Aches and Pains in Pregnancy

I feel so heavy!

Pelvic heaviness can be apparent in the first trimester of pregnancy. This is due to increased blood flow to the pelvis and an increase in uterine size because of your pregnancy. It is also due stretching of the uterus supporting ligaments. Because of this heaviness is usually worse in pregnancies subsequent to the first ongoing pregnancy.

As the uterus enlarges there can be pain from tension on the round ligaments at either side of the uterus. We call this ‘ligamentous’ pain.

Aches and Pains in Pregnancy

Towards the end of the pregnancy, the large size of the uterus can cause considerable abdominal discomfort. This is more so if you have had a baby before as your ligaments aren’t as firm second time. Because of this the increased awareness of heaviness is most marked between the first and second ongoing pregnancy and less after the second.

Subsequent pregnancies tend to have similar discomfort to the second ongoing pregnancy. The heaviness is often  described as “It feels like it is going to fall out!”

Pelvic congestion and vulval varicose veins make the discomfort worse.

As well when baby’s head engages in the pelvis there can be a very uncomfortable feeling of considerable pelvic fullness which has even been described as like having a “watermelon between your legs”.

What can be done?

  • Rest as much as possible.
  • You will fell a lot better when you can finish work.
  • Sometimes a support belt or support tube will help support the uterus and make you feel more comfortable. See the Links section for web links.
  • There is no treatment for vulval varicosities except “putting your feet up” as much as possible. You can be reassured it is temporary and vulval swelling and discomfort will get better after delivery.
Posted by Dr Gary Sykes on -

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