* Weight gain = Exercise more, decrease carbohydrate intake, increase high quality food intake
* Fluid retention/swelling = Increase protein intake, reduce sodium
* Nutritional deficiency = Adequate increase in nutrition.
The Hormone Relaxin
During pregnancy the hormone Relaxin is released into your system. Relaxin causes your ligaments to lengthen. This is not great for your joints, though it is necessary to accommodate the growing baby.
There's nothing you can do about Relaxin affecting your ligaments, it's getting released and it's going to affect your ligaments. However, you can help avoid and minimize the symptoms of joint pain during pregnancy that Relaxin causes.
Increase your muscle tone. If your ligaments lengthen and stop holding joints firmly together, then it's up to your muscles to do the job, or at least to take up the slack.
Exercise including walking, swimming, and weight lifting/strength training. Keep your body active will keep your musculature toned and strong, and that will help you stay as close to pain free as possible.
Obviously you have a baby growing inside you, etc. And you are (generally) supposed to add some weight. But there's good weight gain, and there's bad weight gain.
Putting on too much extra weight, and putting it on too fast, can load and irritate your joints. Combine that with the release of the hormone Relaxin that loosens your ligaments to some degree, and that's bad news for a joint-pain-free pregnancy.
Avoiding bad weight gain, and losing weight, follow the same rules whether pregnant or not....
1. Exercise. This means strength training and power walks, etc. You're exercising for two now!
2. Eat RIGHT. No processed foods. Carbs from organic vegetables. No gluten. Lots of good fats like raw cultured butter. Protein (from meat and eggs) from organic, pastured sources. A cheat day once a week for Ben & Jerry's is fine.:)
Baby literally takes LOTS of nutrition from you. The healthier you eat, the healthier (and lighter) you will be, and the healthier your baby will be.
Fluid Retention and Swelling
Pregnant and retaining fluid? Extra fluid and swelling in your ankles, knees, all over?
Swelling and carrying extra fluid can cause, among other discomforts, joint pain.
Want to avoid swelling?
Want to avoid preclaympsia?
Want to make the swelling go away?
Protein, and Magnesium. Adequate intake of both can provide you a pregnancy without swelling, without retaining extra fluid. It can also correct the deficiency in your body that results in swelling, meaning, it can make swelling go away.
Some of the possible symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are muscle pain, muscle ache, and.....joint pain!
Some of the possible symptoms of Magnesium deficiency are muscle pain, muscle ache, and....joint pain!
If you have joint pain and inflammation, Inflammation Causes Vitamin B6 Deficiency. If you're short on B6 and have joint pain, it can't hurt to supplement.
If you're short on Protein, any microdamage to a joint won't heal as fast.
If you're short on good fats, specifically Omega-3's, then you won't be able to fight the pain of inflammation very optimally.
Get your Vitamin D tested and then get your level to between 50-80. See: Normal Vitamin D Levels
Supplement with Magnesium (see below). Some doctors advise against this. Do your research and make your own decisions.See: Magnesium for Tendonitis
Supplement with Vitamin B6.
Eat more high quality protein, high quality fat, no processed foods, no gluten (which is an inflammatory agent, btw).
Joint Pain During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is hard enough on the body. Not exercising, and not taking in enough GOOD nutrition, AND eating bad, non-nutritious, make-you-fat foods, makes it even harder.
Pregnancy joint pain, for the most part, -can- be reduced and even eliminated (Of course it's easier to avoid it by doing the right things from the start!)