Stomach Pain During Early Pregnancy
Stomach pain in the upper part during early pregnancy can be normal as the baby needs space to grow in your stomach, which is why you might feel discomfort or pain in the stomach. Though the pain you experience might be normal, as an expecting mother, you should be aware of all possible reasons why this pain occurs. It is important to have all the knowledge so that you may be able to recognise symptoms that may cause the pain.
Dr. Nivedita Kaul, Obstetrician, shares insights into why this stomach pain occurs during early pregnancy and all possible symptoms and solutions to the pain.
Most common stomach pain and their solutions
Pain due to gas
Even when one is not pregnant, pain caused due to gas can be really disturbing and painful and so imagine having gas pain during pregnancy. The pain may start from slight discomfort to unbearable pain. Usually, women experience more gas when she is pregnant due to the increased amount of progesterone levels. The pain may either stay or travel from one place to the other. The progesterone relaxes the muscles, due to which the food takes more time to digest, thereby causing gas. Food stays in the colon area for a longer duration, allowing the stomach to create more gas. Also, when the stomach is growing, there is automatically an added pressure on the uterus, which leads to slow digestion of food therefore, an accumulation of gas is there.
Consuming small meals throughout the day and increasing the intake of fluids can help relieve the pain. In addition, light-weight exercises help to aid digestion and reduce abdominal cramps during early pregnancy. Avoid eating food items that may trigger gas pain like greasy foods, beans, cabbage, and carbonated beverages.
Braxton Hicks Contractions
Braxton Hicks Contractions are also known as practice contractions. These are more like false alarms and should be differentiated from true contractions. These contractions occur when the uterine muscles contract for a few seconds to minutes. Many pregnant ladies have been reporting that Braxton hacks feel like their stomach muscles are tightening, and their stomach starts to feel hard. Braxton hicks are usually seen during the third trimester of pregnancy. They may make the women uncomfortable, but these contractions are normal during pregnancy.
Drinking loads of water and relaxing can help relieve pain caused due to Braxton hicks. Change your position as it may help to stop the false contractions. Relax and try to calm yourself by taking a warm bath or listening to music.
Round ligament pain
When the baby is trying to adjust herself/himself in the womb, the uterus and the ligaments stretch, this stretch may cause sharp or dull pain in the abdomen, groin, and hips. In addition, walking, sneezing, or coughing may trigger the round ligament pain. The round ligament pain is usually experienced by the women in their last trimester of pregnancy.
Carefully make movements when you are sitting or lying down, as it may decrease the pain caused due to ligaments. Try bending your hips whenever you get a sudden urge to sneeze or cough. Stretching on a daily basis might also help to relieve round ligament pain.
Feeling constipated? Don’t worry this is the most common concern of every pregnant woman you must have met. But have we ever wondered what causes constipation in pregnant women? Constipation can be caused by a variety of factors, including disturbance in hormones, fewer fluids or fibre intake, lack of exercise, and consumption of iron tablets. Constipation can be extremely painful and discomforting for the pregnant woman. They start to feel weak, uncomfortable, bloated, and irritated.
Include more fibre in your daily routine, increase the intake of fluids, and drink 8-10 glasses of water every day. These are home remedies to treat constipation in pregnant women. If constipation still persists, the doctor might recommend stool softeners that are only meant for pregnancy.
Pain due to bodily changes
Pregnant women might have pain in the left side of the stomach during early pregnancy due to the changes going on in their bodies. This pain usually occurs because the uterus and the body are trying to make space for the baby. But there could be a more serious issue of the pain in the left side for which immediate assistance may be required.
Treatment for the lower abdominal pain in early pregnancy 2 weeks or pain on the left side of the stomach will depend on the cause of the pain. So, the treatment may be a combination of a doctor’s recommendation and home remedies. Avoid heavy lifting, do Kegel exercises to strengthen your pelvic area, sleep with a pillow between your legs or knees, Use a heating pad, but never for more than 10 minutes at a time, and can also use a maternity belt for extra support.
Ques 1. Are stomach aches normal during early pregnancy?
Yes, the stomach aches are normal during early pregnancy, but if the pain continues, the pregnant woman should immediately seek medical assistance.
Ques 2. Does a miscarriage feel like a stomach ache?
Slight pain in the stomach during early pregnancy may usually mean that the womb, the muscles, and ligaments are expanding and stretching. However, if the woman feels pain and discomfort in the lower abdomen, it may be a sign of miscarriage, and immediate assistance is required.