Pregnancy is an exciting and joyful experience for most, but the truth is that it can also be a painful one. As your body changes to accommodate the growing baby, aches, pains, and discomfort become almost unavoidable. But understanding the common causes of pregnancy pain can help you find relief from the discomfort. Let’s take a close look at what causes pregnancy pain and how you can manage it.
Common Causes of Pregnancy Pain
- Back pain: This is caused by the extra weight on your back from carrying around a baby bump all day long — not to mention the added strain of carrying a bigger baby as they grow.
- Pelvic girdle pain (PGP): This occurs when the ligaments around your pelvis are overstretched due to hormone changes during pregnancy that makes them more flexible. Although it can be uncomfortable, this is a natural part of pregnancy as your body prepares to give birth.
- Cramping in early stages or Braxton Hicks Contractions in late stages: These contractions are usually milder than labor contractions but can still be uncomfortable for some pregnant parents.
- Round ligament pain: This is caused by the stretching and shifting of your uterus as it grows, which can cause a sharp pain in your abdomen.
Tips for Pregnancy Pain Relief
These can provide additional support and are especially helpful for pregnant parents who are suffering from PGP. Compression garments provide external support to your pregnancy bump, which can help reduce the strain on the ligaments and relieve pain. They will also help keep your posture in check while carrying around a heavy baby bump all day long.
Regular exercise can help you feel better, and it can also strengthen the muscles that are supporting your baby bump. Exercise can help strengthen the abdominal and pelvic muscles, which support your growing baby bump and reduce the strain on your ligaments. Additionally, engaging in low-impact aerobic exercise or activities such as yoga or Pilates can help relieve back pain by improving posture, alignment, and muscular strength.
Rest & Relax
Make sure to get enough rest — not just for your physical health but also to help manage stress and anxiety. Try to get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night, or take regular naps if you’re having trouble sleeping through the night. Relaxation activities such as guided meditation, breathing exercises, and deep stretching can be beneficial in relieving pregnancy pain and reducing stress levels.
Create a Comfortable Sleeping Environment
If back pain or PGP keeps you up at night, try investing in a pregnancy pillow or body pillow to help support your growing belly and relieve pressure from your back. Additionally, make sure to sleep on your side as much as possible and use a supportive mattress to help keep your spine aligned.
Wear Supportive Clothing
Choose maternity clothing that is comfortable and offers plenty of support. Look for maternity wear with adjustable waistbands, wide straps, and plenty of stretches. This will help support your bump while allowing you to move comfortably throughout the day.
Hot or Cold Compresses
Applying hot or cold compresses to the painful area can help reduce discomfort and inflammation. Heat increases blood flow to the affected area, which can help reduce inflammation and soothe sore muscles, while cold helps to decrease swelling and numbs the pain. Additionally, alternating hot and cold compresses throughout the day can improve circulation and relieve discomfort.
Chiropractic, Acupuncture, or Massage Therapy
These treatments can be great for pregnant parents who want a more natural approach to relieving their pain. Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine that involves placing thin needles in specific points of the body. This can help to reduce pain, balance hormones, and promote healing. Massage therapy can also help relax tense muscles and improve circulation throughout your body, which helps ease discomfort. Chiropractic adjustments can help ease back pain associated with relaxed joints and ligaments and with adapted posture, easing pain and improving stability through delivery.
Talk to Your Provider
If you are experiencing chronic or extreme pain, consult your doctor for personalized advice on finding relief. Your doctor can provide further guidance on finding relief from pregnancy pain and perhaps even suggest medication if needed. Additionally, your doctor can assess the underlying causes of your discomfort and help develop a tailored treatment plan that is best suited for you. Regardless of the methods used, always speak to your doctor before beginning any new treatment for pregnancy pain.
Understanding the Changes and Options Through Pregnancy
Everyone paints the picture of pregnancy as a magical, dreamy chapter. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. And honestly, it isn’t for many. Your body goes through many changes to accommodate space for your little one. Understanding the stages of pregnancy and the options you have for managing these changes can be tremendously helpful.
Our team of nurturing experts understands all the chapters the body goes through and is fully equipped to support you through this chapter. Our goal for you—to minimize the pain, support you emotionally and physically, and ensure that you are fully prepared for your baby’s arrival.