Even though abdominal pain during pregnancy is scary, it is quite common among expecting mothers. The abdomen of a woman is one of the parts that is subjected to major changes during pregnancy. Hence it is quite normal to experience pains and cramps in the abdomen during pregnancy. But it is not always a cause of worry. Most often, abdominal pain during pregnancy is an outcome of pregnancy symptoms. Nevertheless, it is natural to feel worried, and since it can make you uncomfortable, you’d want to know how to deal with abdominal pain during pregnancy.
Here we will discuss some home remedies for abdominal pain during pregnancy. First, let’s have a quick glance at the causes.
What Causes Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy?
Many harmless reasons like wearing tight pants can cause abdominal pain during pregnancy. Also, stretched abdominal muscles and ligaments, sexual intercourse etc. can trigger abdominal pain during pregnancy.
On the other hand, severe abdominal pain, especially, abdominal sharp pain during pregnancy can be due to some serious pregnancy complications.
Therefore, it is important to monitor abdominal pain. If the abdominal pain is not subsiding after some time or if it is becoming severe, it is important to seek immediate medical attention.
Here are some of the harmless causes of abdominal pain during pregnancy:
1. Expansion of the uterus
Abdominal pain is experienced when the uterus starts to grow. This can be one of the reasons for abdominal pain during pregnancy 1st trimester. As the uterus starts to expand, it exerts remarkable pressure on the supporting ligaments and muscles. This could bring about lower abdominal pain during pregnancy.
Related Reading: 9 Common Pregnancy Aches and Pains With Remedies
2. Implantation pain manifests as abdominal pain
More often women experience mild to moderate abdominal pain while the egg is implanted on the uterine wall. This will be the first abdominal pain many women experience with respect to pregnancy. This abdominal cramp is considered one of the early pregnancy signs.
2. Round ligament pain
Round ligament pain is quite common during the second trimester of pregnancy. This happens when the growing uterus exerts intense pressure on two round ligaments that run from the uterus to the groin. Round ligament pain appears as sharp, stabbing-like pain in the abdomen.
3. Gas and constipation
Pregnant women often experience gastric issues like gas, acid reflux, and constipation during pregnancy. Even though it can hit at any point of pregnancy, it is most commonly found during the third trimester. Issues like heartburn can bring about upper abdominal pain during pregnancy.
Related Reading: 11 Home Remedies For Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
4. Braxton Hicks contractions
Braxton-Hicks contractions, contractions that are similar to labor contractions can cause abdominal pain. Even though these false contractions more often appear towards the end of the third trimester, some expecting women experience it as early as during the second trimester.
Anyway, Braxton hicks contractions can result in the tightening of the stomach muscles. This will make the muscles very tight and stiff. Women could experience sharp and short abdominal pain during this time.
Now let us discuss some of the serious complications that could bring about severe abdominal pain during pregnancy.
1. Urinary tract infection
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the common infections many expecting women experience. One of the classic symptoms of UTI is a pain in the lower abdomen
2. Miscarriage can cause severe abdominal pain
Severe abdominal pain during early pregnancy is not a good sign. Severe abdominal pain during the first thirteen weeks of pregnancy could be a sign of an impending miscarriage. This more or less resembles period pains.
Related Reading: 10 Common Causes Of Miscarriage
3. Ectopic pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy happens when the egg is implanted anywhere other than the uterus. More often in ectopic pregnancy, the egg gets implanted in the fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancy triggers severe abdominal pain.
The pain starts in the lower abdomen between the 6-10th week of pregnancy. It will turn into a sharp pain on one side of the abdomen. This eventually spreads to the entire abdomen. Abdominal pain due to ectopic pregnancy intensifies with movement.
Preeclampsia is a condition that happens due to high blood pressure. Abdominal pain is a common symptom of preeclampsia. Usually, abdominal pain due to preeclampsia is felt in the upper-right abdomen (just about where the liver is located).
5. Placental abruption
Placental abruption is a condition in which the placenta separates early from the uterus (before childbirth). It is usually found to happen around 25 weeks of pregnancy. Lower abdominal pain that intensifies with time is one of the symptoms of placental abruption.
6. Preterm labor
Severe lower abdominal pain along with contraction and persistent backache can be a sign of preterm labor. This kind of pain that happens between the 20th and 37th week of pregnancy necessitate immediate medical attention.
7. Other health issues
Occasionally, even expecting mothers are subjected to ailments unrelated to their pregnancy. Abdominal pain is one of the signs of many of these issues. Probable causes of abdominal pain during pregnancy that is unrelated to pregnancy include:
- Kidney stones – Sharp pain in the back and side that radiates to the lower abdomen
- Gallstones – Persisting pain focused in the upper right part of the abdomen
- Pancreatitis – upper abdominal pain that worsens or starts immediately after having food
- Appendicitis -Pain in the right side of the abdomen
- Food poisoning, allergies, and sensitivities
If you experience the above signs it is important to speak with your doctor right away for further testing and medical treatment.
7 Home Remedies For Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy
Try out these home remedies if you are experiencing abdominal pain during pregnancy. Even a simple lifestyle change may help to alleviate this annoying and scary issue.
1. Take a warm bath
This is one of the easiest and most effective home remedies for abdominal pain during pregnancy. Taking a nice, long, warm bath is beneficial in more ways than one. Taking a hot bath at least twice a day will provide relief from cramps and other pain in the abdomen.
Related Reading: Is It Safe To Take Hot Water Steam During Pregnancy?
You can do this in different ways. You can take a warm shower. You can soak in the tub. You can also place a hot water bottle or bag on your abdomen. All of this helps reduce abdominal
l-pain and is recommended for pregnant women. It also provides some time for relaxation!
2. Eating small meals can help abdominal pain during pregnancy
The usual adage of “three heavy meals per day” is not recommended during pregnancy. So the first change you need to make is regarding this. Eat small meals frequently throughout the day. This can be four or even five meals at least.
Make sure you take your time with your food. There is no hurry; you don’t need to gulp your food down at soon as possible. Chew your food thoroughly.
You should also make sure you eat healthy food. Avoid unhealthy food and junk food. Stay away from fried food as much as possible. When eating food your body is not accustomed to, go slow. Give your body time to adjust.
Some nutrients that should definitely be included in your diet are fiber and vitamins. Fiber-rich food will ensure proper digestion and bowel movements. It will prevent issues like constipation and bloating.
Some foods you can include in your diet are apples, carrots, leafy vegetables, oatmeal, and more.
Having proper dietary habits is one of the best home remedies for abdominal pain during pregnancy.
3. Exercise regularly
Abdominal pain and cramps are often easily reduced by movement. Thus, exercising regularly is a great way to prevent and cure pain in abdominal pain. Exercising helps strengthen the muscles of that area.
Pregnant women are often advised to exercise regularly. It has several benefits. Especially in the third trimester, when lack of movement can cause pain, a few nice stretches and a few walks in the park can help you achieve wonders. Keeping yourself moving is also recommended for a normal delivery.
Related Reading: 11 Benefits Of Walking During Pregnancy
Make sure the exercise you do is light and safe. After all, you don’t want to cause unnecessary strain either.
4. Wear a belly band
Wearing a belly band can be very beneficial for you, especially during the second half of pregnancy. It will help to reduce any abdominal cramps that are caused by round ligament pain. However, it is important to ask your doctor before going ahead with this remedy.
5. Stay hydrated to avoid abdominal pain during pregnancy
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things to ensure when you are pregnant. Not consuming enough water can lead to dehydration, and other complications like constipation, bloating, and gas formation. This can sometimes lead to cramps and abdominal pain. So, taking in more fluids and staying hydrated is one of the home remedies for abdominal pain during pregnancy.
6. Take plenty of rest
Take rest as much as rest, as often as you can during pregnancy. Lying down and relaxing for a while helps to relieve abdominal pain due to round ligament pain. Likewise, changing the positions while resting will help to alleviate abdominal pain due to Braxton Hicks contractions. Take rest until you feel better.
Related Reading: Lying On Your Back During Pregnancy- All You Need To Know
7. Yoga can help with abdominal pain during pregnancy
Practicing pregnancy yoga helps to prevent and alleviate abdominal pain during pregnancy. Many yoga postures help to alleviate gastric issues and pains related to it. Likewise, many stretching of yoga relax helps to alleviate abdominal pain due to excessive strain in muscle and ligaments.
In spite of trying the above-mentioned remedies, if the stomach pain persists or worsens, it is important to reach your doctor as soon as possible. If the abdominal pain is a sign of a pregnancy complication, delaying medical attention may put the life of the mother and baby at risk.