7 Things That Can Hurt During Pregnancy
Ouch! Pregnancy is a magical time, but it sure does come with its share of aches and pains.
Why It Hurts: As your belly grows, it can pull you into a swayback posture (lower back pulled forward) which is often a recipe for back pain. Loosened joints and ligaments can also contribute to pregnancy backache.
How to Find Relief: Whenever you think of it, consciously check your posture and arrange your different body parts in perfect alignment from the top down. Roll your shoulders back and lift your rib cage. Position your head so your ears are in line with your shoulders. Contract abdominal muscles (feels like drawing your belly button closer to your spine) and flatten your back to position hips. For better support and balance, stand with your knees slightly flexed. Ah, doesn’t that feel better?
Why They Hurt: Feelings hurt at the drop of a hat? The same hormones responsible for helping your body change to accommodate your growing baby are also known to wreak havoc on a mama-to-be’s emotional state.
How to Find Relief: Laughing one minute and angry and crying the next? While increased moodiness is normal in pregnancy, some ways to level out mood include exercise (if it’s safe for your pregnancy – check with your doctor) and eating small, frequent snacks throughout the day to keep your blood sugar stable; low blood sugar can be another trigger for bad moods.
Why They Hurt: As your joints and ligaments loosen during pregnancy (again, thanks to pregnancy hormones), your feet can actually widen and lose some of their arch. Add to this the added pressure of carrying extra pregnancy weight and, needless to say, all this can hurt!
How to Find Relief: Supportive shoes are a must, but mama, here’s your excuse to take a break and put your feet up! Elevating your legs can help with pain and swelling and prevent varicose veins, another lovely pregnancy side effect!
Why They Hurt: During pregnancy, breasts grow and change in preparation for breastfeeding. They may feel tender earlier on in pregnancy as your hormone levels change, and then heavier later in pregnancy as your breasts begin to produce colostrum. (You can read all about breast changes during pregnancy here.)
How to Find Relief: Wearing a comfortable bra is one way to give breasts some extra support. Just be ready to go bra shopping fairly frequently—some women go up two cup sizes or more during pregnancy!
Why It Hurts: Acid reflux is common during the latter part of pregnancy as your growing baby begins pressing up against your internal organs, including your stomach. This added pressure makes it easier for stomach acid to escape back into the esophagus, which leads to that burning, greasy feeling you may be feeling right now.
Relief Tip: When acid reflux strikes, most doctors recommend chewable or liquid antacids that use calcium carbonate as an active ingredient. Along with putting out the fire of acid reflux, calcium carbonate-based antacids provide an extra dose of calcium, which your body needs during pregnancy to replace your own mineral stores.
Why It Hurts: Seem like your constantly catching colds or coming down with a sore throat now that you’re pregnant? It may because a mom-to-be’s immune system runs at lower speed during pregnancy to prevent the body from fighting off that “foreign invader” known as a baby!
What You Can Do: Fend off the germs that cause stuffy heads and painful sore throats by practicing good cold and flu prevention techniques, including lots of hand washing, getting plenty of sleep, and eating a healthy prenatal diet.
Why It Hurts: Oh pregnancy hormones, why do you have to be so cruel? Those headaches you’re getting during pregnancy may be the result of changing hormone levels. Given up caffeine now that you’re pregnant? Caffeine-withdrawal headaches are another common cause of dull aches and even migraines.
How to Find Relief: Check with your doctor before taking any pain relief medication. Non-medicated relief measures include scalp massage, ice, and relaxation exercises.
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