Pain in Pregnancy

Every pregnancy is different, but abdominal pain is a common complaint of mothers-to-be everywhere. Although it may be a sign of a serious problem, it’s often just one of your body’s responses to the various changes it undergoes in pregnancy.

Causes of abdominal pain

  • Implantation: When the embryo implants itself in the lining of your uterus, there may be some slight periodlike cramping. (Note: This happens early in pregnancy, before most women realise they’re pregnant).
  • Stretching of supporting tissues: From the 2nd trimester onwards, the muscles and ligaments that support your uterus stretch to accommodate baby’s growth.
  • False contractions: In the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, you may experience false or “Braxton-Hicks” contractions which can be uncomfortable or with slight pain.
  • Indigestion, gas, constipation or heartburn caused by hormonal changes that slow your digestion.

Preventing abdominal pain

  • Avoid sudden sharp movements, especially twisting or bending at the waist.
  • If you need to pick up objects from the floor, squat while supported by furniture or a wall.
  • Avoid sitting, standing or lying in the same position for longer than 30 minutes (unless you’re sleeping!)
  • Avoid heavy meals; snack throughout the day on small amounts of nutritious food.
  • Drink plenty of fluids (milk, unsweetened fruit juice or plain water)

Relieving abdominal pain

  • Bend towards the pain while breathing normally.
  • Sit in a comfortable chair, raise your legs and breathe in and out evenly.
  • Change your sitting position or get up and walk.


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