Are you pregnant and experiencing abdominal pains? Or do you know someone who is? Abdominal pains during pregnancy can be scary but it is not unusual. You don’t have to panic when you are experiencing abdominal pain during pregnancy as most times this pain is normal. You mustn’t forget that your body is constantly adjusting to accommodate the changes pregnancy brings. Your uterus is expanding, ligaments are stretching and bones are shifting. Even though most abdominal pain can be a result of that normal morning sickness, it could also be because of a more serious reason.
Knowing the cause of your abdominal pain will help you know how to go about relieving the symptoms. It is quite difficult to ascertain if that dull and achy pain or sharp and stabbing pain is serious and life-threatening or not. You must be observant to know when to call in your doctor to check that abdominal pain.
According to www.bosterbio.com here are some natural and benign reasons you might be having abdominal pain during pregnancy;
- Pregnancy Gas Pain
- Growing uterus
- Round Ligament pain
- Braxton-Hicks contractions
- HELLP syndrome
One of the common reasons for abdominal pain during pregnancy is constipation. A lot of pregnant women complain about the difficulties they have with bowel movements during pregnancy. Your fluctuating hormones, anxiety, dehydration, and diet that are low in fiber and fluids can lead to constipation. Constipation causes severe abdominal pain that feels like cramps and is sharp and stabbing.
Pregnancy gas pain
Gas causes excruciating pain in the abdomen. This packed up gas can be localized in a particular area in the stomach or travel throughout your stomach, chest and back. Due to increased progesterone which causes the relaxation of intestinal muscles thereby extending digestion time, pregnant women tend to have more gas in their bellies. Also your enlarging uterus puts some weight on your organs slowing down digestion and causing gas build up.
HELLP is an acronym for the three parts of conditions that make up the syndrome. They are; hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelets. This is one of those serious reasons for abdominal pains during pregnancy. HELLP syndrome is a life-threatening complication associated with pregnancy. It is mostly found in first-time pregnancies. A pregnant woman who is suffering HELLP syndrome will usually notice an abdominal pain at the right upper-quadrant of her stomach. She might also experience headache, elevated blood pressure, fatigue and malaise, blurry vision, bleeding, swelling, nausea and vomiting. If you notice any of these symptoms ensure to see your doctor immediately as neglect can cause dangerous complications and even death.
Round ligament pain
The two supporting ligaments of the uterus are large and round and run from the uterus through the groin. As your baby grows, the uterus stretches to give more room for your baby and so do these ligaments. Coughing, sneezing or repositioning yourself can trigger the pain caused by the stretching of these ligaments. The round ligament pain comes as a dull or sharp pain in the abdomen, groin, or hips. This is a natural pain that comes in your last trimester and it’s nothing to be worried about.
A growing uterus displaces your bowel and can cause some uneasy feeling in your abdomen. This expansion also causes nausea. So that morning sickness can be as a result of hormonal changes and a growing uterus.
Other causes to be concerned about
Most times, abdominal pain during pregnancy can be a result of a much more serious medical condition such as:
- Placental abruption
- Ectopic pregnancy
Ways to relieve some of the usual causes of abdominal pain during pregnancy
- Constipation: An increase in the amount of fluid and fiber intake will do the trick. As a pregnant woman, you should endeavor to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water. Do not go for any stool softener not recommended by your doctor.
- Pregnancy Gas pain: Avoid foods and drinks that cause gas build-up; such as carbonated drinks and nitrogenous foods. Eat small amounts of food at intervals throughout the day and never forget to drink lots of water. Exercise aids digestion, therefore exercise as often as you can.
- Round ligament pain: Exercise more frequently.Practice being slow when getting up and sitting or lying down. Whenever you feel a cough or a sneeze coming, bend and flex your hips to accommodate the shock thereby reducing pressure on the ligaments.
- Growing Uterus: Regular bouts of exercises, urinating frequently, eating smaller meals and some rest will help ease out your abdominal pain in this case.
- Braxton Hicks contractions: These occur in the third trimester of the pregnancy. Braxton hicks contractions are also known as ‘false’ or ‘practice’ contractions. They feel like labor contractions but aren’t. Unlike labor contractions, Braxton Hicks contractions do not persist or get more painful over time.
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