Is It Normal To Have Stomach Cramps And Diarrhea During Pregnancy
Stomach and digestive issues are common during pregnancy. You may hear plenty about morning sickness and constipation, but less about diarrhea. Although it may not get as much attention, diarrhea is another gastrointestinal issue that pregnant women can face. Some women consider diarrhea an early sign of pregnancy.
Muscle Pain And Strain
The abdominal muscles must stretch to accommodate the growing fetus. The pressure of the uterus on the lower body can also change the way a person walks or moves, increasing the likelihood of sustaining an injury.
Feeling pain when bending or lifting may mean an injury to the stomach or chest muscles. Resting and stretching can help with minor injuries. People can see a doctor about injuries that do not go away on their own.
Abdominal Pain In Pregnancy
It is completely normal to worry about the abdomen or stomach pain in pregnancy and worry it is a sign of a miscarriage. Most females think stomach pain in pregnancy is a sign of a miscarriage. But, stomach pains and cramps are common during pregnancy and usually not a call for concern.
Mild stomach or abdomen pain in early pregnancy, in the first 12 weeks, is usually caused due to the expanding womb. The ligaments stretch as the baby bump grows which may sometimes resemble mild period pain. It is probably nothing to worry about if the pain is bearable, mild and goes away on changing position or resting.
The female may also feel slight discomfort or cramps towards the end of the pregnancy. It is generally nothing to worry about. But, if you still have concerns, consult your doctor.
Pregnancy Nausea Or Vomiting
It’s very common — and normal — to have an upset stomach when you’re pregnant.
Chalk it up to pregnancy’s hormonal changes. It usually happens early in pregnancy, while your body is adjusting to the higher hormone levels.
Good news: Nausea usually disappears by the fourth month of pregnancy . It can happen at any time of the day but may be worse in the morning, when your stomach is empty or if you aren’t eating enough.
Abdominal Pain In The First Trimester Of Pregnancy
During your first trimester, you may experience cramping pain in your abdomen, which occurs as your baby develops. Cramping is experienced during the expansion of the uterus, which causes the supporting ligaments and muscles to stretch. Cramping during pregnancy is considered normal and can also occur due to other causes including gas and bloating, constipation, or sexual intercourse.
Women, who have undergone IVF treatment to get pregnant can be diagnosed with a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome , which results in abdominal pain. This pain is mainly caused due to the over-stimulation of the ovaries by the fertility drugs. This pain usually lasts for a few weeks of pregnancy.
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Vaginal Discharge During Pregnancy
Normal vaginal secretions increase during pregnancy due to greater blood supply and hormones. Normal vaginal discharge is white or clear, isn’t irritating, is odorless, and may look yellow when dry on your underwear or panty liners.
- Wear low-heeled shoes.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects.
- Squat down with your knees bent when picking things up instead of bending down at the waist.
- Don’t stand on your feet for long periods. If you need to stand for long periods, place one foot on a stool or box for support.
- Sit in a chair with good back support, or place a small pillow behind your lower back. Also, place your feet on a footrest or stool.
- Check that your bed is firm. If needed, put a board between the mattress and box spring.
- Sleep on your left side with a pillow between your legs for support.
- Apply a hot water bottle or heating pad on low setting to your back, take a warm bath or shower, or try massage.
- Perform exercises, as advised by your health care provider, to make your back muscles stronger and help relieve the soreness.
- Maintain good posture. Standing up straight will ease the strain on your back.
- Contact your health care provider if you have a low backache that goes around your stomach and does not go away within one hour after you change position or rest. This might be a sign of premature labor.
Swelling In The Feet And Legs
Pressure from the growing uterus on the blood vessels carrying blood from the lower body causes fluid retention that results in swelling in the legs and feet.
- 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.
- Dont 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 healthcare provider if your hands or face swell. This might be a warning sign of preeclampsia or toxemia, a pregnancy-related high blood pressure.
- Rest on your side during the day to help increase blood flow to your kidneys.
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Where Does The Cramping Start In Pregnancy
Cramping in Early Pregnancy: First Trimester . For some women, cramping is the first sign that they are pregnant, as its common to experience cramping when a fertilized egg makes its home in the uterine wall . This is called implantation cramping, and it can feel like your period is about to start, says Dr. Puritz.
Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy Is Worrisome When It Occurs Constantly And Can Signal Complications Here Are Some Warning Signs To Look Out For
Some abdominal pain during pregnancy is considered normal, but can be bothersome when it occurs constantly. Abdominal pain is considered obvious in pregnancy and why not, since the mothers organs are shifting and ligaments stretching simultaneously as the uterus expands. However, abdominal pain can be serious too and here are some of the warning signs to look out for:
- When abdominal pain is accompanied by vomiting, fever, chills and abnormal vaginal bleeding.
- If the abdominal pain is continual, considering round ligament pain only stays for a few minutes at the most.
- If the abdominal pain makes it difficult to walk, speak or even breathe.
Such abdominal pains can lead to major consequences, include the following:
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Shortness Of Breath During Pregnancy
Shortness of breath can happen due to increased upward pressure from the uterus and changes in physiologic lung function.
- When walking, slow down and rest a few moments.
- Raise your arms over your head .
- Avoid lying flat on your back, and try sleeping with your head elevated.
- If prolonged shortness of breathing continues or you experience sharp pain when inhaling, contact your health care provider. You could have a pulmonary embolism .
If You Feel Any Of These Pregnancy Pains You Should Give Your Doctor A Call:
This could signal appendicitis . Surprisingly, besides pregnancy complications, appendicitis is the most common reason for emergency surgery during pregnancy, Dr. Clark tells SELF. Around 0.1% of pregnant people will experience appendicitis during pregnancy, and its most common in the second trimester, according to the Mayo Clinic. The pain may be sudden and may be sharp or dull and achy, says Dr. Clark. It is typically associated with fever, inability to eat, nausea, and vomiting. See your doctor right away if youre in pain and suspect something is wrong.
It can be difficult to diagnose appendicitis , but if your doctor understands your history and conducts a thorough examination, its a very treatable condition, the Mayo Clinic says. First, doctors will perform a series of tests and scans to confirm that you have appendicitis, SELF previously reported. From there, they might determine whether surgery is the best option. In cases where your provider decides that surgery isnt right for you, they might prescribe antibiotics to treat infection and remove your appendix at a later time.
Another possible cause is miscarriage, which means losing a pregnancy before the 20th week . Sadly, 10 to 20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, according to the Mayo Clinic, but the actual numbers might be higher because many people might have a miscarriage without knowing theyre pregnant. Sharp, dull, or cramping abdominal or lower back pain paired with bleeding is a red flag.
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How To Treat Stomach Cramps During The First Trimester
Needless to say, painful cramps during early pregnancy can be inconvenient and uncomfortable. You might be experiencing physical and emotional changes, and adding cramps to your discomfort might feel overwhelming. Treating pregnancy cramps can help you feel more comfortable and as stress free as possible.
If youre experiencing cramps, here are a few tips for alleviating them quickly:
- Drink water. You are more likely to experience cramps if you are dehydrated. Make sure that you drink at least eight cups of water each day.
- Change positions. When you experience cramps, try shifting positions while lying or sitting down. Dont put pressure on the source of the pain.
- Stretch and exercise. Try doing mild pregnancy exercises or stretch your body to soothe cramped muscles. In addition to relieving active cramps, this can also help prevent future ones.
- Gentle massage. A massage can stimulate blood circulation in your muscles, relieving uncomfortable cramps. Getting a gentle lower back massage might help relieve aches.
- Sleep. Try to get a good nights sleep during early pregnancy as this makes you feel rested. Try to get enough sleep every night.
How Reliable Are Home Pregnancy Tests
According to the NHS, home pregnancy tests are reliable as long as you follow the instructions correctly. It may not be reliable if you didnt follow instructions or youve taken the test too early.
Most pregnancy tests can be taken after the first missed period, with any tests taken before this time running the risk of being inaccurate. Professionals also recommend avoiding drinking too much fluid ahead of doing a test, as it can dilute the level of HGC.
Negative tests may not be reliable if youve taken it too early, as the level of HGC might not be enough at the time of taking it. Tests can also vary in their sensitivity and so its recommended you read instructions thoroughly before using one, as theres no guarantee each one will be the same.
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Some Other Causes Of Abdominal Pain In Pregnancy
In addition to the above conditions, there are a host of other reasons that could lead to abdominal pain during pregnancy:
- Food poisoning
- Gallbladder disease and pancreatitis, both of which are commonly a result of the presence of gallstones.
- Fibroids, which grow during pregnancy
- Bowel obstruction, which commonly occurs during the third trimester.
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
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Remedies For Stomach Pain During Pregnancy
If you are experiencing any symptoms that indicate a serious complication, it is best to consult your doctor or gynaecologist immediately. However, pregnant women feeling mild pain in the abdomen can try out any of the following remedial treatments at home:
- Resting or lying down for some time can provide relief immediately, particularly if it is because of Braxton-Hicks contractions.
- Taking a warm water bath can help provide relief from lower abdominal pain and cramping.
- Applying a hot water bottle or bag on the painful areas can help provide relief from the pain.
Additionally, you can try out the following remedies too to get rid of abdominal pain:
- Gentle exercises such as stretching and yoga, particularly in the first trimester, can treat gas problems. You can speak to your midwife or any other specialist regarding the antenatal exercises that are suitable for you.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration is among the primary causes of the Braxton- Hicks contractions.
- Have small, but more frequent meals. Follow a healthy diet that is rich in fibre, such as fruits and vegetables.
- Urinate often and empty your bladder. Do not control your urge to urinate.
- Create a habit of standing up or sitting more gradually, instead of sudden movements. This will help you in reducing your spasms.
Is Sex During Pregnancy Safe
If your pregnancy is going smoothly, its safe to have sex and orgasm while youre pregnant.
You might worry that sex will harm the baby. But your baby is well protected and sealed off in the amniotic sac, so you cant hurt your baby by having sex.
There are some situations where sex might be unsafe during pregnancy. These might be if you:
- have shown signs of a possible miscarriage or preterm labour
- have a history of cervical weakness
- have been experiencing severe abdominal pain or cramps
- are diagnosed with placenta praevia
- have vaginal bleeding, or the bleeding has stopped but the cause is unclear
- think your waters have broken.
If youre showing signs of problems in your pregnancy and youre unsure about sex during pregnancy, talk with your GP, midwife or obstetrician. Theyll tell you whether its OK.
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Increase The Amount Of Fluid Intake
Abdominal pain during pregnancy can be caused by gas formation and bloating. The best way to deal with the problem is by consuming water. Increase the volume of fluid intake so that toxins from the body are flushed out completely. With water increase, the problem of constipation can also be averted to a great extent during pregnancy.
What Are The Possible Reasons Of Pain Near The Belly Button During Pregnancy
A womans body goes through a lot during her pregnancy tenure and there could be several reasons why she might experience pain near her belly button. Some of the common reasons are:
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What To Expect From Sex During Pregnancy
Sex during pregnancy can feel different from how it felt before you were pregnant.
When youre pregnant, hormones and extra blood flow to your genitals can make sex more enjoyable. But symptoms like sore breasts and nausea, as well as your growing belly, can also make sex uncomfortable.
Also, its normal to have mild stomach cramps or contractions during or right after sex. These cramps might happen because the muscles in your uterus contract during orgasm. Cramps can also be triggered by hormones in a male partners semen.
If you have mild cramps during or after sex, you can ease your discomfort by taking a warm bath.
If your health professional has advised that you avoid sex, or if you dont feel like having sex, you can feel close to your partner in other ways. For example, you can still kiss, hug, cuddle or massage each other.
Adding Foods With Anti
There are many natural ingredients readily available in your kitchen which have anti-bloating qualities. Some common ones among them include cinnamon, basil, cardamom, peppermint, anise, coriander seeds, ginger, honey syrup, etc. Herbal tea can be made from any of these ingredients. Sip on the tea and reap the benefits from these.
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Common Causes Of Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy
Some abdominal aches and pains during pregnancy are quite common and generally pose no threat to you and your baby.
- Round Ligament Pain: This can be characterized by a sharp stabbing pain when you change positions, or it can also be an achy, dull, lingering pain. Round ligament pain is caused by the two large ligaments that run from your uterus to your groin. As the uterus grows, these ligaments are stretched and create discomfort. This pain is generally reported in the second trimester, and considered to be harmless. Read the full Round Ligament Pain article.
- Gas and Constipation: Gas during pregnancy is caused by increased levels of progesterone. As more of this hormone is released, your gastrointestinal tract slows down, which makes food travel more slowly. Drinking plenty of water, eating fiber-rich foods, exercising, and using stool softeners are excellent ways to combat excessive gas and constipation. Learn more about Constipation during Pregnancy.
- Common Discomforts: In addition to those listed above, there are several other common abdominal discomforts that can be experienced during pregnancy and are generally non-threatening. Your growing uterus, stomach viruses, kidney stones, fibroids, and food sensitivities are all valid forms of harmless abdominal pain.