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.