Warning Signs Of Serious Problems
There are a few symptoms that you should keep an eye out for that could be more cause for concern. Well cover all these signs and what they might mean below however, please do bear in mind that you may not have all the symptoms listed, so if you are ever unsure, its always best to get checked over.
Are Stomach Pains Normal During Pregnancy
Minor stomach pain and cramps are common during pregnancy and are rarely a sign that anything is amiss. But if you have severe pain you should seek medical help immediately as it may be due to an ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, placental abruption, or other serious problems. Learn what these symptoms indicate at different stages of pregnancy and when to see your doctor.
Skin Stretching And/or Muscle Pain
As your pregnancy continues into the second and third trimesters, your growing bump may stretch your skin tight. The added weight can also put extra pressure on your muscles.
In addition to remembering to moisturize to keep your skin hydrated and stretch marks to a minimum, you may find maternity belts/belly bands helpful when the weight of your growing belly is bothering you.
Pregnancy pillows can help you find a supported position for your body to rest while lounging, watching tv, or sleeping.
Don’t Miss: How Long Does A Sprained Wrist Last
Cramps Later In Pregnancy
As the uterus continues to grow larger, abdominal cramps can also occur later in pregnancy. You should experience the least amount of cramps during the second trimester. However, this is when your round ligamenta muscle that supports the uteruswill begin to stretch. During this time, it’s normal to feel sharp pains or dull aches in the lower abdomen.
If you are pregnant with multiples, expect some soreness during the second trimester as your body makes extra room for the babies. This final growth spurt usually doesn’t occur in a single pregnancy until the third trimester.
While some cramping is normal, be on the lookout for signs of preterm labor. These include dull backaches, intense pelvic pressure, blood or fluid from your vagina, or more than five contractions or cramps in an hour.
Are Cramps Normal During Early Pregnancy
Stomach cramps during early pregnancy are relatively common. If you get a few stomach cramps during the first trimester of pregnancy, its probably not a cause for alarm. These cramps are typically part of the normal physical changes in the body that occur in preparation for the baby.
Very early in your pregnancy, you may get cramps as well as light bleeding when the embryo is implanted into the wall of the uterus. This process can sometimes lead to implantation cramps and bleeding. As the pregnancy progresses, you may also feel cramping as your uterus changes and stretches to accommodate the baby.
In the following sections, we will talk about the causes of pregnancy cramps and when to call your health care provider.
Also Check: Lidocaine Patch For Sciatica Nerve Pain
When Does Your Uterus Start To Hurt During Pregnancy
You get these pains when your uterus starts to stretch and your body starts to get more and more adjusted and ready to deliver. By you being 16 weeks, its the perfect time for your pains to start. I know because I am 18 weeks pregnant myself, and I started dealing with my abdomen pain about 2 weeks ago. Theres nothing to be worried about.
How To Tell If You’re Pregnant Right Away
The only way to tell if youre pregnant right away is by taking a home pregnancy test according to its instructions. Waiting can be difficult, but you can usually take a test three to four days before a missed period though youre more likely to get a false negative if you test too soon. If its negative, wait a couple more days and test again if Aunt Flo doesnt come to visit.
Be sure to test first thing in the morning, when your urine and the hormone that the test is measuring are most concentrated. If you see a line indicating a pregnancy, youre almost certainly pregnant . Pregnancy tests with false positives are rare.
Read Also: 1 Week Pregnant Symptoms Cramping
Loss Of Appetite For Favourite Foods
Pregnancy can really mess with your eating habits, thats for sure. As well as craving foods you may not have previously been interested in, you can actually lose a taste for some foods and drinks that are usually a big part of your normal diet. Women sometimes go off staples such as coffee, tea or fatty foods. Changes in tastes and a heightened sense of smell are very common and can persist throughout pregnancy but do tend to be strongest early on, Dr Knight explained.
What else could it be?People often experience a loss in appetite when theyre feeling anxious or stressed. This is because anxiety triggers emotional and psychological changes in your body to help you deal with the pressure, they often affect the stomach and digestive tract and can make you lose your appetite. When youre feeling more relaxed, your appetite should return back to normal.
General Abdominal Pain In Pregnancy
If you are having general pain in the abdomen but not specifically in the stomach, it could be due to a benign cause or it could be of concern. Your abdomen is growing and your organs are shifting, so some dull pain and an occasional sharp jab are normal.
The usual causes are:
- Braxton Hicks contractions: Often without pain, Braxton Hicks may cause discomfort or pain during the second and third trimester when experiencing these “practice” contractions.
- Cramping: Cramps may be felt due to the expansion of the uterus. These are usually not severe and subside after a few minutes of rest.
- Gas, bloating, or constipation: These symptoms are common due to the high levels of the hormone progesterone during pregnancy, which slows down digestion.
- Round ligament pain: You may feel this in the second trimester as the ligament that runs from your uterus to your groin is stretched. This can be a sharp stabbing pain when you make a change in position or it can be a dull, achy pain.
Recommended Reading: Heating Pad For Sciatica Pain
Causes Of Stomach Pain During Pregnancy
In addition to round ligament pain and cramps, other conditions may cause stomach pain during your pregnancy. Many women who are pregnant can experience:
Any of these conditions can cause sharp stomach pain. In addition, women may experience completely unrelated issues. For example, kidney stones occur as frequently in pregnant women as in women who are not.
While plenty of stomach pains are normal during pregnancy, if the pain is sharp and sudden, call a doctor. Sharp stomach pain is also one of the primary symptoms for the following serious pregnancy complications:
In an ectopic pregnancy, the egg implants outside of the uterus, most often in the fallopian tubes. Ectopic pregnancies are not viable. If they are not caught in time, the eggs may cause the fallopian tubes to rupture, which can cause severe abdominal pain. A ruptured fallopian tube is a life-threatening emergency and requires immediate medical treatment.
Early pregnancy loss
Also known as a miscarriage or spontaneous abortion, early pregnancy loss can occur during the first trimester. The fetus may be damaged, have an abnormal number of chromosomes, or fail to develop correctly. Early pregnancy loss affects about one in ten pregnancies.
- A change in vaginal discharge
- Severe pain that makes it difficult to walk, speak, or breathe
Left Lower Quadrant Pain In Pregnancy
In this series
Many conditions can cause pain in the left lower quadrant whether you are pregnant or not, so you should always get checked out.
Even if you are pregnant, you can still have tummy pain caused by all the same conditions seen in non-pregnant women. You can find out more about these in our leaflet called Left Lower Quadrant Pain. The rest of this leaflet looks only at causes specific to pregnancy.
Read Also: Can Sciatica Cause Stomach Pain
When To Get Medical Help In Your First Trimester
You should contact your GP, maternity unit or hospital if:
- you have pain passing urine – this could be a sign of a urine infection
- you have blood in your urine or smelly or cloudy urine – these could be signs of a urine infection
- you have any bleeding from your vagina – this could be a sign of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy
- the pain is severe, located mainly on one side, or if you feel dizzy or weak – these can be signs of an ectopic pregnancy or appendicitis
How Can I Get Better Sleep While Pregnant
Youre pregnant and always tired. Yet, somehow you cant seem to get a good nights sleep. It seems like theres always something keeping you up, no matter how tired you are. Growing a baby is hard. Your changing body can make it difficult to get comfortable. You may even be dealing with morning sickness or heartburn. Understanding the barriers to good pregnancy sleep is a good place to start if you want more shut-eye.
Also Check: Is Stomach Pain A Sign Of Pregnancy
How To Relieve Pregnancy Cramps
Pregnancy cramp relief depends on the cause behind the pain youre experiencing. These tips can relieve the most common causes of abdominal cramps during pregnancy:
- Lie down and relax for a while, which can relieve pregnancy cramps related to implantation, orgasm, increased blood flow to the uterus and round ligament pain
- Drink plenty of water, which may ease any cramping related to dehydration, bloating or constipation
- Soak in a warm bath, which can help ease pregnancy cramps related to increased uterine blood flow
- Wear a belly band, which can help relieve abdominal cramps linked to round ligament pain in the second half of pregnancy
- Change positions if you think youre having Braxton Hicks contractions
What Are Sharp Stomach Pains During Pregnancy
It can be difficult and stressful for pregnant women to tell the difference between normal pregnancy pains and signs that something is wrong. As your body adjusts to accommodate the fetus, some discomfort or pain is natural.
While some abdominal pain can be normal, it can sometimes be a symptom of pregnancy complications. If youre experiencing unfamiliar, sharp abdominal pain, contact your doctor who can help you tell the difference. During routine check-ups, you also should update your healthcare provider on any pains youre experiencing.
Don’t Miss: Is Stomach Pain A Sign Of Pregnancy
Treatment And Home Remedies
The risk of missing a serious problem far outweighs any benefits of trying home remedies. If the cause of the problem is unclear, call a doctor or midwife first.
If they feel that the pain is not dangerous or does not need medical treatment, some home remedies that may help ease upper abdomen pain during pregnancy include:
- stretching to ease muscle pain and tension
- eating fewer acidic foods
Go to the emergency room or immediately call a medical professional for:
- intense upper abdominal pain, especially if it is on the right side or if the pain is unbearable
- abdominal pain accompanied by vaginal bleeding
- contractions that come at regular intervals
- abdominal pain and a fever
- symptoms of high blood pressure, such as dizziness, difficulty breathing, a bad headache, or intense fatigue
- itching, yellowing skin or eyes, or vomiting
Most causes of stomach or abdominal pain in the third trimester are not fully preventable. As the fetus grows, the organs must shift. This can cause some aches and pains.
For some women, hormonal shifts trigger serious complications, such as IHP.
The best strategy to prevent serious pregnancy complications is to get regular prenatal care. Talk to a provider about any concerns, and ask about lifestyle strategies to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
For most women, eating a healthful and balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and devising healthful strategies for managing stress can all help with the aches and pains of pregnancy.
Stretching Of The Uterus
When you get pregnant, your uterus and your body prepare itself for the welcoming of the baby. During the starting phase of the pregnancy, your uterus does not stretch to that extent. But till you reach 12th week, your uterus gets stretched and grows.
If you are pregnant with twins, then your uterus may grow sooner. This stretching of the uterus may cause a little pain in your abdomen.
Recommended Reading: Sprain Vs Fracture Wrist
Anxiety During Pregnancy Is Normal And Natural
Especially if this is your first pregnancy or if you have experienced pregnancy loss in the past, the first trimester can be a frightening time. While many aches and pains are natural during this trimester, some new mothers worry about what each one of these pains means.
In most cases, unless you are bleeding, the pain that you’re experiencing is probably natural. But it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor if you’re feeling anxious. When asked what she tells women who hesitate to call because they don’t want to be a bother, Kara Manglani, a certified nurse and midwife, says “You are never a bother. That is our job. It is better for you to come in to be evaluated that for you to sit home and panic.” There’s usually no reason to stress, and getting relief for your worry and anxiety by talking to someone is just as important as getting relief for pain.
Any time you are concerned about your pregnancy, you should contact your doctor or midwife. They are the most qualified to determine if you need to make an appointment.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the authorâs knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Alternative Ways To Check For Pregnancy
If you dont want to buy a test yet, there are other ways you can find out whether its likely youre pregnant or not. But keep in mind that this is in no way accurate, and pregnancy tests are the best way to confirm your pregnancy.
All of the symptoms listed above can be early signs of pregnancy, but dont always mean that you are. If youre experiencing several of them at once, it could be a sign that its time to take a test.
Clearblue has a free online quiz which asks you about any symptoms, as well as what contraceptives youve been using, if applicable. It takes minutes and they can give you advice on whether or not to use one of their tests.
You also know your own body better than anyone, so you might identify significant changes to your mood, physical changes to your body especially around the stomach. If you have regular periods, any changes to that routine could indicate youre expecting too.
Recommended Reading: Sciatica And Abdominal Pain
Tummy Twinges Pinching And Pulling
Some women experience feelings inside their stomachs in the early stages of pregnancy that replicate the sensation of their muscles being pulled and stretched. Sometimes referred to as abdominal twinges, these tingles are nothing to worry about.
Layla Rumble, midwife at The Portland Hospital, which is part of HCA Healthcare UK, said, Abdominal twinges and mild pains are very common during pregnancy and usually nothing to worry about. Twinges and abdominal pain is usually caused by constipation, ligament pain, or trapped wind all of which are a normal part of pregnancy.
Twinges, and pains can be alleviated by regular light exercise, eating smaller, frequent meals, having plenty of fibre-rich foods such as fruit and vegetables, and drinking plenty of water to help empty your bladder regularly.
If you find that you experience intense and ongoing pains, or pain accompanied by bleeding, it is important to seek medical advice from your midwife or GP to rule out anything serious.
What else could it be?If youve been heavily exercising or straining your muscles, you could be experiencing some tension from that, especially if youve focused on ab workouts. A tight stomach can also be due to other factors such as digestive issues, stress or hormonal changes, and doesnt necessarily mean youre pregnant.
Swelling In The Feet And Legs During Pregnancy
Pressure from your growing uterus on the blood vessels carrying blood from the lower body causes fluid buildup. The result is swelling in the legs and feet.
Additional weight during pregnancy can also make your feet bigger. Plus, pregnancy hormones loosen your ligaments and muscles so your pelvic joints open up to get ready for childbirth. This affects your whole body, even your feet. Call your doctor if any swelling is more than mild or if it suddenly gets worse.
- Try not to stay on your feet for long periods of time. Avoid standing in one place.
- Drink plenty of fluids .
- Avoid foods high in salt .
- Elevate your legs and feet while sitting. Avoid crossing your legs.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing tight clothing can slow circulation and increase fluid retention.
- Soak your feet in cool water.
- Keep moving. Exercise your legs to keep fluid from building up.
- Don’t wear tight shoes choose supportive shoes with low, wide heels.
- Keep your diet rich in protein too little protein can cause fluid retention.
- Notify your health care provider if your hands or face swell. This may be a warning sign of preeclampsia.
- Rest on your side during the day to help increase blood flow to your kidneys.
You May Like: Is Ginger Ale Good For Stomach Pain