Pregnancy comes with a horde of problems. As your body expands to accommodate your growing baby, you experience a number of complications. Some are mere discomforts while others can prove more dangerous like chest pain in pregnancy.
Are you suffering from chest pains and are worried that it may be something serious? It is normal to feel flutters of anxiety when it comes to chest pain, more so when you are pregnant. But not all pain is serious! Before you rush to the doctor for each niggle, learn a little more about your body and chest pain during pregnancy.
Causes Of Chest Pain During Pregnancy:
Chest pain can be the result of some common problems, pregnant women face or something more severe. The likely causes of pain in chest during pregnancy are:
Indigestion, acid reflux, eating fatty food- all of these can trigger heartburn in pregnant women. Most pregnant women experience heartburn frequently because the increased level of progesterone relaxes the sphi
When gas gets trapped in between your chest and tummy, you can land up suffering from chest pain. Your symptoms of indigestion tend to get worse after the 27th week of pregnancy.
[ Read: Effective Measures To Prevent Indigestion During Pregnancy ]
3. Rib Cage Widening:
During pregnancy, the rib cage widens, which creates muscular tension in the chest.
4. Growing Baby:
As your baby grows, it will put pressure on your diaphragm which can cause chest pain. Your breasts will also enlarge, which may cause chest pain and shortness of breath.
Chest infection is one of the major causes of chest pain. It is essentially the infection of the airways.
[ Read: Infections During Pregnancy ]
Stress has become all-pervasive today. When you are pregnant, stress can cause a number of symptoms, including chest pain.
7. Change In Breast Size:
As you step into the second trimester of your pregnancy, your breasts will enlarge. The change in bust size too can lead to chest pain and discomfort.
The causes mentioned above are mild, and you need not hit the panic button. But chest pain can also be an indicator of a medical emergency. Here are a few more serious causes of chest pain during pregnancy.
8. Deep Vein Thrombosis:
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) refers to a blood clot that finds its way to a vein in the leg or the pelvis. DVT is a serious medical condition that requires you to see your doctor as soon as possible. The blood clot in the leg can also travel up your body and reach your lung. It can cause chest pain, lead to Pulmonary embolism or even death. With this kind of chest pains during pregnancy you should be alert.
9. Heart Disease:
If you suffer from a heart ailment, chest pain is something you should never ignore.
10. Heart Attack:
When you experience chest pain, the first thing that may come to your mind is a heart attack. And there is a good reason for that. Chest pain is one of the most common symptoms of heart attack. Other symptoms include light-headedness, breathlessness, numbness in the limbs, and cold sweat. If you are experiencing these symptoms, don’t wait, just head to the ER.
If you have chest pain along with the following symptoms, you most likely have a chest infection:
- Persistent cough
- Yellow or bloody sputum
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
[ Read: Fever During Pregnancy ]
Types Of Chest Infection:
The two main types of chest infection are pneumonia and bronchitis. There is no way to avoid infections during pregnancy, especially if the would-be mother cannot help going outside. In fact, research shows that pregnant women are more likely to contract infections during this stage. The causes of different chest infections are described below.
a. Acute Bronchitis:
- This condition is usually the result of viral infection. These are viruses that cause influenza, measles or whooping cough. It may be bacterial as well. These conditions are called acute infectious bronchitis.
- It may be caused by inhaling dust, smoke or fumes. This condition is called acute irritative bronchitis.
b. Chronic Bronchitis:
- Exposure to certain pollutants.
- Prior any infection.
- Bacteria like Streptococcus pneumonia causes lobar pneumonia.
- Bacteria-like organism like Mycoplasma pneumoniase causes ‘walking pneumonia’, a less severe infection.
- Viruses that also cause influenza and cold.
- Fungi found in soil.
- Hospital-acquired pneumonia, which occurs within 48 hours of hospitalization.
[ Read: Bacterial infection During Pregnancy ]