Rib Pain During Pregnancy

March 2, 2012 by  
Filed under Rib Pain Article

Rib pain during pregnancy can be a persistent problem, especially during the third trimester. Your rib cage may feel mildly sore or extremely tender and bruised. You may have discomfort on either side, or both sides, though it is commonly worse on the right side of the ribs.image

Pain occurs in and under the ribs as your uterus grows. Later in pregnancy, your abdomen becomes stretched, and your uterus stretches upward as well as outward. Your pelvis and abdomen are becoming full, and your baby is beginning to press up under your ribs and chest. This upward pressure from your baby may also make you feel short of breath.

This pressure on your ribs and diaphragm may also result in shoulder pain, because there are nerves in the diaphragm which can refer pain into the shoulders. This pain can be very sharp! It may also result in indigestion or acid reflux as your baby puts the squeeze on your stomach.

Additionally, as your breast become larger, they also place pressure on your ribs. During pregnancy, your breasts may increase by one full cup size or more. The extra weight pulls your shoulders forward and down, and places strain on the upper back, neck, and often results in pain around the rib cage.

As your body prepares for the delivery of your baby, your hormones are hard at work loosening your muscles and ligaments. This loosening can allow your ribs to shift and move in ways that were not natural before, causing discomfort. Your ribcage is not only loosening, but expanding as well, not only to make room for your baby, but also to help increase your breathing and lung capacity. Even though you may be feeling short of breath, your body is taking in about forty percent more air than it did before you became pregnant.

Rib pain during pregnancy can cause the greatest discomfort when you are in a sitting position. Practicing good posture is especially important. Try to make sure that you sit up straight with your shoulders back. Slouching will compress your abdomen and result in more pain.

Try to wear loose clothing so that you do not add any extra pressure to your belly. Try getting a new bra. It is especially important to have a supportive bra that is not too tight. Under wire bras may put too much extra pressure on your ribs. Now may be a good time to invest in a good nursing bra. They usually offer nice support without being too tight and will be useful once your baby is born.

Holding your arms up over your head can take some pressure off and provide temporary relief from rib pain by lifting the ribs away from the uterus.

Practicing doorway chest stretches can also be helpful because they, too, will help rotate the shoulders up and back, which can also help lift the ribs away from the uterus.

Stretching and prenatal yoga are great for keeping your body long and loose. The less compressed you are, the less your rib cage will hurt. Breathing and relaxation exercises may also be effective. There are a variety of hands on techniques that can help to gently stretch and lift your ribs away from the uterus. Applying these techniques to your breasts, chest and abdomen, can really relieve a lot of pain and pressure from your body, though you will need a friend or partner to help you.

Scheduling a visit to your massage therapist, chiropractor, or acupuncturist, may also help provide relief from rib pain during pregnancy.

If you are having rib and flank pain that goes through to your back, and or burning or pain with urination, you should contact your health care provider. This could be an indication of a urinary tract infection.

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Head Pain and Headaches During Pregnancy

October 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Head Pain and Headaches

Headache and Head Pain are a frequent complaint during pregnancy. Hormonal changes, stress, fatigue, and your changing body can cause a great deal of discomfort and headaches in pregnant women. During pregnancy be careful about your headache medicine. Aspirin and Ibuprofen (Motrin) are generally considered NOT SAFE during pregnancy. Acetaminophen is considered safe.

Causes of Headaches During Pregnancy

  • Hormones- hormonal changes during pregnancy can trigger headaches and migraines.
  • Lower blood pressure in first trimester- During the first trimester you blood pressure may be diminished, causing headaches due to decreased blood flow.
  • Preeclampsia- Preeclampsia a complication of pregnancy that occurs after the 20th week, but more frequently in the last month. It can cause swelling, visual disturbances, high blood pressure, severe headaches, and protein in the urine. If it is late in your pregnancy and you are experiencing more than one of these symptoms contact your doctor.
  • Stress- physical and emotional upheaval and stress can cause tension headaches.
  • Sinusitis- sinus pain, colds, and allergies can cause headaches during pregnancy. Frequently, allergy sufferers report that their allergies intensify during pregnancy.
  • Fatigue- experienced often during pregnancy can cause a headache to develop.
  • Anemia- iron is important during pregnancy. Symptoms of anemia (low iron) include feeling tired, having headaches, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, and indigestion.
  • Migraine- Migraine different than a headache, a migraine is more severe. It causes debilitating, throbbing headaches and can cause nausea, vision changes such as blurring and flashing lights, sensitivity to light and noise and intense pain.
  • Caffeine withdrawal- If you have eliminated or cut down your caffeine intake since discovering you are pregnant, this can result in withdrawal headaches for several days.
  • Blood Sugar changes- pregnancy can cause changes to your blood sugar and metabolism. Be sure to eat right and snack every few hours and consume adequate amounts of protein.

Preventing Headaches During Pregnancy

  • Be sure to drink plenty of water. Dehydration can frequently cause headaches.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Practice stress relieving techniques.
  • If you are planning to decrease caffeine intake, do so slowly to prevent withdrawal reactions.
  • Sinus headaches can be aided by application of warm compresses on the front and sides of the face and around the nose, eyes and temples.
  • Tension headaches can be aided with cold compresses on the back of the neck and forehead.
  • Get plenty of rest to prevent fatigue.
  • Eat frequent small meals to keep your blood sugar levels stable.

When to Call Your Doctor

  • Your headaches are severe or accompanied by visual disturbances or swelling.
  • Your headaches is accompanied by fever.
  • You are having spotting or bleeding.
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Back Pain During Pregnancy

October 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Back Pain



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Back pain is extremely common during pregnancy. As a matter of fact, 50-70% of pregnant women experience back pain at some point during their pregnancy. Although it can occur at any point between conception and childbirth, it is most frequently troublesome late in a pregnancy. There are things that can be done to help manage back pain.

Causes of Back Pain During Pregnancy

  • Implantation- Many women experience low back pain during early pregnancy when the newly formed embryo implants into your uterus. This can cause aching pain and cramping in your back.
  • Hormonal Changes- When you are expecting, your body produces a wide variety of hormones, one of which is called relaxin. Relaxin’s job is to relax and loosen the tissues of your body in order to help prepare for childbirth. This causes shifting of the joints and laxity in the muscles and ligaments that normally support your body and your spine, resulting in discomfort.
  • Changes to Your Posture- Your body is growing and changing each day. Your belly is growing and stretching along with the fetus that is inside. This causes the muscles and bones in your body to readjust in new and different ways. Your spine curves backward to compensate for a shift in your center of gravity as your abdomen protrudes. This can cause pressure and tension in your spine.
  • Weight gain- As your baby grows your weight increases and your back gets strained from supporting the extra weight.
  • Improper Bending- Heavy lifting, twisting, bending, and prolonged sitting can make your back hurt. You can prevent back pain by being aware of how you stand, sit and move.
  • Stress- Stress adds tension to the body and can contribute to pain anywhere. With the extra pressure that pregnancy places on your spine, the back is a very common place to experience stress tension. Try out some of our stress relieving tips.

imagePreventing Back Pain Before it Begins

  • The following are things you can do to reduce the amount of back pain you are experiencing. Sometimes it is not possible to eliminate pain completely, but the following tips can help dramatically.
  • Practice good posture- Stand with your hips and pelvis tucked in and your shoulders back and head up.
  • When sleeping or resting, lie on your side with your knees and hips bent. Try placing a pillow between your knees and one under your belly. This can help take pressure off your low back. There are also some great pregnancy pillows that can help make you more comfortable.
  • Wear good shoes. Heels and unsupportive shoes can contribute to spinal discomfort.
  • When you sit, elevate your feet slightly. Try to take breaks from sitting at least every half hour. Don’t cross your legs.
  • 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 a pregnancy support belt.
  • If you will be standing for extended periods of time, try to keep one of your feet elevated on a low stool.
  • Exercise regularly to support and strengthen your back.
  • Pregnancy massage(prenatal massage) is excellent for keeping your body loose and free of pain.
  • Get your partner or friend to practice hands on pregnancy pain relief techniques on your body.
  • Chiropractic visits can help prevent back pain.
  • Acupunture can help keep you balanced and prevent you from aching
  • Prenatal Yoga can help keep your body loose and comfortable.
  • Be sure you are getting adequate Calcium and Magnesium in your diet
  • Drink plenty of fluids

Treatment for Back 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.
  • When lying down use a pregnancy pillow.
  • Have your partner help you with hands on techniques such as those in the Pregnancy Pain Relief Book.
  • Herbal Medicine.
  • Take a warm bath

When You Should Call Your Doctor

  • Your back pain is very intense.
  • Your back pain is getting increasingly worse or you have sudden stabbing pain.
  • You have rhythmic back pain that feels like menstrual cramps.








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Round Ligament Pain During Pregnancy

October 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Round Ligament Pain



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imageRound ligament pain is very common during pregnancy. It causes sharp pain that radiates in the abdominal or hip area and can also refer pain into the groin and legs. The pain may be on one side or both sides and can be intensified by movement. This is not considered a cause for concern.

Causes of Round Ligament Pain During Pregnancy

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. Movements such as coughing, sneezing or laughing activate these muscles quickly and can cause pain. Generally this pain is brief in duration.

Preventing Round Ligament Pain During Pregnancy

Treatment for Round Ligament Pain During Pregnancy

When You Should Call Your Doctor




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Rib Pain and Shortness of Breath During Pregnancy

October 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Rib Pain & Shortness of Breath



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pregnancy rib pain, image of woman holding her ribsRib pain is common during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester. As the baby grows and fills up your abdomen it begins to put pressure on your ribs and chest, causing pain and shortness of breath. Though you may feel short of breath, your body is actually breathing 40-50 percent more air than before you were expecting. Your rib cage is widening as well. As your baby begins to drop preparing for delivery (called lightening), you may find rib pain and shortness of breath will ease.

Causes of Rib Pain During Pregnancy

Preventing Rib Pain During Pregnancy

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Treatment for Rib Pain During Pregnancy




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Pelvic Pain and Cramps During Pregnancy

October 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Pelvic Pain & Cramps



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baby-in-plevisEarly pregnancy can cause cramping or stretching feelings in your pelvis and abdomen. You may feel achy in your lower abdomen. This is generally normal and related to implantation and stretching of the uterus.

Causes of Pelvic Pain and Cramps During Pregnancy

Treatment for Pelvic Pain and Cramping During Pregnancy

When You Should Call Your Doctor




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Back Pain at Night

October 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Back Pain at Night



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nightSleepMany women suffer with pregnancy back pain at night. This type of night back pain in pregnancy is called nocturnal back pain. You may have it on its own, or concurrently with low back or sacroiliac pain.

There are a couple of different theories as to why night back pain develops during pregnancy. One theory is that it is caused by muscle fatigue from being active all day. By the end of the day, your body becomes more fatigued, and thus you feel more discomfort toward the evening hours.

The second theory is that nocturnal back pain is due to water retention. This can lead to edema and an increased volume of blood. This additional water in the body can place pressure on the spinal nerves and muscles, resulting in backaches.

Some women have very severe back pain while sleeping during their pregnancy. The most important thing you can do is to avoid sleeping on your back during pregnancy. Lying on your back, or in the supine position, compresses major arteries and veins, namely the inferior vena cava and the aorta. This decreases circulation and allows fluid pressure to build up in the pelvis, which places pressure on the spinal nerves.

As your fetus grows, it also puts more and more pressure on your arteries and veins. The farther along you are in your pregnancy, the more important it is to avoid sleeping on your back. The healthiest sleeping position for you and your baby is on your sides. Resting on your left side will place the least amount of pressure on your spine.

In addition to side sleeping, supporting the uterus can help alleviate night back pain. To properly support your uterus, lay on your side with pillows under your abdomen and between your legs. This will help to support your uterus and keep your spine in a neutral position. There are several wonderful pregnancy pillows that can help to make sleeping much more comfortable.

It is also important to make special efforts during the day to adjust your posture in ways that will help prevent muscle fatigue. Be sure to take frequent breaks from standing or sitting. If you must sit or stand for long periods of time, elevate one foot on a low stool or foot rest. Also, wear good, supportive shoes, and avoid wearing high heeled shoes, which place extra strain on the

It is also possible to manage pregnancy back pain at night by maintaining a regular exercise program. Regular exercise will help strengthen and support the spine, therefore helping to minimize strain and muscle fatigue. Exercise and postural adjustments will help to minimize night time back pain, but may not completely prevent it.

Many women find pain relief in alternative approaches such as acupuncture and massage therapy, though this relief may be only temporary. There are a variety of gentle hands on techniques that can be performed at home, which are also beneficial for relieving pregnancy related back pain.

Unfortunately, anti-inflammatory medications such as motrin, advil, and aspirin are contraindicated during pregnancy. The only pain reliever considered safe during pregnancy is acetaminophen.

Soaking in a hot tub or whirlpool is not recommended during pregnancy. You may however find a warm, not hot, bath can soothe your sore back. Try adding Epsom salt to a warm bath to help relieve pain.




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Lower Back Pain or Lumbar Pain During Pregnancy

October 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Lower Back or Lumbar Pain



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imageLow back pain or lumbar is extremely common during pregnancy. As a matter of fact, 50-70% of pregnant women experience back pain at some point during their pregnancy. Although it can occur at any point between conception and childbirth, it is most frequently troublesome late in a pregnancy. There are things that can be done to help manage back pain.

Causes of Back Pain During Pregnancy

Preventing Lower Back Pain or Lumbar Pain Before it Begins




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Leg Pain and Leg Cramps During Pregnancy

October 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Leg Pain & Leg Cramps



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imageLeg pain occurs frequently in pregnant women and is most likely to occur late in the second trimester or in third trimester. About one out of two pregnant women are prone to let pain, cramping and muscle spasms, which happen most often in the night or evening hours.

Causes of Leg Pain and Leg Cramps During Pregnancy

Preventing Leg Pain and Leg Cramps During Pregnancy

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Treatment for Leg Pain and Leg Cramps

When You Should Call Your Doctor



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Hip Pain During Pregnancy

October 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Hip Pain



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Hip pain is really common during pregnancy. It can occur at any time during pregnancy, but is generally the most problematic in the third trimester.

Causes of Hip Pain During Pregnancy

Preventing Hip Pain During Pregnancy

Treatment for Hip Pain During Pregnancy

When You Should Call Your Doctor




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