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Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy: Causes And Tips For Relief

Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy: Causes And Tips For Relief
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Pelvic pain during pregnancy is extremely common and oftentimes harmless, but it’s important to understand the various symptoms and causes of pelvic pain during pregnancy so you can know when you should consult your doctor.

Pelvic Pain or Pressure?

It is important to know the difference between pelvic pain and pelvic pressure. Pelvic pressure often feels like cramps that are similar to menstrual cramps and can be present in the rectum area and in the lower back. This could be the beginning signs of cervical effacement or dilation—the beginning stages of labor! This pressure is most likely to occur in the second and third trimesters. Pelvic pain is different. Pelvic pain is often a more wrenching pain that can make it difficult to walk.

What Causes it?

There are numerous different factors that can cause pelvic pressure during pregnancy. Anything from stretching ligaments to the weight of the baby can cause pain in that region of the body.

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In the first trimester some women feel light cramping in the pelvic area that is caused by their uterus expanding. This is less likely to be felt in second or third pregnancies.

Women who have a history of ovarian cysts, or think they have developed them during pregnancy should inform their ob-gyn. These cysts can sometimes grow larger during pregnancy. The pressure from your expanding uterus can cause persistent pain. There can be some complications with this kind of cyst pain, so be sure to inform your doctor if you are experiencing any sharp constant pain that may include nausea, vomiting or sweating.

Round ligament pain is one of the most common causes of pelvic pain during pregnancy. The ligament that runs from the top to the bottom of your uterus experiences a lot of strain as the baby grows significantly larger in the second trimester. This ligament stretching can be pretty uncomfortable!

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Another cause of pelvic pain is the relaxing or separating of your pelvic joints toward the end of pregnancy. A hormone called relaxin is released to relax a woman’s joints and prepare her for labor and birth. This separation of joints can cause pain in the pubic bone area.

While most causes of pelvic pain are normal and all part of the process, sometimes pain can be a signal that something serious is going on. Pelvic pain can be a symptom of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, uterine rupture, preeclamspia or other illnesses unrelated to pregnancy such as appendicitis or kidney stones.

Call your doctor if you experience any of the following:

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  • pelvic pain you can’t walk or talk through
  • any bleeding
  • fever/chills
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • sudden swelling of hands, face or feet
  • watery, bloody or greenish discharge
  • Insistent vomiting

It is always better to annoy your doctor with a problem that isn’t serious than to ignore a serious problem in order to avoid bothering your doctor.

What you can do

There are many ways to relieve some of the everyday pelvic pains that result from growing a baby. You can:

  • Take a warm bath. You can get a break from the weight of the baby pressing down on your pelvic area and the heat will help to relax your muscles and ligaments
  • Do some pelvic tilts
  • Relax with your hips elevated
  • Buy a belly sling that will help to relieve some pressure and weight off your pelvis
  • Get a prenatal massage by a certified masseuse. This will help assuage all kinds of pregnancy related discomfort!
  • Exercise as a preventative measure to pelvic pain

Pregnancy is a miraculous and wonderful season of life for many women—but it is almost never a pain-free season! Growing a human is not an easy job, and it does take a toll on your body. Taking care of yourself by eating well, exercising and listening to your body is especially important when another little human is depending on you for all of their resources. Pelvic pain during pregnancy isn’t fun, but it’s part of the territory. You can do a lot to relieve and minimize it, but not many women can avoid it. But cheer up—holding your sweet little baby in your arms will help you forget those long, long months of swollen ankles and cramping!

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Featured photo credit: M Sunderstrom via flickr.com

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Emily Myrin

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Published on July 22, 2021

20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week

20 Healthy and Tasty Family Meals Ideas to Try This Week
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It’s 5 p.m., and you’re exhausted. The kids are hungry, but no one knows what they want to eat for dinner. With very little energy, you force yourself into the kitchen and look through every cabinet, hoping for a spark of inspiration. Eventually, you toss a few ingredients together and hope for the best. It won’t win any prizes and falls short of what you consider “healthy,” but it fills everyone’s stomachs.

Feeding a family can be stressful, even tiresome. It’s hard to find the energy and creativity needed to cook healthy but simple family meals. It’s easy to fall into the “anything goes” mentality. When you’ve got a busy lifestyle, meals become more about survival and less about nutrition.

Here are 20 quick and healthy—but tasty—recipes followed by tips on making these family meals more nutritious. These recipes can help you have a healthy family meal on the table in an hour or less. Remember, swap ingredients out if someone in your family has dietary restrictions or if you avoid certain foods.

1. Mini Meatloaves With Green Beans and Potatoes

    These miniature meatloaves come together quickly and cook faster, too. You can have a family favorite on the table, paired with seasoned potatoes and fresh green beans, in just 40 minutes.

    Get the recipe here.

    2. One-Pan Chicken Parmesan Pasta

      This classic will taste like you spent hours cooking, but the preparation and clean-up couldn’t be quicker. One-pot cooking makes this dish practical, while fresh basil, parmesan, and garlic add a special touch.

      To try this recipe, go here.

      3. Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

        Skip the restaurant and make fajitas at home. The ingredients go on one sheet pan, meaning you won’t spend all night cleaning. Zesty chicken, bell peppers, and warm tortillas can be on the table in 40 minutes. Add sour cream, salsa, guacamole, lettuce, diced tomato, and any other favorite toppings.

        Check out the recipe here.

        4. Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

          Lose the carbs but keep the cheesesteak flavors with this quick family meal. Kids will love the pepper “bowls,” and you’ll love giving them a meal full of veggies and protein to keep them healthy.

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          Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

          5. Chipotle Chicken Quinoa Burrito Bowl

            This veggie-packed meal adds an extra boost by using the superfood quinoa instead of rice. Flavorful yet simple, this meal makes an excellent packable lunch or dinner for your whole family.

            Find the recipe here.

            6. Spinach and Chicken Skillet With Lemon and Parmesan

              The complex flavors of lemon and parmesan come together nicely in this gourmet-like dish, but you don’t have to exert the effort or spend as much as a gourmet meal.

              Get the recipe for this dish here.

              7. Oven-Fried Fish and Chips

                Fish and chips can also sometimes be healthy as evident in this oven-fried version. You won’t miss the calories with this favorite family meal.

                You can find the recipe here.

                8. Pineapple-Teriyaki Chicken

                  Tangy pineapple and sweet teriyaki will have everyone coming back for seconds. Frozen vegetables make this simple family dish even easier to make and enjoy.

                  Find the recipe here.

                  9. Mozzarella, Basil, and Zucchini Frittata

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                    This egg dish is usually served for breakfast, but a frittata can make a fantastic dinner, too. High in protein, packed with zucchini, and delicious, there’s no reason to wait until morning.

                    Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                    10. Chicken and Sweet Potato Grill Packets

                      Skip the pans and throw everything into foil with this fun family recipe. Kids will love loading ingredients into their pack, and you’ll love its versatility and simplicity.

                      The recipe for this meal can be found here.

                      11. Chicken and Spanish “Rice”

                        Cauliflower takes the place of rice in this low-carb family meal, but it’s so flavorful and filling, no one will miss it.

                        Find the recipe here.

                        12. Honey Chicken Stir Fry

                          This honey chicken stir fry is the healthier version of a restaurant favorite that can be served up quicker than you can order it.

                          Find the recipe here.

                          13. Chicken Skewers With Tzatziki

                            Greek chicken and tzatziki sauce will have you yearning for the Mediterranean, but you can make this recipe at home for your family to enjoy.

                            This easy recipe can be found here.

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                            14. Healthy Walking Tacos

                              Traditional walking tacos are a party favorite, but they’re not usually healthy. However, this recipe keeps it fun while making it more nutritious.

                              Find out how to make it here.

                              15. Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

                                This classic comfort meal can be ready when you walk in the door. All you have to do is add noodles, and it’s ready to serve.

                                The recipe can be found here.

                                16. Cheesy Chicken and Rice Casserole

                                  This usually takes a little over an hour, but the preparation time is only 30 minutes. You’ll love how easy it is, and the cheesy rice is sure to please.

                                  Find the recipe here.

                                  17. Crockpot Rotisserie-Style Chicken

                                    Skip the checkout line and have a rotisserie-style chicken ready at home. A staple in many quick meals, you might find this family meal recipe among your most-used.

                                    Get the recipe for this flavorful chicken here.

                                    18. Santa Monica Street Tacos

                                      Named after a simple taco found on the streets of California, you’ll be surprised that something with only a few ingredients can be so flavorful. Your kids will surely enjoy them.

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                                      Find the recipe here.

                                      19. Pizza Pasta Salad

                                        Enjoy the flavor of pizza without the hassle of making a crust. Use a fun pasta shape to make this even more appealing to your family, especially kids.

                                        Try it tonight. Get the recipe here.

                                        20. Slow-Cooker Lasagna Soup

                                          Everyone loves lasagna, but it can be time-consuming and messy to make. However, this soup version has the taste you want but with the ease of a crockpot.

                                          Get the recipe here.

                                          Bonus: 3 Simple Ways to Make Meals Healthier

                                          Eating healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of money, time, or thought. Any improvements are a big step in the right direction.

                                          Here are three easy ways you can make meals healthier for your family.

                                          1. Lose the Sugar

                                          Are you looking to improve your health? Cut processed sugars from your diet—the more, the better, and that includes artificial sweeteners.[1] Why? Studies show that sugar increases the risks for weight gain, heart disease, acne, type-2 diabetes, depression, cancer, fatty liver disease, cellular aging, and low energy levels.[2]

                                          2. Avoid Highly Processed Foods

                                          Many processed foods are fine to eat. Even fresh fruit and vegetables go through some processing to stay fresh longer. However, highly processed foods have added salt, sweeteners, saturated fats, preservatives, and artificial colors. These types of food have been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.[3]

                                          3. Replace Simple Carbs for Complex Carbs

                                          Lowering daily carbs can do wonders for your health. Studies show that low-carb diets lead to lower insulin levels, lower bad cholesterol levels, visceral fat loss, weight loss, reduced appetite, and can be therapeutic for many brain disorders.[4]

                                          When eating carbs, choose complex carbs over simple carbs. Simple carbs, such as white flour, rice, and degermed cornmeal, lack nutrients and spike blood sugar levels. Complex carbs, such as sweet potato, brown rice, and oats, are usually more nutritious and aren’t digested as quickly, giving more sustained energy and less of an insulin spike.[5]

                                          Enjoy Family Meals With Less Stress!

                                          Dinner can be enjoyable again now that you’re armed with simple and nutritious recipes for your family. These healthy and tasty family meal recipes can help you feel even better about what you serve. Best of all, you’ll have the extra time and energy you saved from cooking and spend more time with your family.

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                                          More Healthy Eating Tips

                                          Featured photo credit: Jimmy Dean via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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