Aches and Pains during Pregnancy

From back pain to varicose veins, read on to find out more about the most common aches and complaints you may have during your pregnancy, and what you can do to make life more comfortable and ache-free. Some of these discomforts will go away as your pregnancy progresses, while other aches and pains can be easily soothed.

*Note* This is only a guide consult your health professionals for advice or help.

Back Pain

Cramps During Pregnancy

Dental Pain and Sensitivity


Heartburn and Indigestion

Leg Cramps

Lower Abdominal Pain

Pinched Nerve

Swollen Ankles and Feet

Swollen and Tender Breasts

Varicose Veins and Hemorrhoids

When to See a Doctor: Abnormal Pregnancy Aches and Pains

Back Pain

The most common cause of back pain comes from the strain put on your back muscles as your baby gets heavier. The good news is you can take measures to reduce the pain, like maintaining good posture when you stand, sit, or move. You can also:

wear low-heeled shoes with good arch support

invest in a firm mattress to support your back

lift from the knees instead of bending

sleep on your side, and place a pillow between your legs or under your tummy for extra support.

Cramps During Pregnancy

You may experience cramping during pregnancy, whether itís toward the end, when your body launches into practice contractions, or in the first month, during which you may experience mild cramps.


As pregnancy hormones soar, estrogen and progesterone may affect headache-related chemicals in your brain. Although it might be tempting to simply pop a painkiller, discuss your options with your medical provider. You might also want to try the following strategies to manage headaches:

Use a cool compress

Try a few relaxation techniques

Avoid headache triggers, like food or odours that have triggered migraines in the past

Get more sleep

Get some light to moderate exercise

Manage your stress

Eat regularly.

Leg Cramps

Leg cramps are one of the most common body aches experienced around the second trimester of pregnancy and in the third trimester as well. These muscle contractions in the calf or foot often strike at night, and their cause is unclear.

Swollen Ankles and Feet

Swelling in the feet and ankles is common during the later months of pregnancy. This swelling will go away after you've given birth, but you can make things more comfortable if you stay off your feet, and keep legs elevated

sleep on your left side to take pressure off the large vein that returns blood to the heart

wear compression stockings

are physically active every day

wear loose clothing

soak your feet in cool water

stand or walk in a pool to help compress tissues in the legs.

When to See a Doctor: Abnormal Pregnancy Aches and Pains

Many of the pregnancy body aches and pains you'll experience are perfectly normal, but there are a few symptoms that could point to a more serious condition. If you're in doubt, consult your practitioner for further advice.

Aches and pains may strike at some point during your pregnancy, perhaps more than once, but usually they're perfectly normal, and will go away once your baby is born. Pregnancy is the first step in your journey with your little one, which will come with ups and downs, but will be worth it in the end.

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