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Aches and Pains

You may hear some friends vow that they "just loved" being pregnant. But they're not telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Every pregnancy is accompanied by some discomfort, and you shouldn't feel like a wimp if you notice some aches and pains as you grow your baby. Here are the most common aches and pains that strike during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters with suggestions for heading off the ouch:

Hip bone and pubic bone aches. Your cartilage will get looser and stretchier in your hips and pelvic region as your body gets ready to open up and send your baby into the world. These aches should subside on their own after birth.

Backaches. They're almost inevitable because the ligaments in your back are relaxing just as your abdominal muscles are stretching around your uterus. About half of all pregnant women complain of back pain as their pregnancies progress. To minimize discomfort, lift heavy objects with your legs, keeping your back straight. Strive for an erect posture rather than the swaybacked stance that too often accompanies pregnancy. Keep exercising too so that your muscles will stay strong to support that extra weight around your middle.

Headaches. That increased blood flow is good for your baby, but it can be bad for your head. You may need to eat every few hours to keep your blood sugar up. Take steps to draw blood away from your forehead and back down toward your legs by putting an ice pack on your forehead for 20 minutes or laying a hot-water bottle across your feet. You might also ask your partner to let you lean back into his hands while he supports your head at the base of your skull. Or press on the ridges below your eyebrows and the middle of your cheekbones. Get lots of fresh air too.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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