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    Common Pregnancy Pains and Their Causes

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    You will be visited with various kinds of discomforts during pregnancy -- some fleeting, some more permanent. Some may occur in the early weeks, while others emerge closer to the time of delivery. Others may appear early and then go away, only to return later. 

    Every woman's pregnancy is unique, so you may not experience all of the changes described in this article. As always, if you notice any changes that concern you, mention them to your health care provider. The pains listed below are considered a normal part of pregnancy.

    Pregnancy Breast Changes

    Most pregnant women will feel some changes in their breasts. Your breasts will increase in size as your milk glands enlarge and the fat tissue enlarges, causing breast firmness and tenderness typically during pregnancy’s first and last few months. Bluish veins may also appear as your blood supply increases. Your nipples can also darken, and sometimes a thick fluid called colostrum may leak from your breasts. All of these changes are normal.

    Recommendations:

    • Wear a bra that provides firm support.
    • Choose cotton bras or those made from natural fibers.
    • Get a bigger bra as your breasts become larger and fuller. Your bra should fit well without irritating your nipples. Try maternity or nursing bras, which provide more support and can be used after pregnancy if you choose to breastfeed.
    • Try wearing a bra during the night.
    • Tuck a cotton handkerchief or gauze pad into each bra cup to absorb leaking fluid. You can also buy nursing pads in the drugstore or maternity/baby store that fit into your bra. Make sure to change these pads as needed so your skin doesn't get irritated.
    • Wash your breasts with warm water and mild soap that will not cause dryness.

    Pregnancy Fatigue

    Feeling tired? That might be because your growing baby requires extra energy. Sometimes, it's a sign of anemia (low iron in the blood), which is common during pregnancy.

    Recommendations:

    • Get plenty of rest; go to bed earlier and take naps.
    • Keep a regular schedule when possible.
    • Pace yourself. Balance activity with rest.
    • Moderate exercise daily boosts your energy level.
    • Ask your health care provider to test your blood routinely for anemia.
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