Is this really a normal part of pregnancy?

Aches and Pains

The nine months of pregnancy can be an exciting time for a woman, or it can be a pain...literally. Some days it may feel as if your body is a science experiment you have no control over as your stomach expands beyond recognition and you deal with the aches and pains of creating a new little being.

I often have patients who are worried about these new sensations and I reassure them this is a normal part of pregnancy that will come and go.

The following is a list of unfortunate but normal aches and pains you may experience on and off during your pregnancy:

  • Abdominal pain, often a sharp, stabbing sensation as your uterus grows and your stomach stretches
  • Back pain or sciatica
  • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (numbness in hands at night)
  • Leg cramps at night
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Excessive gas
  • Vivid dreams
  • Headaches

What is not normal is any pain that is persistent, that lasts for more than an hour without letting up, or gets worse. Any pain that is ever associated with bleeding or with a leakage of fluid is also not normal and you should be assessed by your health care provider as soon as possible.

In This Section

Muscle and Joint Pains

Almost every pregnant woman will experience varying degrees of musculoskeletal discomfort - particularly during the third trimester - which can range from mild to temporarily disabling. As you gain weight and your posture changes, there is an increase in force on joints and soft tissues, which can cause musculoskeletal pain. Dealing with this extra force may lead to fatigue in certain joints and soft tissues resulting in irritation and pain.