Being pregnant is a very exciting time in your life. You are no doubt preparing everything you can to get ready for the baby’s arrival, but when changes to your body cause chronic pain, this can cause stress and anxiety. Finding the right kind of pain relief during pregnancy is very important. Here, we cover some ways to manage and treat pain during your pregnancy.

Try not to use medication all the time.
There are some safe pain medicines to use during your pregnancy, but try not to medicate yourself all the time. Instead, use natural techniques to manage your pain, such as massage, applying heat, or other relaxation techniques that can ease the pain you’re experiencing. If medication is completely necessary, talk to your doctor about what medicines are safe to take. Tylenol is usually recommended and Ibuprofen is a big no-no, as it can damage your growing baby.

Know what kind of pain it is.
There are a lot of normal pains that occur during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester when your body is undergoing a lot of change. Pain during the first months of pregnancy can be caused by your uterus stretching, and breast tenderness is also very common. During the third trimester, your baby will be growing and getting heavier, so you will notice that your joints and back may feel more painful than normal.  There are support belts that can help lift your growing belly and pregnancy massages can help significantly. Toward the end of pregnancy, pay close attention to contraction pains and if you ever have any pain with bleeding from the vaginal area, call your doctor right away.  If you have severe pain during any point in your pregnancy, especially pain that is associated with fever or that does not go away after managing it safely, you should contact your medical professional right away.

Talk to your doctor about possible additional health conditions.
If you struggled with managing pain before pregnancy because of other health conditions, talk to your doctor about how to continue to manage your pain during the months that you’re pregnant. For example, conditions like fibromyalgia, sickle-cell anemia, shingles, and other conditions that cause chronic pain problems will need special attention from your team of doctors. Discuss those as soon as possible to determine which course of action will work best.

Last but not least, stay as active as possible during your pregnancy. It is tempting to give in to your cravings and become immobile because your body is bigger and more uncomfortable. But stretching and doing light aerobic workouts can help prevent and relieve joint and muscle pain while also keeping your body healthy and in shape, ready to tackle the delivery process and upcoming months with a newborn!