Stomach pain is a very annoying and common sensation among pregnant women, and although most cases are not due to anything serious, it is normal for you to worry, and more frequently if you are a first-timer since before any pain or suspicious symptom you can think that something is not going well. You have to pay special attention to belly pain and not overlook it. You do not have to hesitate to go to the gynecologist before a stomach ache, since it could be something normal or on the contrary it could be indicating complications in pregnancy, and so you will also be calmer because the nerves could produce even more stomach pain. In this article we let you know everything about stomach pain during pregnancy and we give you the answer to your question: “I'm pregnant and my stomach hurts, is it normal?”. So, read on if you want to know more about this.
Causes of stomach pain during pregnancy
Given the main doubt that has brought you here, “I am pregnant and my stomach hurts, is it normal?”, we want to clarify that stomach pain during pregnancy can be normal to the extent that it occurs spontaneously and is temporary, but we will have to worry more if the pain is continuous and persistent. Here we explain the causes of stomach pain in pregnancy that can be totally common, although they are not produced by pregnancy itself:
- Relationships: stomach pain may occur, although this time it is called rather retortion, during an orgasm or just after it. It is totally normal for this to happen, so do not be afraid to have sex during pregnancy as it can also help you relax and soothe other stomach pains.
- Gas and bloating: during pregnancy increase the levels of progesterone (hormone that is produced during pregnancy) that its function is, among others, to relax the muscle tissue of the whole body, including that of your intestine which causes digestion to be slower and that is why gas, bloating, belching and flatulence appear.
- Constipation: this is due to the same factor explained above since due to the relaxation of the digestive system food moves more slowly causing constipation. However, these discomforts can increase as the fetus grows as the uterus will press more on the rectum.
- Round ligament pain: This is a panging pain that occurs in the lower and lateral part of your belly and usually appears during the second trimester of pregnancy. This happens due to the growth of your belly, these ligaments stretch and thicken more and more, so it will be normal for you to feel these pains in the belly.
- Heartburn: This is another type of stomach pain common during pregnancy and also occurs due to increased progesterone and relaxation of muscles, so digestions are heavier and cause burning in the stomach. It also happens that as the uterus increases in size, it presses more on the stomach so that in the final stage of pregnancy the reflux of food occurs after eating and produces heartburn.
How to Relieve Stomach Pain During Pregnancy
Faced with the common causes of stomach pain during pregnancy, explained above, it is recommended to go to a doctor or gynecologist to make sure that everything is fine, he can even administer some type of treatment to calm the pains if he thinks it convenient. However, here's how you can soothe stomach pain in pregnancy:
- For gas and bloating there are a number of exercises which promote digestion, but under no circumstances do you exercise without the consent of your doctor, since it has to be he who gives you the guidelines to perform these exercises. Eating slowly decreases the presence of gas, it is also recommended to make five meals a day but in small portions which will also help you reduce pain. It is necessary to reduce the intake of fried or very fatty foods since they are very heavy when it comes to digestion. Also avoid drinks that have gas. There are medications to relieve these discomforts, consult with your doctor.
- For constipation, try eating foods rich in fiber and avoid rice because it is a food that can constipate you. Drink plenty of water, as well as natural juices or mild infusions. Ingesting kiwi, plums or orange juice will help you go to the bathroom without any problem. In some cases, laxatives can be administered, but always by first consulting with your doctor. Studies have shown that senna and, especially, its active ingredients, which are senosides, have been indicated as safe for use during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.
- There are several exercises that can help you with round ligament pain. The first is to bend your knees when you feel that annoying twinge. But, also doing yoga will help you control the pain you may feel, a good shower will help you decrease the pressure that this ligament is causing and, finally, the doctor can prescribe analgesics to reduce your pain.
- The most important thing to avoid stomach pain is to eat light food in small portions.
Complications in pregnancy that can give stomach pain
Although less common, stomach pain could indicate that something is wrong in pregnancy. These complications in pregnancy that can cause stomach pain, among other varied symptoms, can be:
- Ectopic or extrauterine pregnancy: This happens because the egg implants outside the uterus. If you have vaginal bleeding, your pain increases when exercising or coughing, you get dizzy or vomit frequently you should go to the doctor without thinking, since it could be this problem.
- Miscarriage: Occurs when the baby is lost before the 20th week. The abdominal pain experienced by this is usually cramping. Although many people claim that a long bed rest could reduce the risk of a miscarriage, there have been studies where they claim that there is not enough information to justify the recommendation of bed rest for women with threatened abortion.
- Premature birth: this is the early birth of the baby and the symptoms are such as increased vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding, very annoying abdominal pain and pressure in the pelvic area. Studies have shown that the chances of preterm birth increase in young, poor and unsupported women, and claim that it is the leading cause of neonatal mortality and neurological morbidity in the short and long term.
Now that you have an idea of the causes why you may feel stomach pain during pregnancy, it would be good to go to your doctor or gynecologist to perform a good check-up and make sure that everything is going perfectly in your pregnancy.