Aches and pains are common in pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer for nine months. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural ways to keep feeling good throughout your entire pregnancy. Here are five ways you can manage pregnancy aches and pains without medication so you can have the healthiest and most comfortable pregnancy possible.
What are the most common pregnancy aches and pains?
Pregnancy discomforts can come and go from different parts of your body, depending on your trimester, but the most common sites of pregnancy-related pain are:
- Low back pain
- Abdominal pain
- Varicose veins (painful swelling of veins in your legs, ankles, and feet)
Why are aches and pains common in pregnancy?
You don’t need us to tell you about all of the crazy changes happening in your pregnant body, but what causes these discomforts? The pregnancy changes responsible for your aches and pains are:
- an increase in hormones
- a change in the body’s center of gravity
- additional weight gain
- change in posture
- added stress
Six Ways to Relieve Pregnancy Aches and Pains Without Medication
Very often, a little rest and relaxation can ease pregnancy discomforts. However, if they do not bring relief, these five non-drug options for pain relief are smart next steps to try.
1. Heat therapy
Using a moist heat compress for pregnancy discomforts like tight muscles, a sore back, and even abdominal cramps from constipation can work wonders. In addition, microwaveable heat wraps like Thermalon are reusable, portable, and not soggy like a wet washcloth, making them extra convenient. Pregnant women have been known to bring microwaveable heat wraps to work with them or on long car trips so that they can stay comfortable for long hours spent sitting.
The moist heat naturally dissipates with time from the Thermalon compress so that you can even safely fall asleep in bed without worrying about cords or fires. Pregnant women often struggle to get comfortable in bed and fall asleep, especially in the second half of pregnancy. Incorporating moist heat therapy into your regular bedtime relaxation routine could help you get a better night’s sleep.
2. Prenatal yoga and stretching
Building and maintaining muscle tone with yoga poses, can minimize pregnancy aches and pains. Stretching and movement through yoga help your muscles and joints stay flexible. Yoga positions can be great for opening sore hips and relieving pelvic pain in the third trimester. Yoga also safely strengthens your abdominal muscles to better support your lower back in pregnancy.
3. Physical therapy
Physical therapists are experts in body mechanics and they understand how pregnancy changes your joints and muscles. They are also an excellent source for information about which exercises are safe for you and in which trimester. In addition, they know the best and most comfortable ways for you to stay active and feel comfortable.
Your physical therapist may include moist heat therapy as part of your treatment plan for pregnancy-related back pain, sciatica, pelvic pain, and other joint pain. You can replicate your treatment plan and physical therapy exercises at home with the help of your own reusable Thermalon heat wrap. They may also recommend a Thermalon Cold/Heat wrap or pad to reduce swelling and inflammation.
4. Prenatal massage
Prenatal massage helps mental and physical well-being in pregnancy. Women receiving prenatal massage report lower levels of depression, anxiety, leg and back pain. Importantly, prenatal massage does not need to be an expensive luxury- you might just need to give some introductory massage lessons to your partner! In fact, research shows equal benefits for depressed women whose partners gave them 20 minute massages, twice a week. You can even give yourself a massage using a foam roller or a tennis ball. There are lots of techniques available online that can be helpful.
5. A warm bath or hot shower
These are both great ways to help your entire body and mind relax. Warm water brings blood to sore joints and helps tight muscles relax. Floating in the bathtub feels fantastic because it gives your joints, bones, and muscles a break from carrying around extra pregnancy weight. The warmth and pressure of water also reduces swelling and reduces the load on painful joints, encouraging your muscles to relax.
Gaining water weight may increase stiffness in your feet, hips, knees, and ankles. Water weight gain may also worsen carpal tunnel syndrome, which causes pain and tingling in the fingers. Taking a warm bath or shower can help with pain and swelling caused by this extra water weight and swelling.
Lighting some candles, putting on some soothing music, or reading a book while in the bath can help you relax. When we are stressed, we tense our muscles and this can contribute to low back pain, tight shoulders, or neck aches. Easing mental stress allows our muscles to relax, decreasing pain and tension.
Less Pain With Less Medication
Always tell your doctor when you have pain. Don’t assume it is just a pregnancy muscle ache. Talk with your doctor about what treatment or over the counter medications can help. While some medications are safe to take during pregnancy, the fewer medications you take the better. Thermalon hot and cold compresses can help you stay comfortable for the nine months before your baby arrives.
Finding effective ways to ease your pain without taking medication can help you feel better, mentally and physically. In addition, self-treating naturally with tools such as the Thermalon heat and cold compress can help you enjoy your pregnancy and focus more on the joy of becoming a mom.