Body Aches and Pains During Pregnancy – Causes and Tips to Deal With it

6 min read

Written by Ajanta Biswas

Ajanta Biswas

pregnant woman having back pain

Pregnancy is a vulnerable period. You feel emotionally excited to welcome a new little member into your family while at the same time, your body goes through various painful changes. Body aches and pains during pregnancy are very common and almost all pregnant women feel some sort of body ache at some point in their pregnancy. There are multiple internal as well as external reasons behind it. And you can seek comfort through medicinal as well as non-medicinal remedies.

In this article, we will discuss the most common body aches women suffer from during their pregnancy. We will also put forward the leading causes behind pregnancy body aches. You will get some valuable tips to deal with these body aches at home without relying on medicines. So if you are a mom-to-be then prepare yourself for this sweetly sour period of your life called pregnancy. And we are always there to back you up.

In This Article

What Causes Body Aches and Pains During Pregnancy?

Here are a few causes that cause body aches and pains during pregnancy

  • The first and foremost reason behind body aches in pregnancy is hormonal changes
  • You may notice sore and painful breasts as they increase in size due to pregnancy hormones
  • The pregnancy hormones also make the connective tissues get loosened and relaxed to nourish your little one. Loosened ligaments cause pain.
  • The swelling of the legs especially on the feet and ankle portion can also cause pain or ache. Which is mainly caused due to the inevitable weight gain during pregnancy.
  • Hormonal rush can also trigger headaches during pregnancy.
  • Another obvious cause behind pregnancy body aches is the gradual expansion of your uterus in the abdominal cavity throughout your pregnancy.

The growing uterus puts tremendous pressure on your pelvic region and the overall weight gain during pregnancy puts an extra load on your legs. As a result, you may suffer from abdominal pain, back pain, hip pain, pelvic pain, leg cramps, and ache in your groin area. The rapid limb movement of your baby in the third trimester can also make your belly muscles stiff and painful. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a muscle cramp is very common during pregnancy and it is yet another reason behind acute body pain.

Is it Normal to Have Body Aches and Pains During Pregnancy?

pregnant woman having body aches

Yes, body pain during pregnancy is normal and one of the most common discomforts that pregnant women suffer from. This is because the causes of pregnancy body pain are general and inevitable. So the impact of body pain may differ from woman to woman but it is not completely avoidable.

8 Common Body Aches and Pains During Pregnancy

pregnant woman having neck pain

Now that you know body pain is common during pregnancy, you should also know what sort of body pains are common or normal during pregnancy. This distinct knowledge will help you to be alert about any unusual pain. The 8 most common body aches during pregnancy are

1. Headache

Headache is a common pregnancy body ache but you need to be careful as a persistent and severe headache can be a sign of preeclampsia or high blood pressure during pregnancy.

2. Back Pain

Back pain occurs especially in the third trimester due to the extra weight and extra size of your baby bump. Your center of gravity shifts as your belly expands and it weakens the abdominal muscles and puts strain on your back.

[Read : Back Pain During Pregnancy]

3. Breast Pain

Your breasts are preparing themselves to produce milk for the baby on board. So you can frequently feel tender breasts or sore breasts during your pregnancy days.

4. Chest Pain

As your growing uterus leaves hardly any spare for your digestive organs, they start functioning slowly and as a result, you get chest pain due to indigestion. Chest pain along with heartburn is very common during pregnancy but a constant stabbing feeling of chest pain can be due to any heart problem.

5. Round Ligament Pain

The round ligament is the connecting part between the pelvis and the uterus. It keeps the uterus in its place. But during pregnancy, as the uterus grows it shifts from its position and the round ligament gets stretched. As a result, you may feel a pulling or stabbing sensation near the lower abdomen.

6. Leg Cramps

Leg cramps occur due to the acid build-up in muscles because of decreased blood supply to your legs as the uterus presses blood vessels downwards as it grows. Calcium deficiency can also cause pain in the leg joints.

7. Foot Pain

Your foot is under more pressure during the last few months of pregnancy as you gain at least 10 kgs during pregnancy. As a result, your feet will feel painful after some standing and walking. Due to increased fluid retention in the joints, you may suffer from swollen feet or ankles too.

[Read : Swollen Ankles in Pregnancy]

8. Rectal or Anal Pain

Constipation is very common during pregnancy and this can cause anal pain and sometimes anal tissue tearing while passing the stool.

How to Deal With Body Aches and Pains During Pregnancy?

Pregnant woman getting massage

Here are some tips to follow in order to manage these pregnancy body pains

  • To cure a headache you can gently massage your head with lukewarm oil. If it is not curing then you can get your doctor’s opinion and get yourself prescribed some pain relief medications.
  • To avoid pregnancy back pain and round ligament pain use a maternity belt, wear flat shoes, use cushions when you sit or lay, use cold or heat on the sore part, and tell your partner to massage your back.
  • To reduce breast pain you will need to change your bra as your breast size increases and avoid skinny fits.
  • Having small portions of meals frequently instead of bulky meals can help in reducing chest pain as you put less burden at a time on your stomach.
  • Do stretching, leg exercises, and foot massage to reduce leg and foot pain.
  • Drink plenty of water and fiber-rich food to avoid constipation-related pain.

[Read : How Can I Get Relief From Round Ligament Pain During Pregnancy?]

When Should You Consider Seeing a Doctor?

You need to contact your doctor if any of these pains remain for more than a day or get more severe with time. You need to take a doctor’s appointment if your body pain is associated with any of these issues;

  • Painful urination
  • Bleeding
  • Swellings that occur suddenly and do not subdue after massage
  • Nipple infection or discharge from the nipple, redness in the breasts, and severe pain
  • Severe headache
  • More than 4 contractions in just one hour before 37 weeks

You need to be alert as these symptoms can indicate a condition called preeclampsia where high blood pressure leads to blood clots and even heart attacks.

So pregnancy will whirl you through a merry-go-round. Sometimes your head will ache and sometimes back. But the journey is undoubtedly exciting.


1. Are Body Aches a Pregnancy Symptom?

If you are trying to conceive, and have a missed period, then the sudden hormonal changes after you conceive can bring the feeling of body aches, fatigue, and nausea. So you can say body ache is one of the many initial symptoms of pregnancy. However, they also continue throughout the pregnancy.

2. Does Your Body Ache Before Labor?

Yes, you can feel body aches, especially back pain near your hips when your labor time approaches. The duration of the cramp and pain will get longer and more painful until it insists you go to the labor room.

3. Why Do You Feel Pain Between Your Legs During Pregnancy?

This condition is known as PGP or pelvic girdle pain. According to the NHS, you can feel pain in the pelvic region due to the stiffness of the pelvic joints or due to their uneven movements.

Read Also: Edema – Swollen Legs And Feet During Pregnancy

Ajanta Biswas,MA (English)

Studying English literature has been highly instrumental in creating a love for English and World Literature for this writer. Ajanta has been writing for more than two years. She specializes in creating short and crisp blogs that can create awareness among women about healthy pregnancy and among parents about better parenting.Read more.

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