Do you experience aches and pains during pregnancy? Are you worried and afraid that you may hurt your baby if you do anything to relieve the pain?
Fear not, here are some pointers to help you understand what is going on.
The first thing we must know is that our body is going through and has undergone many changes the moment your partner’s chief soldier fertilised your egg. You have changes happening from the hormonal level, from the way your blood flows, to developing new functions in some organs and also, the way you look. You can check out our articles about changes your body goes through during pregnancy.
Accommodating Physical Changes
Aches and pains usually come directly from the aspect of physical change. With your joints getting more flexible and your posture and centre of gravity changing from the increasing weight of your belly, there is a higher risk to getting aches and pains if you’re not careful.
A common problem would be back pain. If you are experiencing back pain, it is best to get it assessed by your doctor or a physiotherapist. Back pain comes in many forms. It may be due to muscle tightness, joint stiffness or nerve impingement. Nothing is irreversible unless you have had a trauma or severe injury to the area.
Back pain can be treated with mobility and core exercises that are safe during pregnancy, or it can be alleviated by massages or simple electrical stimulation that is handled by a medical professional. Before you go for any massages, be sure to check with your doctor if it is safe for you to do so. Be sure that the massage therapist is qualified to handle pregnant mums before allowing them to perform any treatment on you.
Here are a few tips to prevent back pain:
- Pay more attention to your posture
- Lift and sit properly
- Stay active (take walks, do prenatal exercises, go swimming)
- Sleep on your side
Nerve impingement can happen when you have excessive swelling around your joints, poor posture or reduced movement. You will usually get a mild tingling or a sensation of “ants crawling” when the impingement is mild.
A severe impingement may cause excessive pain and numbness but the severity will not escalate in the blink of an eye, again, unless it is traumatic. A mild nerve impingement must be addressed immediately and can be relieved by a change of position, stretches and movement. A nerve impingement or a pain that involves nerves, is pain that usually travels or spreads.
Joint Pains and PSD
Joint pains may occur to some new mums as their flexibility increases and the muscles are not strong enough to support the structures. A common joint problem is known as Pubis Symphysis Dysfunction (PSD), where the pain is found near the private areas. The bone that is right in the centre near your lady parts, straight down from the belly button is known as Pubic Symphysis. PSD is a condition when there is increase of laxity in the joints in the pubic area. This causes bone-to-bone friction that leads to inflammation. There is no treatment to cure PSD except for reduced movement during pregnancy and postnatal strengthening exercises. If you need pain killers, you may consult your doctor.
Braxton-Hicks Contraction is otherwise known as false alarm! Braxton-Hicks are as if your uterus is doing a practice for labour. It is totally harmless. To know if it is just Braxton-Hicks or true contractions that lead to labour, the former will find you still being able to continue with your work or chores. Sometimes, false contractions can be triggered by dehydration. If you are still worried, check with your doctor to confirm.
There are many more types of aches and pains that may occur to our body as it changes as the pregnancy progresses. Just bear in mind that the most important thing is that we take the initiative to understand our own body and always learn how to keep it strong and healthy.