Pregnancy defines a phase wherein a woman is on a wonderful journey for 36 months. The magical capability of rearing a life inside the womb is an eternal feeling. Mother nature has bestowed this amazing capability which also comes with a lot of hard work. The hard work of tolerating body changes, biochemical changes and physical changes doesn’t come easy. A woman must undergo remarkable fleet of body adjustments to hold the life inside. To all of that comes with immense pain and body ache. Battling all of that is not easy and a woman takes a lot of effort to deal the heavy ordeal.
The most prominent problems that arise during pregnancy is pains and aches. Organs get pushed as the foetus starts growing. Along with this, the uterus bulges up pushing the spine and often changing the shape of it. The picture is, in essence, quite painful. Due to the immense pressure from the growing baby, the muscle pain sets in. the muscles are stretched beyond imagination which causes the pain. Also, the everyday increasing weight of the womb will trigger lower back pain. There is an overall difficulty to sit for long, walk for long and sleep on one side for long. The excess weight gained, which is roughly 10kg, puts a massive pressure on the legs and calf muscles.
Are Heating Pads Safe Durig Pregnancy?
The easiest way to get rid of muscle pain and aches is to get hold of a hot compress or a heating pad. The heat generally relieves the muscle soreness and pain. However, is it safe for pregnant ladies? Will the heat cause any problem to the tiny life? read on to know more!
Reasons for muscle aches and pains:
Increased Hormones: Hormone levels go high up during pregnancy due to developmental needs of the fetus. As a result, the muscle and back are bent. This causes major muscles to get stretched and pulled. Pains and aches are inevitable at this stage!
Shifted Center of Gravity: The uterus expands massively to accommodate the new life. This causes a shift of the center of gravity. Then follows suit is the posture and thereby leading to severe muscle and back pain.
Increased Weight: As the weight increases, which is completely ok during pregnancy, will add pressure on the legs and thereby cause muscle pain.
Read more: 15 Reasons for Spotting During Pregnancy
What are heating pads and how does it work?
Heating pads are nothing but some electronic/ non-electronic pads that relieve muscle pain with the help of heat. The same principle of hot water bag! In general, muscle pain shows up due to its overwork and at the same time having less supply of oxygen. Heat therapy will widen up the blood vessels that are supplying oxygen to those muscles. Sufficient amount of oxygen will then flow in and the muscle pain will slowly disappear. Heating pads will do the same job and help release pain from the muscles in pregnant women.
Relieving pain from muscles in pregnant ladies should always be done using heat therapy. Therefore, using heating pads during pregnancy is completely fine. Painkillers are not an option as they will have severe adverse effects on the new life. Topical treatment would be the best!
Also, heat from the heating pads are regulated and are not very high that could cause any harm. However, the life inside is well protected. There are many layers of defense which protect the tiny life. Penetrating heat from heating pads will have no access to the fetus or its surroundings. However, every technology should be limited to its use. While using heating pads, which is absolutely ok during pregnancy, pregnant ladies can keep the following pointers in mind:
- Do not overexpose the pad treatment for more than 20 minutes. Usually, the heat is electronically generated and too much of a current is not safe!
- Use the pad at the lower temperature settings, so that there is no rapid heating that is exposed to the affected area.
- Always use a cloth layer underneath the heating pad. This is to avoid direct skin contact. Human skin consists of surface charge and might interfere with the electrical heating.
- Use the heating pad only on the area that is affected. Using the same on the abdomen is strictly prohibited! Restrict to areas like hip, legs, and back.
- Do not lean over and fall asleep while the treatment is going on. The electrical heating is dangerous and there is a risk of an overexposure.
- Make sure you do not have any ointment applied on the affected area before using the heating pad. Ointments often contain ingredients that are sensitive to heat and can cause injuries.
What are the alternatives for heating pads?
Consider, if you are not willing to use the heating pad in spite of the same being ruled out during pregnancy. Well, that’s preference and you can go for the following alternatives:
- A good posture practice and working out towards it is the best alternative for aches and pains. A good posture will not tweak muscles in the wrong way and cause pain.
- Exercising and resorting to yoga is another alternative that will increase flexibility in the body. A flexible body is less susceptible to aches and pains.
- Wearing the right medical footwear during pregnancy will also help relieve or prevent aches and pains. The whole-body weight is balanced on the two legs. A comfortable footwear will help absorb that weight and put less pressure on the foot.
- Lift things at home and work which are of considerable lightweight. Any weight that is beyond 3kg should not be lifted. It can cause stretch or sprain in the already tensed tendons and ligaments.
Pregnancy’s journey is not as easy as it looks like. Pains in muscles are inevitable and one cannot do away with it. Heating pad therapy will have no ill effects unless one is careless about the safety part of it.
Read more: Heartburn During Pregnancy
Hope this article was of help for all our parents!! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy and Healthy Babies!!