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Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy: What to Expect

Babies can be mischievous little gremlins, sending cryptic cues about their progress as they grow in your belly. And often, these little messages are guided as abdominal pain. Abdominal pain is a well-accepted element of pregnancy. Naturally, as organs stretch to accommodate your new munchkin, the body is bound to feel the strain. But sometimes, this pain may be more than it seems; it could signal a more serious underlying problem.

Normal Causes of Pain During Pregnancy

Not all abdominal pain during pregnancy is a cause for concern. Constipation, ligament stretches and uterus expansion may all contribute to a pressured abdomen. However, if your pain is persistent or is accompanied by bleeding, spotting or cramping, it’s advisable to consult your obstetrician as early as possible.

Cause                                                                                 Reason + Effect                                                                                                 Trimester                                                   Remedy

Uterus expansion                                                      Stretching of uterine muscles                                                                    1                                              Bed rest

Constipation                                                        The rise in progesterone slows the gastrointestinal tract down                     1 - 3                      Plenty of fluids, fibre-rich intake,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                fibre supplement prescribed by a                                                                                                                                                                                                                                doctor

Round ligament pain                                             Uterus expansion pushes the round ligaments down into the groin              2                      Self-resolution; no intervention                                                                                                                                                                                                                               required

Braxton Hicks contractions                               Practice contractions on the lead up to delivery                                      2 - 3                          Plenty of fluids

To Consult: The Best Pregnancy Doctor in Chandigarh

Abnormal Causes of Pain During Pregnancy

Sometimes, stomach pain during pregnancy is your body’s way of signalling danger. Many women who experience complications go on to have healthy pregnancies, but if you experience abdominal pain, it’s important to have it vetted by your doctor. Signs like bleeding, pain, fever and compromised eyesight should be watched for.

Cause                                                                             Reason + Effect                                                                                    Trimester                                                                     Remedy

Ectopic pregnancy                                Implantation of the egg outside the uterus

                                                           can cause extreme pain and occasional spotting,

                                                           especially between weeks 6 and 10                                                                                                  Immediate treatment, either via surgery                                                                                                                                                                                                                         or medication

Miscarriage                                            Chromosomal anomalies or other factors can lead to a failed pregnancy,

                                                         causing bleeding and painful, rhythmic cramping                                                                           Self-resolution; sometimes a miscarriage                                                                                                                                                                                                                      may be silent, in which case a D&C                                                                                                                                                                                                                      procedure may be required

Premature labour                                Regular contractions before 37 weeks can imply premature labour;

                                                        they may sometimes be accompanied by vaginal mucus, blood or both                                    Contact with and intervention by a doctor

Placental abruption                          Separation of the placenta from the uterine wall can cause severe,

                                                       continual lower abdominal pain                                                                               3                        Induced labour or recommendation to                                                                                                                                                                                                                    continue the pregnancy, depending on the                                                                                                                                                                                                                    severity of the case

Preeclampsia                                 High blood pressure compresses uterine blood vessels,

                                                   restricting the baby’s growth                                                                                2 - 3                        Continual monitoring and medical                                                                                                                                                                                                                          management by a doctor.

To Know More: About Responding To Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy

When to Call Your Doctor

Trust your gut when it comes to contacting your doctor. If you feel that something is out of the ordinary, it’s advisable to reach out right away. Here is a list of symptoms you should be wary of:

  • Abdominal pain, with or without bleeding, during the first trimester
  • Bleeding or intense abdominal cramps
  • More than 1 contraction every fifteen minutes, for two hours
  • Extreme abdominal pain
  • Compromised eyesight
  • Intense headache
  • Extremely swollen hands or legs
  • Discomfort or pain during urination
  • Bloody urine

Abdominal pain is part and parcel of most pregnancies, but there are ways that can help to alleviate the discomfort. Small and frequent meals, regular exercise, fibrous foods, plentiful fluids, periodic bladder relief and adequate rest are some. Harmless pain can be a welcome clue that your pregnancy is unfolding as it should and that your organs are doing their job well. Take it as a dialogue between you and your baby, a secret conversation that travels from your heart to hers.

Must Read: The Common Pregnancy Pains And Aches

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