause of abdominal pain in pregnancy, such pains can be caused by a variety of other, more serious things that your doctor should be aware of. These include appendicitis, pain from a ruptured cyst on one of your ovaries, or other serious issues. Please inform your healthcare provider of any abdominal pains so that they may be assessed and handled appropriately.
If your provider does indeed confirm that the pain is being caused by the round ligament, there is a solution--pregnancy belts! These belts are designed to lift the weight of a pregnant uterus and take some of the strain off the ligaments themselves. As a student midwife, I can personally testify to the benefit of using one of these belts for pains in pregnancy.
This kind of pain is, in my opinion, one of the most exciting pains of pregnancy. And here's why. Breast pain is usually caused by breast tissue growing and changing into real, milk-producing tissue. Once you are pregnant, large quantities of hormones are communicating with your breast tissue, transforming them into milk-making machines. The glands in this breast tissue may even begin to manufacture milk, causing the ever-famous leakage problem that we all have heard about. At times, the pain may be caused by a blocked duct; this can be remedied by "milking" the breast, or stroking from the base of the breast down to the nipple, meanwhile standing under a warm stream of water. If you can feel a lump in your breast or you notice a bright red area anywhere on your breast, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
LOWER BACK PAIN
Lower back pain is yet another common affliction for expectant mothers. Again, this pain is usually caused by a growing uterus and raging hormones, causing pain when you walk, stand up, pick up anything, or roll over in bed. The additional weight of carrying a baby will also shift your center of gravity and strain your back muscles. Like abdominal pain, this situation can usually be remedied by wearing a supportive pregnancy belt to release the strain on your back.
These three types of pain are some of the most common major discomforts of pregnancy. As mentioned before, always contact your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about your pregnant body. And remember, the pain only lasts for a season and will end with a baby in your arms!