5 Totally Unexpected Pregnancy Ailments (That No One Wants to Talk About)
5 totally unexpected pregnancy ailments? Yikes! Chances are, whether you have been pregnant or not, you know the basics about morning sickness, cravings, swollen ankles and feet, and the searing back pain that comes with the position. But, did your girlfriends mention these 5 totally weird pregnancy ailments while chit-chatting at the last baby shower?
1. Diastasis Recti (Abdominal Separation):
As they say, three’s company, and in the battle of your baby vs. your left and right ab muscles, your baby is perennial winner. Diastasis Recti can happen when your growing uterus increases pressure on your ab muscles, causing the abdominal wall to expand. The connective tissue found along the middle of your abdomen, called Linea Alba, gets softer, and the left and right ab muscles begin to pull apart, leaving you feeling like Stretch Armstrong.
How do you know if you have Diastasis Recti?
If you are pregnant and you notice a distinct separation in your midline, lie down on your back, and with knees bent and feet flat to the floor, place your fingertips just above your belly button. Lift your head as if approaching a crunch position. If you notice a separation of two or more fingers between your left and right ab muscles, it may be diastasis recti, commonly a gap of 2.7 cm or greater.
Best practice for healing this division:
For specific exercises, see Fit2B website or Pelvienne Wellness, and support with an abdominal band preferably 5 “ + in width, soft and flexible (so you will continuously wear it), with shoulder straps for increased lift and to reduce pull on your abdominal muscles. The BabyBellyBand abdominal band and shoulder straps are great candidates for this!
2. Vulvar Varicosities- Gleefully Known as VV’s:
If you’re feeling pressure down under and are wondering why you’ve been cursed with unsightly bulging veins on your inner thighs or vulva, remember you are not alone. Increased blood flow and pressure on the pelvic floor during pregnancy can result in varicose veins of the vulva or vagina. While most women keep this to themselves, it is a common pregnancy ailment that needs attention! These dilated blood vessels can appear dark purple, as they often do on legs, and can be pretty painful during intercourse or while sitting or standing for extended periods of time.
Best practice for healing these unwelcome visitors:
Do not leave these untreated! They can cause interference with labor and delivery and on rare occasions burst. Elevating the feet and resting can help but this is not always a realistic solution for a busy Mom.
Compression support is the answer and is a must! The best products have direct upward, adjustable support. Moveable compression groin bands will allow you to adjust to your comfort level and provide the “anti-gravity” effect you need on the varicosities. This allows blood to move through the veins vs pooling which causes swelling and pain. Applying a cool compress will not only feel good, but also help reduce swelling. Try BabyBellyBand’s Vulvar Varicosity support kit to help with these problems. It includes the original Babybellyband support belt, compression therapy groin bands, and a cold pack!
3. Umbilical Hernia- Belly Button Bulger:
The uninvited ally of diastasis recti, the umbilical hernia (belly button hernia) occurs when excessive internal abdominal pressure causes intestine or other tissues to make their external debut through the weakest point of the abdominal wall, right around your belly button. This is extremely painful and sometimes requires surgical repair. The good news is, there are preventive measures you can take.
Best practice for supporting umbilical hernia :
Wear a soft support band to counteract the gravitational pull on a developing hernia. Place the support band directly over the hernia with enough compression support to feel comfortable but not too snug, there is a baby inside. This will provide gentle yet firm support. The best Maternity Support Band has one width all the way around and is about 4-5” wide. It should also have an extra compression band attached to the back to control compression support.
4. Inguinal Hernia (Hernia of the Groin):
The Inguinal hernia, again, occurs when tissue protrudes through a weak spot in your abdominal muscles, but here it shows up for the more private party—appearing on either side of your pubic bone. This can burn and ache, and can make coughing, sitting upright and walking very painful. Most of the time you can gently push the hernia back inside, but if not, it may be what is known as an “incarcerated hernia,” or a hernia with contents trapped inside the abdominal wall. This can be dangerous because if trapped tissues in an incarcerated hernia are not receiving blood flow, they can become strangulated. Hernias should always be seen by a health care provider which specializes in hernia care to develop a plan to correct your hernia.
Most inguinal hernias during pregnancy will heal naturally postpartum, but while you are pregnant the worst thing is that life goes on after a hernia emerges, and if you are already a busy mom, this probably seems impossible!
Best practices to heal inguinal hernia during pregnancy and postpartum:
Talk to your doctor, adopt a high- fiber diet, elevate your hips when experiencing pain and avoiding heavy lifting. You will also find that maternity support wear with compression therapy groin bands is crucial here in keeping everything in place and reducing the risk of further damage to the hernia. Gravity is the enemy, counteracting it is the key to hernia care.
5. Pubic Symphysis (Separation of the Pubic Bone)–Argh!
It is here our appropriately named culprit, the hormone Relaxin, has been working overtime on your ligaments, stretching them out and loosening that pelvis to make for a smoother birth. When Relaxin doesn’t know when to quit, the ligaments around your pelvic bone become too loose, creating an instable pelvic joint and weird, painful sensations for Mom. In many cases, this can lead to a gape in the pubic bone, or pubic symphysis. This can cause pain through the pelvis, groin and buttocks.
Best practice for healing pubic symphysis:
Pelvic floor exercises such as pelvic tilts and keigels lead by a trained pelvic floor therapist will help tremendously for those suffering from this pregnancy ailment. In addition a Maternity belt with Compression Therapy Groin bands is key to supporting the pelvic bone and holding everything in place for the least amount of pain possible especially while carrying the weight of your baby.
If you find yourself freaked out by the content of this list, fear not, these ailments have been braved and beat by more moms than you can imagine. We found an All-in-One solution at a reasonable price created by Founder of CABEA Orthopedic Designs, Caroline Christensen. Once debilitated by an inguinal hernia during pregnancy, she created the award winning Babybellyband Maternity Support Kit: a customizable maternity support kit with add-on pieces to help women get back to their active lifestyles. Proven to reduce pain in 94% of wearers!
The Babybellyband is the ONLY line of maternity support products that can help tackle all of the uncomfortable mishaps on this list, and more. The Babybellyband has proven effective for moms struggling with all kinds of ailments, including:
- Multiple Pregnancy Pain
- Exercising While Pregnant
- Diastasis Recti
- Pelvic Floor Pain
- Extreme Back Pain
- Hernia Pain
- Abdominal Lymphedema
- Bariatric Pain
- Round Ligament Pain
- Sacroiliac Joint Pain
- Vulvar Varicose Veins
- Prolapsed Uterus/Bladder/Vagina
- Pubic/ Perineal Edema
- Lumbar Pain
Pregnancy is not always pretty, and can be pretty painful when if you experience one of these ailments! If you or someone you know is suffering in pregnancy pain, take action for a happier mom and a healthier baby!
For more information, visit www.babybellyband.com
Article Co-Authored by Caroline Christensen, M.Ed and Erica Taylor