During pregnancy, sometimes, women get a feeling of a pull on one or both sides of the belly, known as cramping. It is normal to have such cramps at the early s
Many women will be used to cramps during their
menstrual cycle, and unfortunately being pregnant does mean they go away!
Cramps can be mild, or severe, and usually present
themselves as a ‘pulling’ feeling on one of both sides of the abdomen.
Cramping is completely normal during pregnancy, if a
little uncomfortable. As your body adjusts to your growing baby you will experience
different types of cramps. It’s really important to make sure you know what is
normal for you and your body, so you can keep an eye out for anything that
needs to be addressed by your doctor.
Causes of Cramping during Pregnancy
During the first trimester is when you are more likely
to experience cramps regularly, as your body rapidly adjusts to your growing
baby and being pregnant. There are a few possible causes:
As your baby grows in your womb, your uterus and
surrounding abdomen will stretch. This can cause cramping all around your
abdomen, and you will notice it more towards the end of your first trimester
and most of your second trimester.
Constipation, gas and trapped gas are unfortunately
pretty common complaints for women during pregnancy. Again, this is down to the
changes in your internal body as your baby grows and takes up more room. This
can all lead to cramping.
and Third Trimester
This is especially common during your second trimester
as your baby grows bigger and your belly starts to protrude more. The ligaments
around your abdomen will also have to stretch which can lead to sharp, stabbing
pains and dull aches - cramping - and this can be quite frequent.
During your third trimester, you may experience
phantom contractions - these are not real contractions but are just your body
getting ready for birth. These may be very light to start with and you may
experience them as cramping.
Causes for Cramping
Minor cramping that happens every now and again, is
nothing to be worried about. However if you are experiencing intense cramping,
stabbing pains and bleeding, it could be a sign of something more serious and
you should seek medical attention. Some causes for these may be:
Women who may be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy will experience several different symptoms,
which includes severe cramping.
This is a condition where a pregnant woman presents
with high blood pressure and protein in their urine. This condition can also
cause cramps. Preeclampsia usually occurs in the later stages of pregnancy.
The placenta is the tissue which nourishes and feeds
your baby. A few conditions can cause the placenta to become detached from its
normal position. This is called ‘Placental Abruption’ and can cause cramping.
A person who suffers from an infection of the urinary
tract presents with several symptoms including cramps.
can I do to treat cramps during pregnancy?
Similar to when experiencing cramps during your
menstrual cycle, there are a few different soothing techniques you can do to
support your body during this transition. The following can help with
prevention and treatment for cramping, and help you feel more relaxed:
a walk, change positions, move around - this can help your body to adjust and encourage gentle stretching to
help your ligaments as they adapt to your baby’s growth
relaxing, warm bath - warm
water does wonders for the body and can be very soothing to help treat cramps.
techniques - pregnancy yoga
encourages the body's flexibility and stretching which can help to prevent
cramps. Deep breathing is also very helpful.
a hot water bottle - the heat
can be very soothing and support your body as it adjusts.
plenty of water - water helps
the skin's elasticity, and can help to prevent and treat cramping.
When should I seek medical attention for
mentioned, cramping is a very normal part of pregnancy, but if you feel
concerned or need peace of mind, make sure to always speak with your doctor or
immediate medical attention if you experience the following:
Severe cramping or abdominal pain that does not
subside or is accompanied by sweating/increase in temperature or dizziness
Any form of cramping that is also accompanied by
Any form of cramping that is accompanied by bleeding
is worth your peace of mind during pregnancy, and it can be very relieving to
discuss any and all symptoms with your doctor or midwife, even if it’s just for
sure you are stress-free and relaxed throughout your pregnancy really is the
best way to deal with all of it’s symptoms - even cramping!
Welcome to Babyinfo – the ultimate pregnancy and newborn information guide. We are here to help you find all the pregnancy and baby info you need to make the most beautiful experience of your life even better.
Our team is comprised of an amazing mix of experienced mothers, recently pregnant women, and editors with tremendous medical knowledge in the fields of gynaecology and childbirth.
Think of us as your friendly advisors, here to give you honest, easy to understand and authentic information. We are here to be your support at this crucial time in your life, when you need it the most.
Note: This website is in no way meant to replace doctors, hospitals, or other healthcare providers that may be utilized by current mothers or mothers-to-be. All mothers are advised to see a doctor for medical advice and the appropriate care before, during, and after pregnancy.