Your body will naturally change a lot during pregnancy. Your breasts will get swollen and tender, you'll urinate more often, and you will experience lower back pressure and discomfort as your pregnancy progresses.
You may also feel slight cramping in your uterus as it expands and notice more discharge than usual in your underpants when you go to the bathroom. For the most part, body changes in pregnancy is normal. However, if you experience the following changes, you should discuss them with your OBGYN so you can ensure your pregnancy is progressing smoothly.
Unusual Back Pain
You will experience sciatic and other back pain as your pregnancy progresses. The discomfort is your body's natural reaction to widening ligaments and pressure placed on your back.
Sudden middle back pain is a cause for concern. This back pain may indicate a kidney infection or urinary tract infection, both of which can be dangerous to your unborn baby if left untreated.
Call your doctor right away if the pain your back persists, worsens, or is accompanied by painful urination. Your doctor will do a urinalysis on you and check your abdomen to see if kidney problems are to blame for your pain.
Sudden Weight Gain/Swelling
Your OBGYN will tell you how much weight they expect you to gain at your first appointment and you will steadily gain weight (a pound or two every week or few weeks) until the end of your pregnancy. Sudden weight gain, especially if you are also experiencing swelling in the hands, face, or feet, should be addressed by your doctor immediately.
You may be retaining water or experiencing gestational diabetes. Preeclampsia, a dangerous condition that affects your blood pressure, can be dangerous or even fatal if not addressed medically right away. Let your doctor know about any weight gain or swelling, especially in the early stages or near the end of your pregnancy, right away.
Pregnancy migraines are often caused by hormones changing and increasing in your body. Since your blood vessels naturally expand during pregnancy to nurture your baby, you may be prone to getting debilitating headaches. Migraines during pregnancy are hard to treat since you cannot take many over-the-counter medications, including ibuprofen. Nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and vomiting often accompany migraines, which can put stress on your body and your unborn baby. Call your doctor and schedule an appointment; your OBGYN may be able to prescribe you a safe medication to help relieve your symptoms.
Numbness or Tingling in Limbs
It's not uncommon to experience numbness or a tingling sensation in your hands and feet while pregnant. Most often caused by carpal tunnel syndrome due to increased pressure in your limbs; this is a condition you may begin suffering from in your third trimester.
Even though the condition is relatively normal and may occur with one or more of your pregnancies, have your OBGYN check your limbs for signs of swelling or lack of circulation when you go in for your next appointment. If you are feeling numbness along with shortness of breath, fatigue, or a feeling you are about to pass out, call for emergency help right away or go to your nearest emergency room.
Expect to enjoy your pregnancy and the many amazing ways it changes your body to accommodate your unborn baby's needs. Many of the changes you will feel are normal, expected, and not as uncomfortable as you may believe.
Your OBGYN is there to listen: always be honest about how you feel, how your body is operating, and any changes you are going through. Our team of specialists at James E. Ramseur, Jr MD are here to help you have a successful, happy pregnancy and delivery.