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Cramping While Pregnant: Causes and Tips for Relief

Cramping While Pregnant: Causes and Tips for Relief

Cramping while pregnant is a common problem for women, but it can cause some concern (especially for women who are pregnant for the first time). Find out below what is considered normal and how to treat it at home—and when you should be calling the doctor.

You’re Cramping While Pregnant: Is This Normal?

Cramping pain in certain situations is considered to be a normal part of pregnancy, particularly early pregnancy. The most common reasons for this are:

1. Implantation Pain

It is normal for women to have cramps and minor bleeding in the very early stages of pregnancy when the fertilized egg, called an embryo, attaches itself to the wall of the uterus. Women who get this pain often mistake it for a regular period, though usually the cramping and bleeding is on the light side or the “period” seems to be shorter than usual.

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2. Changes in the Shape of the Womb

Even in the first trimester before you start showing, there are changes in the uterus as it prepares to grow to accommodate the baby. This can cause a menstrual-like discomfort and can be especially noticeable when you move positions, cough or sneeze. It is considered to be normal, however!

3. Stretching Ligaments.

Towards the end of your first trimester—around the 12-week mark—you might notice that you are beginning to get sharp, sometimes stabbing pains, in your lower abdomen or groin, especially when you stand up, twist your body or stretch. This, too, is normal and is caused by the round ligament—the one supports your uterus—stretching to accommodate the growing baby and your changing body shape. Again, this is an expected symptom of pregnancy.

4. Orgasm

Many women—at any point in their pregnancy—can have cramps which begin when they have an orgasm. This can feel scary, but the cramps will usually resolve on their own and there is no need to abstain from sex unless your doctor specifically tells you to!

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You Can Treat Most Cramping at Home

The good news is that the cramping described above can be treated right at home—and there are a number of ways to do it. Most women will need to experiment with the techniques below to find out which ones work best for them. They include:

1. Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers

This can help many women who find that cramping pain interferes with everyday life. However, ALWAYS talk to your doctor first before taking any kind of medicine to make sure it is safe for pregnancy. Just because it is over-the-counter doesn’t mean it can’t hurt you or the baby.

2. Relaxation Techniques

Deep breathing exercises, creative visualization, and other techniques can help your body—especially your muscles—to relax and decrease any feelings of stress or anxiety. Try one or more or these techniques to see if one works particularly well for you.

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3. A Warm Bath

Are the cramps really a pain? Then slip into the tub and have a good long soak in some warm water to ease the discomfort. This is another very relaxing activity to indulge in. Just remember that you should not be going into hot tubs while pregnant.

4. Gentle Exercise

No, you won’t be competing in an Iron Woman Triathlon anytime soon, but gentle exercise such as a slow to moderate walk through the park or a few laps in the community pool can do wonders for how you feel.

5. Rest With a Hot Water Bottle

When the cramping starts, curl up on the couch with a good book or favorite movie—and your trusty hot water bottle. Sometimes just the combination of rest and warmth can make the cramping ease up or go away on its own.

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6. Back Rubs

If the cramping is a problem, get your partner or a friend to give you a gentle lower back rub to help ease things up. If you are feeling really self-indulgent, check out your local day spa: many offer special massages designed just for pregnant women.

You Should Call the Doctor If

  • Your cramps are getting worse or they are not responding to the treatments listed above.
  • You have other symptoms such as not going to the bathroom as often or pain and burning when you urinate. This could be sign that your cramping is being caused by constipation or a urinary tract infection.
  • Your cramps are accompanied by even light vaginal bleeding. This could be an early sign of a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Your cramping pain is severe and comes on suddenly. This might be caused by placental abruption, which is when the placenta separates from the uterus before the baby is born. It can be a life-threatening condition for mother and baby and requires immediate medical assistance.

The takeaway here is, though, that in most cases, cramping and abdominal discomfort are a normal and expected part of the pregnancy journey and should be cause women concern except in cases mentioned above. At-home treatment can often having you feeling better in no time!

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Brian Wu

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Published on April 9, 2021

50 Single Mom Quotes On Staying Strong And Loving

50 Single Mom Quotes On Staying Strong And Loving

Being a mom is not easy. Being a single mom is even more challenging. Having children means you are on the job 24/7. Even while you are sleeping, you are still ready to wake at the slightest peep because that is what moms do.

Moms, especially single moms, need more people cheering them on. Your love and care matter to your kids. You are their superhero. I think single moms are superheroes, too.

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The quotes below are words of encouragement for all of the single moms out there. Keep up the great work! Your hard work will pay off. Someday, they will be grown up and living on their own. Your job will never truly be done as a mom, but you can pat yourself on the back today and every day for doing mom duty day in and day out.

Here are 50 single mom quotes to encourage all the single moms out there.

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  1. “Being raised by a single mother, I learned to appreciate and value independent women.”—Kenny Conley
  2. “As a single mum you’ll discover inner strengths and capabilities you never knew you had.”—Emma-Louise Smith
  3. “One thing I know for sure – this motherhood thing is not for sissies.”—Jennifer Nettles
  4. “Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.”—Gail Tsukiyama
  5. “And one day she discovered that she was fierce and strong, and full of fire and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears.”—Mark Anthony
  6. “She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn’t take them along.”—Margaret Culkin Banning
  7. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.”—Alice Walker
  8. “Everyone has inside of her a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be, how much you can love, what you can accomplish, and what your potential is.”—Anne Frank
  9. “Doubt is a killer. You just have to know who you are and what you stand for.”—Jennifer Lopez
  10. “You are more powerful than you know; you are beautiful just as you are.”—Melissa Etheridge
  11. “Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing.”—Ricki Lake
  12. “You don’t take a class; you’re thrown into motherhood and learn from experience.”—Jennie Finch
  13. “If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough.”—Oprah Winfrey
  14. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”—Charlotte Brontë
  15. “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”—Nora Ephron
  16. “When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.”—Diane Von Furstenberg
  17. “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”—Margaret Thatcher
  18. “Women have discovered that they cannot rely on men’s chivalry to give them justice.”—Helen Keller
  19. “Successful mothers are not the ones that have never struggled. They are the ones that never give up, despite the struggles.”—Sharon Jaynes
  20. “Success, they taught me, is built on the foundation of courage, hard work, and individual responsibility. Despite what some would have us believe, success is not built on resentment and fears.”—Susana Martinez
  21. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”—Maya Angelou
  22. “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”—Ayn Rand
  23. “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.”—Rudyard Kipling
  24. “The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because stuff worked out. They got that way because stuff went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes.”—Elizabeth Gilbert
  25. “There will be so many times you feel like you failed. But in the eyes, ears, and mind of your child, you are a SUPER MOM.”—Stephanie Precourt
  26. “Motherhood is the ultimate call to sacrifice.”—Wangechi Mutu
  27. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”—Maya Angelou
  28. “A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.”—Princess Diana
  29. “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.”—Jill Churchill
  30. “There’s no doubt that motherhood is the best thing in my life. It’s all that really matters.”—Courtney Cox
  31. “I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.”—Mitch Albom
  32. “I have found being a mother has made me emotionally raw in many situations. Your heart is beating outside your body when you have a baby.”—Kate Beckinsale
  33. “Single moms, you are a doctor, a teacher, a nurse, a maid, a cook, a referee, a heroine, a provider, a defender, a protector, a true Superwoman. Wear your cape proudly.”—Mandy Hale
  34. “I’m not really single. I mean, I am, but I have a son. Being a single mother is different from being a single woman.”—Kate Hudson
  35. “Being a single parent is twice the work, twice the stress, and twice the tears but also twice the hugs, twice the love, and twice the pride.”—Unknown
  36. “For me, motherhood is learning about the strengths I didn’t know I had, and dealing with the fears I didn’t know existed.”—Halle Berry
  37. “A single mom tries when things are hard. She never gives up. She believes in her family, even when things are tough. She knows that above all things… a mother’s love is more than enough.”—Denice Williams
  38. “You do the best you can. Some days you feel really good about yourself and some days you don’t.”—Katie Holmes
  39. “I would say to any single parent currently feeling the weight of stereotype or stigmatization that I am prouder of my years as a single mother than of any other part of my life.”JK Rowling
  40. “Just because I am a single mother doesn’t mean I cannot be a success.”—Yvonne Kaloki
  41. “I didn’t plan on being a single mom, but you have to deal with the cards you are dealt the best way you can.”—Tichina Arnold
  42. “Nothing you do for children is ever wasted.”—Garrison Keillor
  43. “A single mom tries when things are hard. She never gives up. She believes in her family, even when things are tough. She knows that above all things, a mother’s love is more than enough.”—Deniece Williams
  44. “Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.”—Meryl Streep
  45. “Having kids—the responsibility of rearing good, kind, ethical, responsible human beings—is the biggest job anyone can embark on.”—Maria Shriver
  46. “Mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are.”—Cheryl Lacey Donovan
  47. “A mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dates all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path.”—Agatha Christie
  48. “A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.”—Princess Diana
  49. “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”—W.R. Wallace
  50. “Being a mother is the greatest blessing and the hardest challenge in all of life.”—Dr. Magdalena Battles

Final Thoughts

Single moms are remarkable women. They are to be respected and honored for all that they do. If you know a single mom, then share this article with them. Tell them “you are doing a great job as a single mom.” They need our encouragement and support.

They may be parenting alone, but it is good to let them know that there are people in their life who care for them. We can all be there for the single moms out there. Even if it is just to say, “keep up the great work, you are an amazing woman!”

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If you are a single mom, keep up the good work! You are amazing, and your kids are lucky to have you!

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Featured photo credit: Alexander Dummer via unsplash.com

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