Doctors identify a key localization of feelings of discomfort - heaviness in the abdomen during pregnancy.
This sensation in the lower abdominal region is considered one of the early signs of pregnancy due to the increased synthesis of sex steroid hormones, in particular, estradiol and progesterone.
The action of these hormones creates the conditions necessary for carrying a fetus: the endometrium of the uterus thickens, the number of uterine glands increases, and the system of blood vessels becomes more extensive - preparing the base for the formation of blood circulation in the placenta and the functional system mother-placenta-fetus.
Heaviness in the uterus during pregnancy
As the period increases, heaviness in the uterus increases during pregnancy, usually perceived as a heaviness in the abdomen. And this is also a naturally occurring sensation, because both the size of the uterus and its weight during the whole pregnancy increase many times over. The feeling of heaviness is exacerbated by a large fetus or multiple pregnancy, as well as when the volume of amniotic fluid is more than one and a half liters, that is, manifold water in pregnant women is detected in late periods.
Unfortunately, the severity in the uterus during pregnancy may also have a pathological cause — during the formation of fibrous nodes or the increase in the existing uterine fibroids during pregnancy. In such cases, there may be pain and bloody discharge.
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Heaviness in the navel during pregnancy
Pregnant women begin to feel discomfort in the umbilical region with the onset of the second half of gestation. And the main reason is also associated with an increase in the uterus, the bottom of which first reaches the navel level (by the 20-22nd week) and continues to gradually rise even higher, reaching the 36th week of the diaphragm and lower part of the chest. Obstetricians measure the height of standing of the bottom of the uterus of pregnant women with each routine examination, and for the entire period it increases, on average, by 4.5 times.
Heaviness in the stomach during pregnancy
When the discomfort in the epigastric region and the unpleasant feeling of fullness in the stomach are explained by a change in its position (due to the pressure of the enlarged uterus), this only applies to the later stages of pregnancy. But at the beginning of pregnancy, these sensations have only hormone-dependent etiology: estrogen and progesterone reduce not only the tone of the uterus muscles, but also the smooth muscle fibers of the stomach lining, thereby impairing its motility. More information in the material - heaviness in the stomach during pregnancy
For the same reason (of course, if the expectant mother does not systematically overeat) a heaviness appears after eating during pregnancy.
And all that may be associated with heaviness in the stomach and belching during pregnancy, is described in detail in the publication - Belching during pregnancy
If there is no food error, that is, the use of poor-quality food, stomach heaviness and nausea during pregnancy are manifestations of toxemia in early pregnancy, which is associated with high levels of human estrogen and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in pregnant women.
Severity of pregnancy
First of all, pregnant women feel heaviness in the side (often symmetrical), because the round and sacro-uterine ligaments stabilizing the usual position of the uterus become thicker and longer, the fallopian tubes together with the mesenteries of the peritoneum are displaced below their "pregeneral" localization, and the ovaries along with the funnel - the pelvic ligaments and the mesovarium (mesenteries of the ovaries) are in the abdominal cavity.
Due to the compression of the rising bottom of the uterus and the lateral displacement of the liver, gallbladder, duodenum and ileum, discomfort and heaviness in the right side during pregnancy appear. A similar situation with the pancreas, spleen and sigmoid colon provokes heaviness in the left side during pregnancy.
Heaviness in intestines during pregnancy
Problems with the work of the digestive tract and the severity of the intestines during pregnancy are the result of the already mentioned unavoidable physiological changes that simultaneously cause constipation and bloating during early pregnancy, as well as during the second and even third trimesters.
Heaviness in the rectum during pregnancy
There are two reasons for causing a feeling of heaviness in the rectum during pregnancy. The first, physiological, is a strong stretching of the sacro-uterine and rectus-uterine ligaments formed by the parietal peritoneum in the posterior wall of the uterus.
The second reason is pathological, due to stagnation of blood, dilatation of the rectum veins and the formation of nodes in them - hemorrhoids.
Heaviness in the chest during pregnancy
The growth of the uterus lifts the dome of the diaphragm (separating the abdominal and thoracic cavities), and the vertical size of the chest decreases. But its circumference, on the contrary, increases: due to stretching of the synchrosis of the xiphoid process of the sternum and increasing the angle between the spine and the sternum, as well as reducing the curvature of the costal arches. In this case, very often there may be unpleasant sensations and heaviness in the chest during pregnancy.
In addition, during pregnancy (up to about the 32nd week), the volume of blood pumped by the heart - cardiac output increases by 30-50%. This increases not only the heart rate (at rest up to 80-90 beats per minute), but also the actual size of the heart (almost 12%). So, due to the increased load, discomfort in the chest region, heart murmur, and heart rhythm disturbances may appear.
Heaviness in the back during pregnancy
Absolutely natural heaviness in the back during pregnancy, as well as complaints of almost all expectant mothers on the severity of the lower back during pregnancy (in the second half of the term). The fact is that, due to an increase in the abdomen, the center of gravity of the body in pregnant women changes, and as a compensation for its displacement, some deviation occurs to the posterior vertebrae of the lumbar spine with simultaneous overstrain of the muscles located here (spinous, interdigital, vertebral).
Feeling of heaviness in the lower back in early pregnancy, a woman should pay attention to the amount of fluid consumed in the evening, because the kidneys may not have time to remove its excess. But if there are pains in the lumbar region in the lower abdomen, it can be harbingers of spontaneous abortion.
Heaviness in the pelvis during pregnancy
What causes gravity in the pelvis during pregnancy? In the third trimester of gestation, the production of the hormone relaxin, which weakens the ligaments of the pelvis in the region of the pubic symphysis (the symphysis joint), is especially enhanced. This is necessary so that the joints can move a little apart and not hinder the passage of the baby’s head during labor.
In some cases, relaxation of the symphysis may be excessive, which causes pain and requires taking certain measures.
And the gravity in the groin during pregnancy begins to be felt from about the middle of the second semester - due to the fact that the uterus increases and its round ligaments begin to stretch. In later periods, the weight of the child, added to the effects of relaxin, leads to the stretching and weakening of the pelvic floor muscles (between the coccyx and the pubis) supporting the uterus, bladder, rectum, and vagina.
But the severity of the vagina during pregnancy occurs not only because of this. During this period, all genitals that provide the reproductive function of the female body are heavily supplied with blood, which can lead to swelling of their tissues. And the pressure of the uterus often leads to dilatation of the venous vessels - varicose veins of the vagina during pregnancy, which in most women passes after childbirth.
Heaviness in the legs during pregnancy
The most frequent causes of heaviness in the legs during pregnancy are poor circulation in the lower limbs and swelling of the legs during pregnancy.
How does medicine explain? The enlarged uterus presses down and slows the upward flow of blood, that is, it prevents the return of blood from the legs and pelvic region to the heart, as a result of which the veins in the legs swell and there is a heaviness when walking during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, the blood volume increases by about half, and this additional volume also increases the pressure in the veins, which most women feel like heaviness in the legs in early pregnancy, especially if they have to spend a lot of time standing.
Progesterone is also involved in this - relaxing blood vessels to hold all the “extra” blood. Therefore, pregnant women have varicose veins, causing heaviness in the calves of the legs during pregnancy, passing after childbirth.
And in the appearance of edema of the lower extremities, the hormones of the adrenal cortex aldosterone and cortisol, which regulate the water metabolism, are to blame. The increased synthesis of which is stimulated again by progesterone of the placenta.
Heaviness in the head during pregnancy
Blood pressure fluctuations cause heaviness in the head during pregnancy and headaches.
With a normal pregnancy, blood pressure in the first trimester will remain approximately the same as before its occurrence. In the middle of the term, obstetricians note a decrease in blood pressure, which should return to normal in recent months.
If a woman had high blood pressure before pregnancy, then hypertension will most likely occur during gestation. And for doctors this is a cause for concern, since high blood pressure in the second or third trimesters and preeclampsia during pregnancy may limit the amount of oxygen entering the fetus, increasing the risk of premature detachment of the placenta and early delivery.