It is perfectly normal for women to endure different sorts of discomforts during pregnancy. As the hormones rapidly increase, it manifests major changes in and out of the body. Adjustments in lifestyle and diet are essential to comply with this broad range of changes. However, despite the extensive efforts, health issues continue to unfold. One of the common issues that pregnant worry about is abdominal pain.
Welcoming a new member of the family truly is an exhilarating phase of motherhood. But if you are dealing with an abdominal pain, the excitement and joy of the whole pregnancy journey get clouded by a series of worrisome and depressing thoughts.
What could it be? Could it be a sign of a serious health problem? Will my baby be alright? You are probably pondering over these questions and concerns as well.
It is tough to carry the weight of anxieties while you take part in this fascinating experience. Educating yourself about the possible causes and the treatments can take the burden off your shoulders. In this article, we will help you find that out.
Causes of Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy
Abdominal pain is a typical symptom of pregnancy. Generally, the common causes are not severe and something you shouldn’t worry about. Mind you, it can still be a sign of various health reasons and sometimes, a serious matter. Although you are probably familiar with some of the common causes, we will go a little more in-depth on this issue.
1. Pain in the round ligament.
As the uterus grows and your belly expands, the round ligaments are stretched out which results in an uncomfortable feeling. The pain is located on the lower abdomen through the groin. When you move while sleeping, walking, or even when you are shifting from different positions, you can feel soreness around the abdominal area. There are times when the pain feels like throbbing or spikes of pain.
This kind of pain usually occurs when you are 4 to 6 months pregnant. This is nothing serious and can actually just wear off after a while. However, it can really be uncomfortable at times. If you can’t just let it go and you are feeling quite uncomfortable, do not hesitate to contact your ob-gyn.
2. It can be gas and constipation.
When you are pregnant, you usually have this urge to munch everything up because your stomach burrs to hunger. But there is just one problem: during pregnancy, every single food you are craving to eat can go a lot more slowly through the gastrointestinal tract. That’s when constipation strikes.
There are certain hormones that increase rapidly during pregnancy, such as progesterone, which slows down the process in the gastrointestinal tract and hence, everything you eat does not get digested easily. Because you can’t just let go of hunger, you can still indulge in appetizing foods but those that are rich in fiber. Drink a lot of water, too!
3. Braxton Hicks contractions.
When you are experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions, you might think you are actually on a labor. But you aren’t. It is probably what they think of as a false alarm. A lot of pregnant women confuse this to true contractions since they aren’t, it has become popularly known as practice contractions. However, compared to real contractions, Braxton Hicks is less painful.
These are irregular contractions of the uterus that happens during pregnancy. It is not something to be alarmed of but as it feels real, it can cause panic at times. It is uncomfortable and can also be stressful. But do know that they are unpredictable and these contractions do not get worse over time.
To keep this from happening, just make sure to keep yourself hydrated at all times and avoid exhausting yourself with too many activities. Take some time to rest.
What You Can Do
You can’t just go to a drug store and get yourself an over-the-counter medicine to relieve the pain. Unless it is prescribed by your doctor or gynecologist, you should not get a medicine on your own. Pregnancy is a crucial condition. However, there are ways you can do to keep yourself healthy, comfortable, and reduce the chances of suffering from abdominal pain.
- A warm bath or shower will do. It can calm the abdominal pain, muscles, and other soreness you feel around your abdomen.
- Maintain a healthy diet. Go for foods that are rich in fiber. Do not eat foods that are too greasy. As mentioned before, hormones that slow down the gastrointestinal tract increase during pregnancy. Drinking a lot of water and eating foods that are rich in fiber can prevent constipation.
- Wear comfortable clothes like dresses or belly bands and footwear for pregnant women. Don’t go for tight-fitting clothes that might keep your belly uncomfortable.
- Exercise regularly but do not exhaust yourself with strenuous workout routines or any physical activities. Regular exercise can make your abdominal muscles stronger. But to make sure you’re doing right, you can ask your doctor about the exercise or physical activities you should engage in.
- Get plenty of rest. You can put your feet up or lie down using a pregnancy pillow.
- Pregnancy can make you feel bloated at times. To solve this, small frequent malls will do. You shouldn’t also hold it in when nature calls. Go ahead and empty your bladder when needed.
- You can use a hot compress or a heating pad to calm the pain. Place it gently on the area where the pain throbs.
When to Call Your Doctor
To prevent detrimental effects and other potential health risks, there is nothing far better than consulting your doctor about the symptoms you are dealing with. If the abdominal pain you are suffering from is accompanied by the following symptoms, consult your doctor or gynecologist immediately:
- Bleeding or spotting
- An excruciating headache
- When your legs, face, or hands are swollen
- When you feel very uneasy
- Pain while urinating
- Blood in the urine
- Severe cramps
- Persistent abdominal pain
- Persistent painful contractions
There are a lot of reasons why the pain in your abdomen occurs. However, it is not right to make your own speculations, get yourself your own medication or do something that you think is right. When you feel that there is something wrong or the pain gets severe, do not hesitate to ask your doctor or gynecologist for help.