It is completely normal to worry about the abdomen or stomach pain in pregnancy and worry it is a sign of a miscarriage. Most females think stomach pain in pregnancy is a sign of a miscarriage. But, stomach pains and cramps are common during pregnancy and usually not a call for concern.
Mild stomach or abdomen pain in early pregnancy, in the first 12 weeks, is usually caused due to the expanding womb. The ligaments stretch as the baby bump grows which may sometimes resemble mild period pain. It is probably nothing to worry about if the pain is bearable, mild and goes away on changing position or resting.
The female may also feel slight discomfort or cramps (like period cramps) towards the end of the pregnancy. It is generally nothing to worry about. But, if you still have concerns, consult your doctor.
Also Read: Diarrhea in Pregnancy- Is it Normal?
When should I worry about abdominal pain in pregnancy?
Stomach or abdominal pain in pregnancy is not always a false alarm. At times, it can be a sign of a complication. If the pregnant woman feels any of the following types of pains, even if she is not experiencing any of the other symptoms along with it, it is suggested to visit a doctor immediately.
Severe pain on one side of the lower abdomen (stomach) in early pregnancy
Severe pain on one side of the stomach is often a sign of an ectopic pregnancy. Other symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy include:
- Pain in the tip of the shoulder
- Brown discharge
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- Discomfort while pooping or peeing.
Severe cramps in the stomach with or without vaginal bleeding which lasts several hours can be a sign of a miscarriage or placental abruption. Stay in touch with your doctor in case of bleeding in early pregnancy.
Regular and painful cramps or contractions in the abdomen or stomach in pregnancy before 37 weeks
Such cramps or pain in the abdomen can be a sign of premature labor, especially if the woman also has the following conditions:
- Clear or pinkish vaginal discharge
- Severe backache
- Painful cramps
- Feeling of pressure in the lowest part of the stomach (pelvic region).
Severe abdominal pain in pregnancy that does not go away
Severe abdominal pain could be a sign of placental abruption. Other symptoms may include:
- Stomach tenderness
- Severe back pain
- Vaginal bleeding (may or may not be there)
Abdomen or stomach pain can be very worrying for pregnant women. Most of the women who are pregnant for the first time are unfamiliar with this pain and often misjudge the abdominal pain as a miscarriage. It’s important to stay positive and calm.
Normal abdominal pain in pregnancy is likely to be mild and goes away on its own. But, if a female has persistent stomach pain or cramping that won’t go away, or if the pain comes suddenly, visit your doctor immediately.
Upper abdomen or stomach pain in pregnancy
Upper abdomen pain under the ribs is common in later pregnancy because of the growing baby and the uterus pushing up under the ribs. But, if this pain is persistent or severe, especially on the right side, it could be a sign of preeclampsia (a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure). Other symptoms of preeclampsia may include:
- A sudden increase in swelling in the face, hands or feet
- Severely bad headache or a dull headache that does not go away
- Problems with vision, like blurred vision or seeing flashing lights
- Nausea or vomiting
Pre-eclampsia mostly develops around 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Lower abdomen pain or Dull back pain
Lower abdomen or dull back pain can be serious in pregnancy. Visit your doctor right away on having such pain alone with one or more of the following signs-
- Pain or discomfort when peeing
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Raised body temperature (over 37.5°C)
- Smelly, cloudy or bloody urine
- Nausea and vomiting. (Also Read: Things you should know about Vomiting in Pregnancy )
These are the typical symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Though UTI is not an emergency call, it can lead to serious complications in pregnancy. So, do not delay the treatment for a UTI or avoid its symptoms.
Braxton Hicks contractions
Braxton Hicks contractions are popular as the fake labor contractions. They are the sign that the muscles of the womb are tightening and the body is preparing for the labor. These contractions are more common in later pregnancy. But, some can have these contractions as early as 16 weeks.
How do Braxton Hicks contractions feel?
- Irregular (mostly more than 10 minutes apart)
- Do not last long
- More painful than uncomfortable
A women does not need to contact her doctor unless these contractions become more painful and regular ( are less than 10 minutes apart). Contractions or cramps after 37 to 40 weeks can be a sign of the early stages of labor, which is also known as the latent phase of labor.
Abdomen or stomach pain can be very worrying for pregnant women. Many females who are pregnant for the first time are unfamiliar with this pain and often misjudge the abdominal pain as a miscarriage. It’s important to stay positive and calm. Normal abdominal pain in pregnancy is likely to be mild and goes away on its own. But, if a female has persistent stomach pain or cramping that won’t go away, or if the pain comes suddenly, visit the doctor immediately.
- Headaches during Pregnancy- Should I worry?
- A Healthy Pregnancy will bring a Healthy Baby- Food guide for pregnant women