When To Take A Pregnancy Test (10 Signs and Symptoms)Pregnancy is a beautiful journey, conditions applied! If you are a first-time mother-to-be, you’ll be dealing with excitement, curiosity, and morning sickness; all three regardless of the order. When you have a second baby, you’re better prepared and know what to expect and how to handle these emotions again. Pregnancy is life-changing but it does come with you having to deal with different kinds of pregnancy pains in addition to physical changes, mood swings, and weight gain.
Most women are often confused and frightened concerning these changes and sometimes sharp pain in pregnancy might be conceived as alarming by few as well. In this blog, we will talk about the types of pregnancy pains and how to deal with them.
How common are pregnancy pains?
Always remember that no two pregnancies are the same. What might have been an easy first trimester for some might be excruciating for others. It is common to experience mild cramping and aches in your lower abdomen at infrequent times. Pain in early pregnancy is completely common and normal.
As your belly grows during pregnancy, you might experience a slight pulling, tugging, and stretching similar to menstrual cramps, and later on, in your pregnancy, you may experience lower abdominal discomfort. In addition to which you may also experience constant headaches and leg pain; all of which are normal as long as they occur in irregular intervals and subside by themselves.
Be prepared to experience aches, pains, and bloating right from the 1st trimester to your last one.
So, worry not, and embrace the pain as a part of your pregnancy journey. But always ensure to clarify your doubts about these with your doctor or healthcare provider.
Let’s take a look at the types of pregnancy pains and how shall one deal with them:
1. Pregnancy Headaches:
Headaches in the first trimester are very common during pregnancy and might also come off as unbearable at times. However, always consult your doctor before you take any medicine for the same. Pregnancy headaches stem from reasons like not getting enough sleep, withdrawal from caffeine if consumed regularly before, low blood sugar, dehydration, feeling stressed, or having anxiety.
Headaches can also be a sign of preeclampsia which is high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Here is how you can avoid pregnancy headaches:
- Avoid your headache triggers: If there are certain foods or odors that have triggered a headache in the past, its best you avoid them. A diary or notes maintained on the same might help you identify triggers.
- Include physical activities in your daily routine: Try going on a daily walk or indulge in other moderate aerobic exercises under professional supervision.
- Cope with stress: Find healthy ways to cope with your stress, which will automatically make your head feel lighter!
- Practice relaxation techniques: Try deep breathing, yoga, a massage, or visualization.
- Eat regularly scheduled meals: Eating regularly scheduled meals and maintaining a healthy diet might help prevent pregnancy headaches and drink plenty of fluids while you’re at it.
- Follow a regular sleep schedule: Sleep deprivation might be the reason for headaches during pregnancy.
2. Back Pain in Pregnancy:
It is very common to experience backache or back pain during pregnancy, especially during the early stages. That is because, during pregnancy, the ligaments in your body naturally become softer and stretch to prepare you for labour, and this can put a strain on the joints of your lower back and pelvis, which causes back pain.
Here are a few things you should practice to ease back pain during pregnancy:
- Bend your knees and try keeping your back straight when you lift or pick something up from the floor.
- Steer clear of lifting heavy objects.
- Move your feet every time you turn, to avoid twisting your spine.
- Wear flat shoes in order to evenly distribute your weight.
- Try to balance the weight between your bags when carrying something after an errand.
- Keep your back straight and well supported every time you’re sitting.
- Look for maternity support pillows, they’ll help a great deal.
- Get enough rest, particularly in the later stages of your pregnancy.
- Get a relaxing massage or take a warm bath.
- Use a mattress that supports your back properly or you can put a piece of hardboard under a soft mattress to make it firmer if you don’t want to invest in a new mattress.
3. Lower Abdomen Pain:
Most often, lower abdomen pain happens between 18 and 24 weeks.
The most common cure to the same is; when you feel stretching or pain, move slowly or change positions. Know that such mild aches and pains lasting for short periods of time are normal. However, it is advisable that you see your provider right away if you have constant, severe abdominal pain, possible contractions along with fever.
If abdominal pain in pregnancy is caused by gas, it should be cured by lifestyle changes. You can try eating several small meals throughout the day and drink lots of water. Exercise might also help aid digestion. Identify foods that trigger gas and avoid them including fried and greasy foods, as well as beans and cabbage, which are common culprits for gas. Avoid all carbonated beverages as well.
4. Leg Pain in Pregnancy:
Yet another common pain experienced during pregnancy is that of the legs; involuntary muscle contractions that target the calf and foot. Leg cramps are often experienced during the second and third trimesters.
Here are some easy cures to prevent the same:
- Stretch your calf muscles: Stretching your calf muscles before bed might help prevent leg cramps during pregnancy. You can do this by standing at an arm’s length from a wall and placing your hands on the wall in front of you. Move your right foot behind your left foot, then slowly bend your left leg forward, keeping your right knee straight and your right heel on the floor. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds and be careful about your back.
- Stay active: Regular physical activity will help prevent leg cramps during pregnancy, but before you set a physical regime for yourself, consult your doctor.
- Take magnesium supplements: Research suggests that taking a magnesium supplement might help prevent leg cramps during pregnancy or you might also consider eating more magnesium-rich foods, such as whole grains, beans, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.
- Be hydrated: Keeping your muscles hydrated will definitely help prevent cramps. Note that your urine should be relatively clear or light yellow in color if you are properly hydrated and if your urine is darker yellow, it means that you’re not getting enough water.
- Adequate calcium intake: Reduced levels of calcium in your blood during pregnancy might contribute to leg cramps. The solution to which is, get 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day.
- Choose comfort footwear: Choose shoes that render comfort, support and utility. It might help to wear shoes with a firm heel counter; which is the part of the shoe that surrounds the heel and helps lock the foot into the shoe.
5. Tingling or numbing sensation:
As your uterus grows, it might press on the nerves in your legs causing numbness and tingling; which can be described as the feeling of pins and needles in your legs and toes. This is completely normal as a sensation and will go away in a few weeks once you give birth.
You may also have numbness or tingling in your fingers and hands which you may notice more often when you wake up in the morning. This also goes away after you give birth, though, while not always right away. If it gets too uncomfortable, you can wear a brace at night.
Have your doctor check any persistent numbness, tingling, or weakness in any extremity to ensure there is not a serious problem.
6. Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy:
Pelvic pain in pregnancy is a collection of uncomfortable symptoms caused due to the stiffness of your pelvic joints or the joints moving unevenly at either the back or front of the pelvis.
Here is how you can cure pelvic pain in pregnancy:
- Be as active as possible and avoid activities that make the pain worse
- Take adequate rest
- Ask your family, friends or partner to help with everyday activities.
- Wear supportive shoes
- Sit down to get dressed, avoid being on one leg while putting on bottoms.
- Find a comfortable position to sleep, you can place a pillow between your legs.
- Take the stairs 1 at a time when climbing the staircase.
While there is no perfect cure that treats all symptoms and kinds of pregnancy pain, it is important to give everything a chance and see what works for you, to ease your pain during pregnancy.
If your pain is severe or lasts more than a few days during your early pregnancy care, go see your doctor. However, doing gentle exercises like yoga with lots of stretching positions will help keep your muscles loose and it will also help keep you and the baby as healthy as possible.
In case you are experiencing severe pregnancy discomfort and pain, you can reach out to a professional women’s healthcare specialist.
Further reading: When To Take A Pregnancy Test (10 Signs and Symptoms)
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