Chest Pain During Pregnancy – What It Could Mean And When To Call The Doctor

Though chest pain is something that instantly rings alarms bells for most of us, chest pain during pregnancy is a common complaint and one that may actually have a fairly innocuous explanation.

Persistent chest pain may be a sign of something being wrong, particularly if it is severe or is accompanied by other symptoms.

chest pain during pregnancyHowever generally speaking, chest pain during pregnancy could be caused due to one of many different reasons such as –

  • Indigestion is a common complaint during pregnancy, what with all the major hormonal changes going on and resulting in the slowing down of the digestive system. It could be something as simple as gas causing the chest pain, when it gets trapped beneath the rib cage, causing not just stomach pain but also chest pain and discomfort.
  • As the baby grows in size, and the uterus expands to create place for it, a lot of pressure is placed on the diaphragm and the chest area, as there is some internal reorganization done to accommodate the growing baby. This can result in rib and chest pain, which are normal.
  • The rib cage actually expands to create adequate space for the baby in the. This can strain the muscles and cause chest pain and shortness of breath as more pressure is exerted by the growing baby.
  • Women who have asthma may also experience chest pain during pregnancy, which should be closely monitored.
  • The breast increase in weight and size significantly during pregnancy, which could be responsible for chest pain.
  • As the center of gravity shifts due to the burgeoning belly of the pregnant woman, she experiences not only back pain but also chest pain which can radiate to the chest from the back area.

Chest pain during pregnancy can be managed to a large extent by making sure that there is enough iron, magnesium and calcium intake – if required supplements should be taken. Stress relief techniques, breathing exercises, yoga, appropriate stretches can be used to relieve the chest pain or discomfort and to prevent it from occurring.

If there is chest pain during pregnancy accompanied by any of the following symptoms, then a health care provider or doctor should be consulted –

  • If the chest pain is severe then this could be a sign of something being wrong rather than usual pregnancy chest pain.
  • If the pain is persistent then the doctor should be consulted to rule out any possible complications.
  • If there are any other symptoms that accompany the chest pain, such as palpitations, dizziness, weakness, unexplained shortness of breath etc, then this should not be ignored.
  • If there is any bleeding or spotting that accompanies the pain, then as well, a doctor ought to be consulted.
  • Anemia is another possible reason for chest pain during pregnancy. Typically anemia will also display other symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, paleness of the skin and the fingernails and the inner lower eyelids, heart palpitations and fainting spells. Anemia during pregnancy should not be ignored and should be reported to the doctor.


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