Pregnancy brings with it many joys, but it can also bring a variety of associated pains. Even a completely healthy pregnancy sends the body through an array of rapid changes that can leave the body aching and the mom-to-be in search of relief.
Abdominal and Pelvic Pain
A common source of discomfort during pregnancy is a pain in the abdomen and pelvic area called round ligament pain, explains BabyCenter. Round ligament pain results from the adjustments the joints and ligaments surrounding the joints make as they shift and stretch to open up the pelvis in preparation for birth. Often beginning in the second trimester, these pains can show up as occasional sharp pains or as a dull ache that doesn't go away for a while. Severe abdominal pain or cramps may indicate a bigger problem, such as preterm labor or a problem with the placenta.
According to MayoClinic.com, pregnant women often experience back pain. Caused mainly by the excess weight a pregnant woman carries and the shift in posture she needs to make to carry it, back pain in pregnancy typically strikes mainly the lower back. Sleeping on one side instead of on the back and practicing good posture when sitting or standing may help ease or prevent pregnancy induced back pain. Some moms-to-be try prenatal massage, chiropractic adjustments or acupuncture to ease an aching back as well.
The hands don't seem like they would take a beating from pregnancy weight gain or shifting interior structures, but hand pain can crop up during pregnancy for a different reason. The swelling induced by pregnancy can cause fingers to plump up, making rings, bracelets and watches tighter than normal. This swelling can also cause the development of carpal tunnel syndrome, according to What to Expect. Thankfully, the pins and needles feeling usually goes away once the baby is born and swelling subsides.
Leg pain during pregnancy can come from a few different causes, explains the March of Dimes. Low levels of fluids in the body, muscle strain and injury caused by overuse may all contribute to leg cramping and pain. Leg cramps tend to get worse during the night, so some doctors believe that blood circulation issues might be involved. The pressure of the growing uterus frequently puts pressure on the nerves and blood vessels leading down to the lower half of the body, especially when the pregnant woman lies on her back. Sleeping on her side may grant a pregnant woman some relief from leg cramps in the night.