Stomach Pain During Pregnancy: What's Normal, What's Not
Stomach pain during pregnancy can cause anxiety and fear, especially if it’s your first pregnancy. There are so many changes happening in your body, to your emotions and your mind; you are at your most hormonal. Like most women you will become hyper vigilant in order to make sure you have the healthiest gestation and deliver a safe, healthy and happy baby so you will notice every little niggle and wonder if it is just a part of the process or something more serious.
Experiencing stomach pain during pregnancy is almost guaranteed.
Your uterus has to grow and stretch to accommodate the baby, or multiple babies. You will experience round ligament pain and possibly have false labor contractions called Braxton Hicks towards the end of your pregnancy. You may become full much sooner as your stomach and digestive organs compete for room and you may become sensitive to some foods, which may cause you to have gas or indigestion. You will become less agile as you grow, preventing you from being as active as you were before, which means you will have to endure some discomfort when you walk, sit and lie down. Every day activities like short car trips and sleeping will become a little more complicated as you become accustomed to your expanding girth.
Most instances of pain or discomfort are to be expected and are rarely cause for alarm, particularly in isolation, when they are not coupled with other symptoms or signs such as bleeding.
Should pain in your stomach become unbearable or constant and be coupled with other events such as bleeding, clotting, severe vomiting, fever or headache; it may be an indication that there is something wrong. Unfortunately pregnancy doesn’t always go according to our desires. Problems like pre term labour, ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage can occur. It happens to many women who go on to have successful pregnancies and healthy babies and it is vital to understand that you are not alone if something goes wrong.
It is important to seek professional advice if you have pain coupled with other symptoms and to talk about your experiences with other women and health professionals.
In fact having a good relationship with your obstetrician/gynecologist, your midwives/doulas and other women in your life will help to alleviate unnecessary worry and address serious issues quickly should they arise. Your support networks are your sanity, strength and stability.
There are many ways to nurture yourself when you are pregnant to help ease some of the discomfort associated with the intense changes that your body will experience.
Taking things slow and looking after yourself is imperative and although you can continue to do most of your day to day activities, including more vigorous ones like exercising or sexual intercourse, you just have to be mindful of your condition and pay attention to your movement and exertion.
- Take warm baths; not too hot, just comfortable. Being in water is one of the most comforting and therapeutic ways to restore the strain of day to day life on your body; it is working very hard to grow this baby.
- Eat well, drink plenty of water and stay active by doing some light yoga or going for comfortable strolls in the fresh air. Keeping your body healthy and limber will eliminate most of your discomfort or at least equip you with mechanisms to cope with physical strain.
- Book yourself in for a massage by a certified pregnancy technician; your body will thank you for it. Meditation is another effective way to strengthen your mind and keep you focused. These skills will come in handy during the birth of your baby too.
Above all, enjoy the ups and downs of your pregnancy and keep yourself informed. It’s an exhilarating experience and one you will withstand far more positively if you are mindful and educated.
Featured photo credit: Pregnancy meditation.jpgvia yogsadhana.com
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