The pregnancy glow is thought to be one of the most beautiful traits of an expectant mother. She nearly shines with beauty. To any onlooker her face is muted in quiet contemplation as her whole body radiates new life, new possibilities. However, the woman many are admiring will joke she is simply glowing due to the sweat and tears she has shed most of the morning. That look of regal inwardness can also be a look of concern.
Women are met with many different levels of comfort in their pregnancy. Some will carry their babies and hardly feel any discomfort as their bodies shift to meet every demand of that tiny human in utero. Other women will be met with an onslaught of discomfort and pain. But like many things in life the hard days can come with some pain, and in the end those hard days are worth wading through as baby grows and grows. Pain in pregnancy is normal, but expecting mothers should always discuss any pain they are having with their doctor. Some pains are caused by simple explanation and quick remedies, other pains are more complicated and require doctor diagnosis and intervention.
15 Embryo Is Forming
One of the first signs of pregnancy is similar to one of the first signs of a looming monthly period. This cramping happens about 8-10 days after ovulation. Inside the body a fertilized egg is making its way from either of the two fallopian tubes. The egg travels down to nestle itself into the woman’s uterine wall where baby then grows for a respectable nine months. For many women who were planning on becoming mothers this is the time to take their first at home pregnancy test. The women who were not planning to become pregnant may take this as a sign of their oncoming period.
During this time it is possible to see some light bleeding or tinged cervical fluid as the cervix closes tightly to retain new life within the womb. Steal away some time to rest and relax. Unless the cramping worsens and the blood flow increases the mild symptoms are normal and not cause for immediate concern.
14 Something Is Wrong
It will be up to each individual mother to know when it is right for her to call and inform her doctor of any changes. When talking about the embryo forming, there is mention of period like cramping and light bleeding. That is normal. What is not normal is hard abdominal cramping, and intense back pain that can be accompanied with or without pelvic pain. Bleeding that does not stop after a day or becomes heavier is also a symptom of concern. If a woman is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned she should consult her doctor as soon as possible because she could be experiencing a spontaneous abortion, or miscarriage. Although not much can typically be done in this stage of pregnancy, at times doctor intervention is needed to help the process along. They can mentor their patient as they deal with the difficult time as well.
Up to roughly 25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Of that estimate around 80% of those pregnancies miscarry in the first trimester, some happen at times before the woman even knows she is pregnant. Many times this is simply a natural event that may not have a definitive explanation.
13 The Uterus Is Stretching
After talking with many mothers-to-be, it is obvious pregnancy is full of odd pains when least expected. Going from a sitting position to standing there is a pain that seems sharp and sudden. After a brisk walk one day, there is odd lower abdominal pain. Even during a sneeze, more pain. Often these pains are an indicator to slow down just a bit.
Mostly noted in the second trimester numerous women will describe a sharp, or stabbing pain on either side of their bikini line. This is called round ligament pain. It is one of the most commonly discussed pains in pregnancy. This does not mean it is a subject to be kept from your doctor though. If there is a possibility an expectant woman is having round ligament pain she should still describe it to her doctor to establish patient doctor trust and communication.
12 The Baby Is In The Wrong Place
For conception to happen there are a few things that must take place. Women keep their eggs inside the ovaries, from there an egg will travel down the fallopian tube and await a male’s sperm to become fertilized. Once the egg is fertilized it will continue down the fallopian tube and implant itself onto the uterine wall. Thus producing the first makings of a tiny baby. But things to not always happen according to plan.
In an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg does not travel down the tube and implants itself onto the uterine wall. It stays inside the fallopian tube. This can cause severe pelvic pain, and shoulder pain. Other symptoms include dizziness, weakness, and vaginal bleeding. An ectopic pregnancy is a medical emergency and the expectant mother should seek medical help immediately.
11 A Natural Part Of Pregnancy
During pregnancy hormones are released and the uterus grows and baby moves, and the whole experience wreaks havoc on the gastrointestinal tract. One of the most common and natural causes of discomfort and pain can be one of the most embarrassing. Many women will report sharp abdominal pains right before they let some trapped gas loose via one end or another. Hemorrhoids are an ordinary and painful nuisance due to constipation and pressure from the baby.
One of the most helpful things the pregnant woman can do is eat right and drink a copious amount of water to help everything move along smoothly. Easier said than done with weird food craving and aversions. But healthy mindful substitutes of junk food that could slow down the GI tract and constant immediate access to water will help. Somedays it is the simple things that can get one through the nine-month countdown.
10 Possible Infection
Lower back pain and dull low abdominal pain are two symptoms of a UTI. Because the bladder is positioned directly below the uterus, the urethra can become constricted as baby grows in the womb. This constriction can cause inflammation and irritation making it harder for a woman to empty her full bladder completely every time. The frequent trips to the bath room and all that irritation welcomes bacteria into the urinary tract, therefore causing infection.
One should consult a doctor as soon as possible to grasp some relief and to protect against a more severe kidney infection. More on that later.
9 Baby’s Not Getting Enough Nutrients
One of the more threatening causes of pain happens when the placenta is ripped away from the mother’s uterine wall. An acute, or sudden, intense pain will rip through the mother’s abdomen. This will produce an onslaught of unceasing contractions. This can be caused usually by trauma to the mother of the baby, like a fall or car crash.
Less likely to happen is that the placenta will tear away slowly. Causing low amniotic fluid leading to a low birth weight. Fluid levels are checked routinely at most doctors' offices. Vaginal bleeding is not always accompanied in either case but can happen. Seek immediate medical attention if these signs or symptoms appear.
8 Losing Center Of Gravity
Pregnancy will put a great deal of pressure on the mother’s body. Back ache and joint pains are all exhaustingly normal to every mother. Her posture changes to support her growing belly and breasts. The change in posture and extra weight will put strain on her back, hips, and knees. During this time, the center of gravity will shift and the threat of falling becomes very real.
The hormone relaxin is also introduced into the body, and it relaxes her ligaments to accommodate baby. But then gives the mother the impression of tendonitis due to the inability to stabilize joints. Combine that with the loss of gravity and it can become hard to hold upright one’s own body let alone in the correct position. One remedy is a support band to take weight off the body and improve posture. Another longer-term remedy would be to choose a low impact exercise to strengthen muscles and take pressure off the body, like swimming.
7 HELLP Syndrome
HELLP Syndrome is a life-threatening deviation of preeclampsia. HELLP Syndrome is an acronym for Hemolysis Elevated Liver enzymes Low Platelet count. The global mortality rate has been reported to reach as high as 25% and it is often misdiagnosed as the flu, gall bladder disease, and acute hepatitis. Which is why knowing the symptoms has become so important. One of the most lifesaving moves anyone can make is to trust their gut instincts when something just isn’t right and advocate for oneself to a health care provider.
Running diagnostics are important and the doctors and nurses are trained to look for warning signs such as high blood pressure and protein in the urine. But these abnormalities are not always present. Pain related symptoms include headaches, indigestion with pain after eating, shoulder pain when breathing in deeply, and upper right side pain. These symptoms are associated with liver distention. Changes in vision and swelling are also more signs to be aware of and discuss with one’s doctor as soon as possible. Early detection is key to keeping babies and their mothers alive and healthy.
6 Little Pebbles Of Horror
Due to improper hydration and some cases an overdose of calcium in the body, kidney stones form and cause the mother pain. Women can experience pain in their side and back below the rib cage. This pain is very localized and piercing. This is an uncommon factor in pregnancy, but it can still happen.
One of the first signs could be chronic urinary tract infections. But there are a few simple things any mother can do to prevent kidney stones. Throughout the entire pregnancy, it is rightfully stressed to women the importance of staying hydrated, kidney stones are another reason why that is so important. Proper water intake is vital to good kidney function. Because your body will need so much calcium to help baby grow and mom to stay healthy water is a way to keep buildup out if the kidneys. Another way to keep the kidneys healthy is to be sure to empty one’s bladder entirely, keeping the urinary tract empty and less of a chance of bacteria build up. When using the restroom, lean all the way forward to relieve pressure from baby off the urethra and empty the bladder entirely every time.
5 Becoming More Sensitive To Foods
There is a running joke among pregnant women that when one becomes pregnant anything that happens to her during that time is because she is pregnant. If she has morning sickness, it is because she is pregnant. A rash, it’s the pregnancy. If she stubs her toe, it is because she is pregnant. Chipped nail polish? All the pregnancy’s fault.
The body completely changes during pregnancy. Any person can develop food allergies or be more sensitive to food at any time in their life. But during pregnancy, it is one stage of life that is more susceptible to developing these problems. Allergies are usually associated with headaches, hives, swelling, even vomiting, and diarrhea. A woman who has eaten peanut butter sandwiches her whole life could suddenly be met with anaphylactic shock. Or she could just be more sensitive to certain food and develop an intolerance. An intolerance will show itself in the form of heartburn, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Heartburn is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy. Because symptoms can be mild, keeping a food diary can be extremely helpful. Many times, a food allergy starts off mild and more of an annoyance but with time and exposure can become more severe.
4 More Susceptible To Infections
The body is working strenuously 24/7 to grow that new baby. The demands of monetary life do not cease for nine months for any woman. So, during this time the body is extraordinarily more susceptible to infections.
Fevers accompanied by headaches and body aches are nothing short of miserable during pregnancy. It is important to take the time and allow for rest before it becomes an necessity. However, if a pregnant woman does become sick and symptoms do not ease or become worse after taking her correct dose of acetaminophen she should contact her doctor to discuss further options. Hydration and hand washing are two of an expectant mother’s greatest ally’s to protect her against infection when out in public.
3 Higher Risk Of Blood Clot
As pregnancy progresses doctors warn against lengthy travels where a woman would have to sit for long periods of time without stretching and getting blood flowing. The concern comes from a fear of the woman developing a blood clot. Blood clots can happen anywhere in the body.
But expecting women are usually told to watch for signs regarding their legs. Usually, a blood clot develops in one leg or the other, not both. The place where a clot develops will be warm to the touch, tender, and painful. The pain is distinct, and accompanied with the other signs can be very serious. A doctor should be notified immediately if there is concern that a blood clot has developed.
2 Underlying Chronic Conditions
Something about pregnancy can bring out the worst in women. Even when they have managed chronic pre-existing medical conditions for years. Flare ups can happen like their diabetes, asthma, thyroid conditions, and lupus. Which is why it is always important to tell your doctor of these conditions from the very first appointment.
Women with these pre-existing conditions should be extra aware of any changes they may be facing. Controlled blood sugar and thyroid levels are a huge factor in keeping mom and baby safe. Taking the time to rest and listen to one’s body is especially important for women with these conditions. Being able to continually manage chronic conditions through the pregnancy with a positive mind set will be worth the result. Happy, healthy mom and baby.
1 You Just Climaxed
After sex, some women have concerns. But if you are having a healthy pregnancy take a breath. Relax! Enjoy! Bask! That cramping sensation after sex, especially if that lucky gal has reached an orgasm, is normal! When a woman reaches orgasm her uterine muscles contract, bringing those waves of pleasure. Afterward they may have a little trouble settling down and cause mild cramping, but usually there is absolutely nothing to worry about and they will shortly subside.
This is part of why practitioners will tell women who have reached their 40th week that it is perfectly acceptable and encouraged to have sex with their partners. In turn, mom gets a well-deserved night of satisfaction, and fingers and toes crossed those small contractions could turn big. This can be an exciting and intimate time for mom and her partner passing the time waiting for their little one to make a grand entrance into the big world. Enjoy these moments.
Sources: Preeclampsia.org, MayoClinic.org, WhatToExpect.com, AmericanPregnancyAssociation.com