Why You Might Be Having Chest Pain During Pregnancy (and What to Do)

Originally Published Mar 2020 on Pregnancy | By Celia Shatzman

Wondering what that painful sensation in your chest is? Find out if those chest pains in pregnancy are normal and how treat them.

Despite sore feet and aching backs, the vast majority of pregnant women will plow through their day, accepting that discomfort is par for the course when you’re carrying a human inside of you. But when chest pain hits, it can be nevertheless unnerving. So we spoke to experts to find out what causes it and whether it’s something dangerous. (Spoiler alert: in the vast majority of cases, it’s normal, though in rare cases it can be problematic.) Here’s what you need to know about chest pain during pregnancy.

In this article:
Is chest pain a symptom of pregnancy
Causes of chest pain during pregnancy (and how to treat it)
When to seek help

Is Chest Pain a Symptom of Pregnancy?

Believe it or not, yes—chest pain during pregnancy is common for most women, although it’s usually “periodic and mild,” explains Sherry A. Ross, MD, an ob-gyn at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. In fact, she says, “pregnancy is the most common cause of a nonspecific chest pain, especially during the second and third trimester.”

That’s because your body is changing and your hormones are shifting, and you’ll feel it in areas of your body you wouldn’t expect, says Ross, who is also the author of She-ology and She-ology, the She-quel. So in some sense, you might consider chest pain a symptom of pregnancy. Note, however, that severe chest pain during pregnancy is not normal and requires medical attention right away (see below).

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