Chest pain during pregnancy can come from wide and varied causes. During pregnancy you are likely to experience pains in many different areas of your body. If you are having persistent chest pain it is wise to be cautious and contact your doctor.
Causes of Chest Pain During Pregnancy
- Indigestion- gas can get trapped under your ribs and cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. See Gas and Stomach Pain for more information
- Pressure from your baby- Pressure from your baby on your diaphragm or ribs can cause pain in the chest area. See Rib Pain for more information.
- Anemia- if you are severely anemic this can cause chest pain. Other symptoms include fatigue, looking pale, shortness of breath, decreased color in your fingernails or in the lining underneath eyelids, fainting and heart palpitations. If you suspect you might be anemic, contact your doctor.
- Widening of the rib cage- During pregnancy your rib cage becomes wider. This can cause strain on your muscles. It is not uncommon for women to feel short of breath, particularly as your baby gets larger and puts increasing pressure on the diaphragm
- Asthma- If you have a history of asthma, pregnancy can aggravate your symptoms.
- Breasts- Your breasts are increasing in weight and size. This puts a lot of tension on your chest.
- Stress- can cause chest tension, difficulty breathing, pain and muscle tension.
- Back Pain- can refer pain into the chest area. See Back Pain for more information
Preventing and Treating Chest Pain During Pregnancy
- Be sure you are getting adequate amounts of iron, calcium and magnesium in your diet.
- Use pregnancy pain relief techniques to take pressure off the chest and abdomen.
- Practice stress relieving techniques.
- Practice prenatal yoga
When to Call Your Doctor
- You are having severe chest pain.
- You have chest pain that is persistent
- You have chest pain accompanied by weakness, dizziness, palpitations or shortness of breath.
- You are having spotting or bleeding.