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Abdominal pain during pregnancy can be a sign that something's wrong. Most of the time, however, pain associated with pregnancy is completely normal and not a cause for concern. If you're experiencing severe pain that hasn't been diagnosed yet, talk to your doctor immediately. If you have been checked out thoroughly by your obstetrician and you have a healthy pregnancy, you may be experiencing one of the many painful symptoms that can occur during a healthy pregnancy. Following are four common causes of abdominal pain and discomfort during pregnancy.
From the moment you conceive, your uterus prepares for the job ahead. It swells and gets heavier, much like it does when you have your period. This can cause period-like cramps during the first trimester. As your baby grows, you may experience more discomfort and pain as your uterus stretches and displaces other organs. By 20 weeks, your uterus should be stretched out as high as you're belly button. Eventually, your uterus will reach the height of your rib cage.
Your uterus is held in place and supported by thick ligaments called round ligaments. During the second trimester, you may start experiencing round ligament pain. The pain associated with these ligaments is normally short in duration, lasting only a few seconds, but it is very sudden and sharp. The pain most often occurs when you're moving around or performing activities that require quick movements that may strain the ligaments, such as coughing, laughing, standing, lifting, etc.
As mentioned, a growing baby displaces many organs, including your stomach and bowel. For this reason, bowel symptoms, such as constipation, bloating, gas, indigestion, and diarrhea are common during pregnancy. Your bowel may also become slower due to hormones produced during pregnancy. All of these issues can cause a great deal of abdominal discomfort.
Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as false labor, tend to occur during the last trimester of pregnancy. They are contractions, but not productive ones. They are more like your body's practice contractions. They do not dilate the cervix or progress toward labor in any way. You may experience these types of uncomfortable contractions at any time leading up to you going into labor. To differentiate Braxton Hicks from real labor, time your contractions. Real ones will get stronger and closer together.
As you can see, there are several types of abdominal pain that you may experience during pregnancy. If you're worried about a new and troublesome symptom, always talk to your doctor, but be aware that pain is a normal part of pregnancy in most cases.Share