Throughout pregnancy, your heart pumps more blood to nourish your growing baby and that creates stress in your heart. There are several reasons why pregnant women experience chest pain during pregnancy, while it can range from mild and temporary it could also be a serious pain with underlying conditions.
We will discuss some of the causes of these chest discomforts, how to manage them and when to worry about them.
What Causes Chest Pain During Pregnancy
Typically, when you’re pregnant your body undergoes a lot of changes and that sometimes may lead to chest pain. Some minor causes are as follows:
- Heartburn –two-thirds of pregnant women experience gastro-oesophageal reflux which is very common, particularly in the third trimester. Certain types of foods can trigger heartburn or acid reflux. This sensation may feel like a heart attack symptom but it’s actually stomach acid that goes up into the esophagus. Higher levels of progesterone because of being pregnant also causes the esophageal sphincter to relax, resulting in increased chances of acid reflux.
- Expanding uterus – As the baby grows, the pressure on the ribs or diaphragm intensifies which causes stabbing chest pain.
- Breast pain – Your body also grows to prepare for the baby’s nourishment. Added weight from your breasts getting larger can lead to chest pains as well.
- Stress– Having a child is a significant phase in life so worrying about the baby, changes in your normal routine, and other factors elevate stress. But too much of it could cause chest pain.
- Lung infections– Your immunity level weakens when you’re pregnant thus increasing the risk of lung problems. If you have a history of asthma, it could recur or get worse during pregnancy.
How to Manage Chest Pains
Here are some suggestions that you can do to temporarily ease your chest pains:
- Eat smaller amounts of food frequently and avoid those that can trigger acid reflux like spicy and greasy foods.
- Lie on your side to relieve pressure from your chest and lungs.
- Destress. Find ways to alleviate your stress by meditating, relaxing, and cutting off any stressful activities.
- Keep away from anything that could trigger your asthma, if you have.
- Consume healthy and nutritious foods, always take your vitamins, and exercise regularly to boost your immune system.
- Include berries and nuts in your diet such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and many others. Berries are abundant in antioxidants like anthocyanins, as they help to prevent inflammation, cardiovascular diseases, neuronal diseases, cancer, diabetes, and other diseases. While nuts are well-known for being rich in omega-3 fatty acids they are beneficial components that help in preventing irregular heart rhythms and support overall heart health. But check first if you have allergies to these types of foods.
- Take vitamin and mineral supplements with omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, inositol, folic acid, grape seed extract, and CoQ10. Fish oil is known for lowering elevated levels of blood fat (triglyceride) which can put you at risk of heart disease and stroke. It also has DHA crucial for the brain growth of infants, so that is a plus. It can also keep blood platelets from clumping together thus preventing the formation of harmful blood clots. Folic acid is needed to produce healthy red blood cells and is critical during periods of rapid growth, such as during pregnancy.
- Apply a warm compress to help soothe muscle pain.
- Use a body pillow to support the extra weight.
When to Worry
This chest pain may also indicate a serious health issue like the following:
- Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication indicated by high blood pressure and signs of damage to other organ systems.
- Heart attack
- Aortic dissection is the tearing of arteries near the heart.
- Deep vein thrombosis, is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep inside the body usually within a leg.
- Weakening of the heart muscle or peripartum cardiomyopathy.
If the pain becomes more persistent, and unbearable and the symptoms below occur at the same time you need to consult a doctor.
- Difficulty in breathing
- Cold sweats
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fast heartbeat
- Chronic cough
- Extreme weight gain
- Swelling of leg or ankle
- Worsening headache
- Blurred vision
In most cases, chest pain during pregnancy is usually common due to factors that normally happen with pregnant women. We’ve listed things that can help you handle these chest pains such as avoiding foods that could trigger acid reflux, keeping yourself from being stressed, and maintaining a diet full of vitamins and nutrients that promote a healthier and stronger immune system. But if your discomfort carries on for a long period of time and gets severe, tell your doctor right away
Try ourSakura Omega-3 Dietary Supplement to obtain fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids needed for your pregnancy, plus we haveBELTA Folic Acid Women to help provide nutritional support for healthy female fertility, as well as overall body health.