Pregnancy is a wonderful thing but enduring nine months of pain is not as fun. Managing pain during pregnancy can be difficult and confusing, especially with the restrictions that come with carrying a child. Here are some tips for managing pain during pregnancy.
What Kinds of Pain Could Someone Experience?
There are many different ways pregnancy can cause discomfort, but the most common kinds of pain people will experience is abdominal cramping, contractions, and ligament pain. However, sometimes as the baby develops, those expecting can experience back complications from the strain of carrying a child. Dehydration, swelling, and urinary tract infections are also common.
Most sharp pains can be attributed to cramps, bloating, gas, constipation, and round ligament pains. However, always speak with your doctor if you experience excruciating pain or aches for extended periods.
What Causes Pregnancy Pains?
With as many different kinds of pain that can come from being pregnant, there are just as many causes. During pregnancy, hormones shift, and blood travels down to the uterus to help build the uterine lining, which can cause pregnancy cramps. As the fluid moves down in the body, your ankles can swell, and an increase in progesterone can make the stomach upset.
Can I Take Pain Medication?
Sometimes, medications can work for people experiencing pain during pregnancy. In fact, commonly prescribed painkillers and over-the-counter medications like Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are relatively safe in small doses. Other medications like aspirin can be more dangerous since it can inhibit platelet functions. Ibuprofen is also risky in later trimesters, and can potentially harm the baby.
Usually, if you are experiencing pain during pregnancy, a doctor will prescribe you specified doses of safe medication, or recommend other methods of pain management like physical therapy.
Other Methods of Pain Management
Just like medications, different types of drug-free pain management are risky too. For example, heat therapy may harm the fetus if the temperature is too hot. Chiropractic care can also be concerning in the first and third trimesters, and expecting parents should avoid laying on their stomachs in the first trimester and their back in the third. Hydrotherapy on the other hand can be risky as well but can be highly beneficial as long as someone avoids hot tubs. Acupuncture, on the other hand, can be incredibly risky if not performed by a licensed professional and should be avoided completely during the first trimester.
The safest treatments for pain during pregnancy are physical therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. In both of these programs, those expecting are taught to breathe through contractions and stay grounded during pain. With physical therapy, patients can learn stretches and exercises to help reduce pain in the future, and can also use TENS therapy. TENS units work best for relieving pain since they can be safely placed directly on the cramped area and can be controlled to fit the user’s needs. A physical therapist may also recommend orthopedic braces to help reduce back pain as well.
It is always best to speak with your doctor before making any decisions regarding pain management during pregnancy. To browse more pain management products, visit Medical Supply Depot.