Side Pain During Pregnancy

September 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Side Pain

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Image of the Pregnancy Pain Relief book

Side pain happens frequently during pregnancy. It is generally not a cause for alarm.

Causes of Side Pain During Pregnancy

  • imageRound Ligament- The round ligaments help to support the uterus. During pregnancy your uterus expands and places strain on your round ligament. This can produce a great deal of discomfort with sharp twinges between your hip bone and uterus. It can occur on one side or both sides.
  • Ectopic Pregnancy- ectopic pregnancy is when the embryo implants outside of the uterus. If it is early in your pregnancy and you are having pain on one side of your abdomen accompanied by spotting or bleeding, contact your doctor.
  • Hormones- your hormones are running high during pregnancy. The role of some of these hormones is to relax your muscles and tendons to prepare your body for childbirth. As your muscles relax they can become strained more easily causing pain in your sides.
  • Postural Changes- your baby is growing inside, stretching your uterus and abdomen and realigning your normal posture. This can cause discomfort in your back, hips and sides.
  • Improper bending- heavy lifting, twisting, bending and prolonged sitting can cause your sides to hurt.
  • Stress- stress adds tension to your body and can contribute to pain anywhere.

Preventing Side Pain During Pregnancy

imageThe following are things you can do to reduce side pain:
  • Wear good shoes. Heels and shoes that offer no support can contribute to discomfort all over your body.
  • Practice safe lifting and bending. To lower your body, bend at the knees instead of the waist. Use your thigh muscles to push yourself back up without using your back.
  • Try as pregnancy support belt.
  • Be sure to exercise regularly. Movement eases many pains.
  • Do pregnancy yoga or gentle stretching.
  • Be sure you are getting adequate calcium and magnesium in your diet.
  • Drink plenty of fluids- dehydration can cause muscle cramps.
  • Practice good posture- stand with your hips and pelvis tucked in and your shoulders back and head up.
  • Use a pregnancy pillow at night when you sleep.

Treatment for Side Pain During Pregnancy

  • Use ice or heat.
  • Take acetaminophen for pain.
  • See a chiropractor, massage therapist or acupuncturist
  • Use a pregnancy belt or support device.
  • Have your partner help you with hands on techniques such as those in the Pregnancy Pain Relief book.

When You Should Call Your Doctor

  • Your side pain is very intense.
  • Your side pain is getting increasingly worse.
  • You have rhythmic pain that feels like menstrual cramps.
  • You are having spotting or bleeding that accompanies the pain.

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