Sore Ribs or Rib Pain and Other Early Pregnancy Concerns
First off, Congratulations!
Hello and congratulations. You are on your way to becoming a mum. Whether this is your first time or you're a pro by now, it can still be scary to experience something that is alien to your body. When I was pregnant with my first child, I was terrified at all the symptoms I was experiencing because I had no idea what was normal and what wasn't in early pregnancy. I searched tons of websites and read countless books, yet I couldn't get a straight answer from anything. After a miscarriage, I decided to write this article to help others in easing their confusion or worries during pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a very beautiful and blessed thing to go through. While I'm one of many who haven't been fortunate enough to have an easy ride, I'm still hoping that my current pregnancy will turn things around. If you're in the same boat, check this article out for an explanation of many early pregnancy symptoms and good luck. Also, again, congrats!
Rib Pain During Early Pregnancy
The number one thing I wish I'd known about the first time I was pregnant has to be rib pain. If you're experiencing a soreness or pain in your ribs, you're definitely not alone. Many people have complained about this very common early pregnancy symptom. It could be any one of these reasons:
- Constipation or trapped wind. If the discomfort is in the lower margin of your ribs, it could just be constipation or trapped wind. However, if it's really bothering you, make sure to mention it to your sonographer at your next scan.
- Costochondritis. The pain or discomfort could be costochondritis, which is the flaring up of cartilage in between the ribs. I experienced this symptom and it stopped me from sleeping because it was so painful.
- Intestines moving. Your intestines could be moving up to make room for your growing uterus, but this would be very unlikely if you are only a few days gone or a week. I only experienced my rib pain in the fifth week of pregnancy, while others feel it much later.
- The baby. The baby could be pushing up against them. However, this is only if you are in your third or late second trimester.
So many people have been asking me about rib pain. I can tell you now that it is something that you will definitely notice. I felt like I was dealing with cracked lower ribs on both sides. The pain moved from one side to the other during times when I wanted to sleep. This led to insomnia, another factor that I will be discussing in this article.
Cramping is another common occurrence during early pregnancy. Bottom line: this is uncomfortable and maybe even painful, but most likely normal.
First of all, the uterus can contract quite often and regularly. This occurs by just simply moving around. Or, performing an exercise can trigger uterine cramping in early pregnancy. Even having an orgasm can cause these cramps to occur. Discomfort in the abdominal area is extremely common during early pregnancy. You may first experience pain around the time of your first missed period. It consists of a pain lower down in the abdomen and feels a bit like a dull period pain. This is nothing to worry about and is very normal in early pregnancy.
However, this doesn't just affect women early on during pregnancy. It also may becommon for women during the third or fourth month of pregnancy to frequently experience a sharp stabbing pain in their groin or to one side. This may come on at sudden intervals. If you suddenly get up or stretch, it might flare up. This pain could also be sporadic—appearing and then reappearing days later. This happened to me, and I was so terrified that I consulted my doctor who told me it was perfectly normal. She said it was just due to the muscles around my uterus in my pelvis stretch thickening as they were supporting my little one.
Constipation, bloating, and wind can also cause aches, pains, and abdominal discomfort.
Irregular Sleeping Habits: Insomnia or Extreme Tiredness
As mentioned earlier, insomnia is a common occurrence during early pregnancy.
Ahh, the dreaded insomnia. I suffered from this even before my pregnancy occurred, but it became worse when I started to enter my third week of pregnancy. I remember when I sat up chatting on pregnacy forums into the wee hours of the night, all the way until my partner had to wake up for work the next morning. I never got tired or wanted to sleep, and this became so frequent that once I hit five weeks, I wanted to sleep all the time—I felt the complete opposite within a matter of days. I went from constantly being wide-awake to being awoken all disoriented by my partner who had to wake me to remind me to eat.
These feelings of fatigue are actually very normal. Every pregnant woman feels tired as energy is diverted to her baby. My body just happened to react weirdly for a few weeks by dramatically doing the opposite. Now, I take naps during the day to give my body the sleep it needs without ruining my sleep patterns.
Tender breasts. The one symptom men seem to love. It may almost seem like a joke to men that when we go through pregnancy we can sometimes go up a whole cup size or two. If your breasts are larger or more tender during pregnancy, this is normal. Breasts are where we harvest the milk for our babies to drink when they are born, after all. So, don't panic if suddenly your partner stares at you a bit more if you're in vest top or even does the opposite and covers you up in full thermals and baggy, huge jumpers. He is just a man.
Morning sickness. We all hate it and it happens to all of us. This is just a sign to tell us, "Hey! Start preparing, you're gonna be a mum." Whether it's light sickness when you wake up or heavy constant sickness throughout the entire day, it's unfortunately perfectly normal. I was consistently sick for the first four weeks of my pregnancy, and it was horrible. I couldn't eat or keep my head out of the toilet. I felt like I was going to die. Here are a few tips from friends and family that I will share with you now:
- Eat frequent but small portions throughout the day.
- Try sipping ginger tea. Anything with ginger works brilliantly.
- Eat rich tea biscuits or digestives (have one before you go to bed).
- Drink plenty of water if you can't keep your food down.
- Go straight to your doctor if you find that you can't keep any food or water down!
An increased urge to urinate usually occurs between six to eight weeks of your pregnancy. The excess production of the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone during pregnancy will cause more frequent urination. It could start very early on right from the start, but the majority of women start when their baby is much bigger and can press on their bladders. This can sometimes make urination hard to control. Don't be alarmed if you wet the bed or your pants—it's actually normal during pregnancy!
If you have conceived, spotting can happen when implantation occurs before your menstrual period would then begin. This is normal. Pregnancy bleeding from implantation is pinkish or brownish and certainly not as heavy as a regular period.
A normal menstrual flow usually starts off light, then becomes heavy, and then tapers off again before ending. So if you experience this sort of bleeding (heavy period-like) you'll definitely need to contact your midwife or doctor immediately—it could be a miscarriage.
Constipation is often caused by the pressure of a growing bump on your rectum, as well as hormones which are said to slow down the movement of food through your digestive system.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, there is an increase in the progesterone hormone, which slows down the movement of food through the digestive tract.
Sometimes, constipation can also trigger heartburn.
Other Symptoms That Can Occur During Early Pregnancy
Additionally, there is nothing to worry about with these symptoms:
- An increase in body temperature.
- An increased sensitivity to tastes and odors.
- Cravings, whether it be for the most random of things or not. It's natural and all us mums-to-be go through it.
- Breast differences aside from tenderness. For example, a pregnant woman’s nipples will commonly turn a darker shade.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.