Aches and Pains
Starting in the first trimester, many pregnant women find that they have an increasing amount of aches and pains throughout their bodies. Two of the most common are backaches and headaches.
Lower backaches in the first trimester often happen when the egg attaches itself to the uterine wall, and your uterus starts growing in order to support the new pregnancy. The extra pressure can cause the muscles in your lower back to ache. Throughout the second trimester this pain may increase as your belly, while low, starts to get bigger.
By the third trimester, the backache may include your upper back, or may only be in your upper back. By the time you come to the end of your pregnancy, your breasts have grown and weigh approximately 5 pounds more than they did before you got pregnant. Your upper back muscles are working twice as hard to support the extra weight.
If you are in the last days of your pregnancy and suddenly begin experiencing lower back pain, it could be a sign of early labor. Many women have back labor, where the contractions are felt mainly in their backs, rather than the abdomen, causing pain and discomfort. If the contractions radiate from the back to the front, they are most likely true labor contractions. Braxton Hicks contractions generally stay in just the front of a woman’s belly.
Headaches can happen throughout pregnancy, although many women are never affected by them. When a woman gets pregnant, her blood volume increases in order to help sustain the pregnancy. This extra blood can increase pressure in the head and cause headaches. Some women, who have never had a bad headache before, begin experiencing migraines once they get pregnant. If you start getting bad headaches, be sure to check with your doctor to find out what medications are safe to take while you are pregnant.
By the end of pregnancy, a woman might find that her headaches are becoming more frequent. Some women will begin to get them every day, which can complicate other late pregnancy complaints like not being able to sleep.
If you just think you might be pregnant, there are other reasons why you may be experiencing backaches and headaches. If your period is coming, if you are stressed, if you have another back problem, or if you pull a muscle you may find that your back aches more than normal. Impending menstruation, stress, eye strain and dehydration can also cause headaches. When in doubt, always call your doctor.
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