Pregnancy Pain Relief - Learn About Pregnancy Pain Management
Pregnancy, Pleasure And Pain
Pregnancy, as wonderful as it is, can also be a time when a woman has to deal with more than the joy of having a baby. Pregnancy pain is a common feature during the process, occurring at different times and in different parts of the body.
For a pregnant woman experiencing pain, the primary goal is to find relief that won't be detrimental to the baby, but will deal with the pain adequately. Finding pain relief during pregnancy is a delicate balance and requires care and caution. But, pregnancy pain management can be done effectively without drugs, or with minimal drug use.
Oh, My Aching Back
The most common and prevalent type of pregnancy pain is back pain that may be caused by any one of a number of different things. An aching and cramping pain in the back may occur during implantation. Hormonal changes in the body and the release of relaxin can cause back pain as the joints in the pelvis relax and become more mobile.
As a woman's body grows with the baby, the increased weight gain and changes in posture related to the shift in the center of gravity cause back pain. Add improper bending and stress to the mix and you have a woman in pain.
An Ounce of Prevention
The best way to deal with any pain is to prevent it before it happens. Sometimes it isn't possible to eliminate the issue or the pain, but it is possible to avoid some of the pain by practicing a few good habits.
Good posture, with hips tucked and shoulders back, holding the head up, helps to relieve the stress on the back. Placing a pillow between the legs when sleeping or resting also works well.
Good shoes go a long way to relieving back pain. Pretty pumps and cute flats aren't the best choice for spinal comfort. Regular exercise, safe lifting and bending, sitting with the feet up and ensuring adequate calcium and magnesium are included in the diet are additional ways to deal with back pain without taking drugs.
If the pain is very intense, if it is a stabbing pain that isn't going away, or if the pain feels like menstrual cramps, a call to the doctor is recommended.
Head Aches And Pains
The myriad changes in hormones and body changes, stress, and fatigue all contribute to discomfort and headaches in pregnant women. It is important to be very careful about the type of medication used to deal with head pain during pregnancy. Aspirin and Ibuprofen are not considered safe, whereas acetaminophen is approved.
One way to prevent headaches is by drinking water. Dehydration is one of the primary causes of headaches in pregnancy. Either high or low blood pressure can trigger a headache. Exercise, drinking water and appropriate rest are useful measures in this case. Stress causes headaches (as well as a lot of other things) so by practicing stress relief techniques, headaches can be averted.
Caffeine withdrawal is a common cause of headaches, so it is wise to cut the caffeine intake slowly to prevent withdrawal head pain. Keep blood sugar levels stable with frequent small meals and use compresses to ease pain due to sinusitis or tension.
For some women, headaches are part of their daily lives, and they only get worse with pregnancy. A common medication used to address moderate to severe headaches is vicodin, which is a narcotic analgesic. This drug is listed as a pregnancy category C drug, which means that it is not known what effect it can have on an unborn baby.
A doctor's recommendation is always necessary before taking vicodin because it is a narcotic and as such is habit forming. The last thing a pregnant woman and her newborn needs is to become drug dependent and then have to go through withdrawal to escape the drug.
Ah, That Feels So Good
As a result of a higher awareness of wellness and total health, the practice of pregnancy massage has gained popularity. Aside from the fact that massage feels great, there are added benefits to the pregnant woman through massage.
It has been shown to reduce stress hormones in the body and the special attention paid to a pregnant woman during massage goes miles in helping her adapt to her changing body and to feel good about herself.
It is usually a safe practice for most women, however, if there are any complications during the pregnancy, the therapist will need approval from the primary care physician.
Demerol And Delivery
It is important to be educated about the various drugs that are used during delivery, if that is what the preference will be. Opiates are narcotic medications that are used to address pain during labor and delivery. It is important to know that opiates cross the placenta during labor and can negatively affect the baby. For that reason, the baby may need medication to counteract the effects of the drugs.
One such drug is demerol, a drug that changes the way a woman recognizes pain through the binding of the receptors in the central nervous system. It causes drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, and low blood pressure and has also been found to be the cause of breathing difficulties in newborns.
I'm Not Pregnant And I Have Pain...
Aside from pain during pregnancy, another familiar pain to women is ovulation pain. Termed mittelschmerz (German for middle pain) ovulatory pain occurs midway in the menstrual cycle, manifesting in the lower abdomen and pelvis. It can be a very painful experience, although, it is usually gone within 24 hours. The most common way to treat ovulation pain is with over-the-counter pain relievers.
Regardless what causes it, nobody likes to suffer with the discomfort that results from pain in the body, particularly when pregnant. It's good to have safe treatments to help along the way.