Pain During Pregnancy

Chest Pain and Tightness During Pregnancy

Chest Pain During Pregnancy
Written by Stephanie McClane

What is Chest Pain During Pregnancy?

Chest pain during pregnancy is a normal experience during this time because of excessive changes in hormones, blood flow and weight and size of uterus and fetus.

Causes of Pain in Chest During Pregnancy

Some normal and important causes of chest pain during pregnancy are as follows:-

  • Heartburn – During pregnancy there is a surge of excessive progesterone hormones that helps relaxation of sphincter allowing acid in stomach to come out. Eating certain food items, gas and indigestion results in Heartburn. Antacids have capacity to interfere in iron absorption of body and therefore are not advisable along with iron supplements.
  • Weight of baby – Changes in weight of growing baby puts excessive pressure on diaphragm as well as ribs causing chest pain during pregnancy third trimester.
  • Indigestion – Avoiding food items that can cause acidity and gas is prudent as they often result in indigestion and chest pain
  • Stress – Anxiousness causes muscles to become tensed and lead to pain in chest
  • Breasts – Chest pain during pregnancy first trimester is result of enlarged breasts. This happens because of an increase in blood flow, as it is nature’s way to prepare for upcoming breastfeeding. It leads to pain in chest and breathlessness
  • Asthma – If a patient has been suffering from asthma previously, and then it may result in obscuring normal activities as breathing becomes more difficult. Guidance of a doctor is necessary at such times
  • Extended rib cage Chest tightness during pregnancy is also because of widening ribcage. With an increase in size the baby starts putting excessive pressure on diaphragm, ribs and muscles resulting in breathlessness and pain
  • Cold, cough – A sore throat can easily result in moderate pain in chest area
  • Headache – Due to an increase in blood stream as well as hormones in body it is normal to feel headache and chest pain during early pregnancy.

Recommended Link: Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy: What Causes and Treatment

There are some more serious causes of pain in chest area are as follows:-

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis – This medical condition occurs when blood clot happens in veins related to pelvis or legs. While walking or standing, the legs will be warmer with a feeling of heaviness. Swelling is also a part of this condition resulting in extreme pain. Deep Vein Thrombosis becomes a cause of concern if a pregnant women is more than thirty five year old, smokes or is carrying multiple babies
  • Coronary heart disease – An increase in plaque contents narrows the arteries thus restricting flow of blood. This condition results in chest pain during pregnancy left side and must be addressed by a doctor as soon as possible
  • Heart attack – Main symptoms of heart attack are severe pain in chest along with sweating, breathlessness and numbness.
  • Congenital heart disease – Pain in chest is prominent during this medical condition

Managing Chest Pain in Pregnancy

Some tips to manage and control pain in chest are as follows:-

  • It is desirable to drink plenty of water and eat at regular interval to avoid upper back and chest pain during pregnancy
  • Rest is necessary as it relieves pain in areas like legs, chest and back
  • It is sensible to avoid usage of caffeine and smoking to prevent chest pain
  • Chest pain during pregnancy second trimester is easy to avoid by taking plenty of magnesium, iron, calcium and vitamins in daily diet

About the author

Stephanie McClane

Hi, I’m Stephanie. I graduated college with a business degree and a minor in biology. I met my husband at a business convention and was happily marriage and pregnant within the first two years after saying the words “ I do”.

Jennifer is the eldest of the three. Being pregnant with her, my first, I researched everything pregnancy related and read nearly every book. Giving birth to Anthony and Matty seemed more natural and less stressful the third time around.

I’m happy to share what knowledge I have gathered and learn new things from other mothers. From morning sickness to Anencephaly, or potty training to thumb sucking, I have books and resource guides to share.

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