Pregnancy Pains: Adapting to the Body’s Changes

Pregnancy Is Very Taxing On A Woman’s Body.

Creating a new life and sustaining it within her body until it becomes viable outside the womb is without a doubt one of the most powerful human experiences a woman can have.  This nine-month long journey is a time of many, sometimes life-altering, changes on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual planes.

Pregnancy is a natural event.  Nevertheless, it is very taxing on a woman’s body, requiring huge physiological and physical adjustments to accommodate, support, and nurture a new life to be.  While many women “cruise” through the pregnancy and even thrive from it, there are plenty of women who feel the “aches and pains” of pregnancy in small and large ways.

Pregnancy Pains Come In Many Forms.

Women may experience pregnancy pains in a variety of different ways. They may experience neck, back, or pelvic pain, swelling of the face, wrists, hands, ankles, and feet, or cramping in the calves or feet. Moreover, they may experience digestive upset, constipation, and difficulty breathing.

Hormonal changes, i.e. an increase in the production and release of the hormone relaxin, lead to a softening or loosening of the ligaments in the pelvis to allow for easier passage of the baby during the birth process.  On the one hand, looser ligaments permit greater movement in the sacroiliac joints and the pubic symphysis.  On the other hand, looser ligaments result in less stability around the joints which needs to be shored up by the muscles around the joints, often leading to pregnancy pains from muscular tension. Other pregnancy pains include those felt in the lower back and pelvis.

As the fetus grows in size and weight, the uterus expands and the ligaments that hold the uterus in place are stretched, especially the round ligament that leaves the pelvis via the inguinal canal and blends with the fibers of the mons pubis, which covers the pubic bone. This can lead to pregnancy pains experienced as twinges as the fetus shifts around.

Pregnancy Affects The Functioning Of The Inner Organs And The Cardiovascular System.

With the expansion of the uterus, pressure is exerted on the internal organs, the digestive tract, the respiratory diaphragm, and the spine.  These changes may lead to difficulty breathing, digestive distress, and constipation, as well as pregnancy pains in the lower, middle, or upper back.

Pressure from the expanding uterus on the inferior vena cava while lying down on her back, may reduce the blood flow back to the heart and result in fainting when rising to an upright position.  This is referred to as supine hypotensive syndrome.  Hence, women should not sleep on their backs, especially during the third trimester.

The mother’s kidneys need to filter out the toxins created by the fetus (normal metabolic toxins), in addition to those created by her own body.  Hence, more frequent voiding by the becoming mother is necessary in order to expel them from her body.  Moreover, the expanding uterus puts additional pressure on the bladder.  Consequently, the bladder can hold less urine and needs to void more often.

Pressure on the pelvic lymph nodes, the cysterni chili, the thoracic lymph duct, and the right and left lymph ducts can result in fluid retention in the face and neck, as well as the upper and lower extremities (arms and legs).  These pressures are exerted on the lymph vessels, ducts, and nodes by the growing size and weight of the breasts, the expanding uterus, and postural changes in the body.

Pregnancy Leaves Its Mark On The Connective Tissue.

Often overlooked are the changes in the connective tissue of the entire body, but especially in the abdominal cavity resulting from hormonal changes and the expansion of the uterus.

Connective tissue (fascia, ligaments, tendons) weaves through and holds together all the cells, tissues, organs, muscles, and bones, as well as the blood vessels, lymph vessels, nerves, and meridians (energy pathways) that make up our bodies.

Connective tissue varies from gel-like soft to hard as bone (bone is a specialized form of connective tissue, as is blood).   Hormonal changes during the pregnancy soften the ligaments of the pelvis, allowing them to stretch to accommodate the growing fetus and to prepare for delivery.  However, the growth of the uterus, along with the postural changes and the fluid retention, puts a hefty toll on the connective tissue in general, resulting in pregnancy pains from the distortion of this tissue and restriction of the organs, muscles, and other structures embedded within it.

Craniosacral Therapy Helps To Reduce Pregnancy Pains And Discomfort.

Craniosacral therapy gently assists the body to release these restrictions to promote healthy blood, lymph, and energy flow, as well as nerve conduction.  Craniosacral therapy throughout the pregnancy helps the becoming mom to adapt to the physiological and physical changes and reduces pregnancy pains.  It also reduces fluid retention, and supports the musculoskeletal system to accommodate the changes due to a growing fetus inside the uterus.

Craniosacral therapy also promotes a deep sense of well-being physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, so that the becoming mom may fully enjoy this amazing time in her life.