Feature: Pregnancy Pains
by Christa Melnyk Hines
The changing pregnant body
may be one of Mother Nature’s more astonishing feats, but nothing grounds us like the aches and pains that tag along for the journey. Luckily, expectant mothers can address most pregnancy pain gently, safely and effectively.
Why you shouldn’t ignore pain. If you’re like many women juggling multiple responsibilities, you might feel tempted to grin and bear it, but don’t. “If you ignore pain and become increasingly less active, you can actually increase your pregnancy risks. Inactivity increases the risk of blood clots, for example, can weaken muscles, and may contribute to more complications or difficulty with labor,” says Dr. Michael Proffitt, OB-GYN. Physical pain can also harm your overall sense of well-being, contributing to emotional distress. “If you’re experiencing pain and there is not relief from it, this can cause anxiety and increase stress,” says Kate Fields, certified nurse midwife (CNM) at Vancouver Clinic. “Women want to feel like their body is strong and working well while growing their baby. Pain and discomfort can be very discouraging, despite being very common and in many cases, normal.”
Why the pain? As your body quickly adjusts to accommodate a growing baby, hormones cause your joints to loosen and relax, abdominal muscles stretch, and the pelvic bone separates. Furthermore, your center of gravity shifts as you gain weight. These factors combine to put extra strain on your musculoskeletal system. continued on page 14
Vancouver Family Magazine • www.vancouverfamilymagazine.com • March 2019
The magazine for Southwest Washington families.