Advertising
Advertising

Stomach Pain During Pregnancy: What’s Normal, What’s Not

Stomach Pain During Pregnancy: What’s Normal, What’s Not
Pregnancy meditation
    Meditation can alleviate stress and help you stay mindful

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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.jpg via yogsadhana.com

    More by this author

    Diane Koopman

    Writer, Author, Novelist, Self-Publisher

    How Mental Fatigue Eats You Slowly (And Ways to Regain Mental Energy) 10 Scientifically Proven Health Benefits of Taking a Bath 20 Dalai Lama Quotes To Change The Way You Think Small Things Parents Can Do to Effectively Reduce Sibling Jealousy Learning These 10 Tricks Can Help You Overcome Frustration in Communication

    Trending in Parenting

    1 How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father 2 14 Helpful Tips for Single Parents: How to Stay Sane While Doing it All 3 Signs of Postnatal Depression And What to Do When It Strikes 4 How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids) 5 The Leading Causes of Prenatal Depression and How to Manage it Best

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Published on January 30, 2019

    How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

    How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

    In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

    The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

    According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

    This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

    Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

    This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

    Advertising

    The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

    Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

    What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

    Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

    1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

    Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

    Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

    Advertising

    As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

    2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

    I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

    However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

    Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

    When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

    3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

    This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

    Advertising

    I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

    Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

    4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

    No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

    Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

    5. Don’t keep score or track time.

    At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

    In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

    Advertising

    The Bottom Line

    To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

    The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

    But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

    On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

    Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next