Pregnancy changes a woman's body - obviously. That growing baby can do a number on her, too. She can be in all sorts of pain and have strange things happening to her body. So how does she know what pain is normal, and what means she or her baby is in danger? Pregnancy can be a worrisome time as you go through a new experience that can also be quite painful.
Your body can hurt from top to bottom, it is not just limited to that growing belly! While some aches and pains may come and go, others are here to stay for the duration of your pregnancy, and may make you nervous as to whether or not it is safe to live with the pain.
The changes you experience during your pregnancy could be life threatening, for either you, your unborn baby, or both. It is always wise to consult your physician if you feel like something is just not right. While some pain is totally normal, other pain can indicate a red flag. Read on for some common pregnancy pains that many women experience, as well as some not so common pains that can be super dangerous.
15 Lower Back Pain
Pain in your lower back is basically a part of being pregnant. Many, if not all, pregnant women experience lower back pain at some point during their pregnancy. This pain can be anything from dull aching to severe, hardly-able-to-stand-or-do-anything pain. And for the most part, it is all normal.
Your body is working to accommodate a growing baby, after all. So the bigger your belly gets, the more strain there is on your ligaments and muscles. This can cause that lower back pain. Changing hormones during pregnancy are also a culprit. Do not think that once you have the baby your lower back pain will go away- many women continue to have pain in their lower backs a few months postpartum, and that is also common!
14 Nausea And Vomiting
The majority of us know that nausea and vomiting are common pregnancy symptoms. In fact, morning sickness is one of the first signs that you are indeed pregnant! It is a small price to pay for that sweet baby of yours, that is for sure! When it comes to nausea and vomiting pains during pregnancy, each woman, and each pregnancy, can differ drastically. Some women only feel nauseous, some cannot keep anything down, and some of the lucky ones do not experience these pains at all!
It is important to know that it is also normal to experience vomiting and nausea throughout your entire pregnancy. For many expecting mothers, the feelings usually subside by the fourth trimester or so, but for others, it lasts much longer. The changing hormones are again to blame for this pain.
13 Incessant Headaches
Headaches and pregnancy are related? You bet. It is not uncommon at all to experience dull to even severe headaches while you are expecting. A pregnant woman may not even realize that the pain in her head is actually related to that growing baby inside of her belly, but it sure can be!
Headaches during pregnancy are most common during the first trimester, but can occur at any time during your pregnancy. The typical headache a mom-to-be may experience is a tension headache. This is the most common headache pain that expecting mamas experience. It is a feeling of pressure or a dull aching pain on both sides of your head. While it is not pleasant, it is usually normal and will subside. Always best to call your physician for any serious pain or pain that will not go away.
12 Round Ligament Pain
Pregnant women may experience pain in their lower abdomen or groin area, which can seem quite alarming. However, this pain is typically common, and not usually cause for concern. Again, your body changes dramatically as your body makes room for that growing baby of yours. It is not uncommon to have sometimes severe bouts of pain in these areas.
The pain that many women experience in the lower abdomen or groin area is referred to as round ligament pain, and it can be quite painful. It can be a sharp, stabbing pain that only lasts for a little while, or a dull aching pain that lasts a bit longer. Anything else, or any concerns, always direct them to your doctor. While this round ligament pain is typically nothing to worry about, if you feel worried, or the pain never goes away after you have rested and taken it easy, then do not hesitate to call your physician.
11 Heartburn After Every Meal
That burning sensation in your chest after you eat something? That is likely heartburn, and it can be quite common during pregnancy. But it can also be very uncomfortable or even painful. Some women do not even know what the burning feeling is, as they had never experienced it before getting pregnant.
Even though it can be painful, heartburn is very normal during pregnancy. The hormonal changes are to blame. You may find that your body is more sensitive to heartburn causing foods, such as spicy foods or sweets. Many pregnant women swear by Tums and need to leave a pack on the nightstand for the horrible heartburn that can make it difficult to sleep. Always check with your doctor to make sure it is safe to take any medication for heartburn.
10 Leg Cramps
Painful leg cramps not only can keep you up at night, but they are also common during pregnancy. There is actually no known reason as to why leg cramps occur to pregnant women! It is believed that the extra weight from the growing baby and the pressure on the uterus contributes to the cramps and the uncomfortable feelings in your legs.
Most expecting mamas experience minor to severe leg cramps beginning in the second or third trimester. These cramps can occur really at any time, but most pregnant women notice them more when they are relaxing or trying to get to sleep, when the leg cramps may flare up the most. Drinking lots of water, staying active, stretching your legs, and keeping your legs elevated can help relieve some of the cramps in your legs.
9 Bleeding And Swollen Gums
It may come as a surprise that you suddenly have dental or mouth problems during your pregnancy. However, it is very common to have pain in your gums throughout your pregnancy. When you are pregnant, your blood circulation changes, and again, those hormones are changing your body in a crazy way. This can make your gums much more sensitive, causing pain, bleeding, and swollen gums.
It is typically recommended that women visit a dentist at least once during their pregnancy to address some of these issues or get some kind of relief. Sometimes, something as simple as flossing more often can help with the swollen and bleeding gums. But, do not be too alarmed if you see more blood when you spit after brushing, that is just a part of pregnancy, unfortunately.
8 Glorious Hemorrhoids
If you have heard the rumors that pregnancy can bring about painful hemorrhoids, unfortunately those rumors are true. Hemorrhoids, some quite painful and some quite itchy, can be very common during pregnancy. These swollen blood vessels can cause you a great deal of distress during your pregnancy. Some women actually experience hemorrhoids for the very first time while they are pregnant, and for others who have had them in the past, they can definitely worsen during your pregnancy.
Although, hemorrhoids can be painful, they are typically nothing to worry about. They can cause bleeding in the rectum, which may show up when you wipe. They can also be aggravated by bowel movements, but it is important to stay regular throughout your pregnancy, too. If they are bothersome to you, no shame in bringing it up to your doctor, as hemorrhoids are very common for pregnant women!
7 Shortness Of Breath
It can be very scary to lose your breath or experience a shortness of breath, especially when you are pregnant. This pain that can easily frighten anyone is actually a common pregnancy pain, and usually is nothing to worry about.
Your uterus is growing and expanding, and that puts a lot of pressure on other areas of your body, including your lungs. Your lungs cannot function as they once did due to these changes during pregnancy. Therefore, expecting mothers can experience a shortness of breath that may even alarm them. The best remedies when a pregnant women does have shortness of breath is to simply slow down. Do not walk too fast, rest, do not lie flat on your back or get up really fast. However, if it does not go away, it is vital to seek medical attention.
6 Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
You are probably thinking, carpal tunnel syndrome is common in pregnancy?! This may come as a shock to some, but it is true! This condition that is typically associated with constant hand movement, like typing on a computer all day long, and it can happen during pregnancy, without you having to type a thing!
Carpal tunnel syndrome is when you experience a tingling or numbing sensation in your hand or arm, that is caused by a pinched nerve in your wrist. When you are pregnant, you tend to swell and retain excess fluids. This can cause carpal tunnel syndrome. So do not be alarmed if you feel the tingling in your hands, your pregnant body may be to blame! Oftentimes, expecting mamas with carpal tunnel syndrome can experience relief, even if only temporary, by shaking their hands and not sleeping on their hands.
Dangerous Pregnancy Pains:
5 Pressure In The Belly
Pressure in your abdomen is nothing to take lightly. While mild cramping can simply be written off as your uterus expanding, increased pressure or pressure that does not go away is a serious cause for concern, and may be a medical issue that is dangerous for you and your baby.
Pressure in your abdomen during pregnancy can be associated with a tubal or ectopic pregnancy, when the fertilized egg is actually outside of your uterus. This is not a viable pregnancy and can become much worse if the tube bursts. It can be extremely life threatening for the mother. Pressure in your belly can also be a symptom of preterm labor. No matter what, if you have intense pressure in your growing baby, especially before week 37 of your pregnancy, get checked out as soon as possible.
4 Contractions That Are Too Early
We all know that contractions can mean your baby is going to arrive soon. But not all contractions are created equal. Some are false contractions, known as Braxton Hicks, while others are the real deal. Sometimes, it is difficult to tell the difference between the two, especially if it is your first pregnancy.
If you are nowhere near your due date, and you are experiencing contractions, never hesitate to contact your physician. Contractions that occur less than 15 minutes apart needs to be checked out sooner rather than later. This can mean you are going into preterm labor if you are not near your due date. This can be very dangerous for your baby - if he is born too early he may not be able to survive. Always better to be safe than sorry.
3 Leaking Of Fluid
Leaking amniotic fluid is not normal during pregnancy, and can be very dangerous. The problem is, it can be difficult to tell if you are leaking amniotic fluid, urine, or discharge. What can occur is that the sac ruptures, but only a small amount of fluid is released, making it sometimes confusing as to what it is for the mom-to-be.
If something doesn't feel right for you, and there is liquid coming out of you without your control, it can very well be a ruptured sac and amniotic fluid slowly (sometimes very slowly) leaking out of you. This is very dangerous for your baby. It can cause birth defects and miscarriages. This life or death situation for your unborn child needs to always be checked out just in case.
2 Bleeding From The Love Tunnel
When you are pregnant, you know that you really should not be bleeding at all. Bleeding during pregnancy is scary, and potentially very, very serious. It can mean that a miscarriage is imminent or actually occurring. It can also be a sign of preterm labor, which can be dangerous to your baby if she is born too early. Bleeding is also a symptom of an ectopic pregnancy, which is a nonviable pregnancy that can be life threatening for the mother. Bleeding can also indicate placenta problems, that can be serious, but may be able to be treated.
Clearly, Bleeding is far from common or normal. It can mean a slew of very dangerous situations. Do not brush off any bleeding during pregnancy, no matter how little it is, always get checked out by your doctor right away.
1 Vision Problems
With all the fluid your body is retaining during pregnancy, you may notice some vision issues. Some women who normally wear contact lenses cannot during their pregnancy. However, some vision problems can indicate a very serious, potentially life threatening pregnancy complication.
If you experience blurred vision during your pregnancy, it is very important that you tell your doctor as soon as possible. Blurred vision is a symptom of preeclampsia, a high blood pressure complication of pregnancy, which can be quite serious. If left untreated, it can cause all kinds of damage to your baby’s developing organs, including the brain, liver, heart, eyes, and more. It can even cause seizures. Blurred vision is nothing to take lightly. While some vision changes are just part of being pregnant, others can indicate something very dangerous.
Sources: Babycenter, WebMD, What To Expect, Summit Medical Group