You may have noticed uncomfortable cramps early in your pregnancy- but many of these pains are completely normal. Although pain around your womb may cause you to worry, there are many causes of cramping pain that don’t indicate harm to your baby.
Common causes for cramping in pregnancy:
Ligament pain. Your uterus is stretching and expanding to accommodate your growing baby. The stretching of these muscles can cause dull aches or sharp pains. They may be more noticeable after you sneeze or cough.
Relief: Soak in a warm bath or use other relaxation techniques. Laying down or changing positions may ease the cramps.
Implantation. Early in your pregnancy, that fertilized egg will burrow into the wall of your uterus. This can cause mild cramping and light spotting.
Relief: These cramps should be short-lived and stop once the implantation of the egg is complete. Tylenol is the generally-approved option for over-the-counter pain relief while pregnant if you need it.
Bloating and/or Constipation. Your digestion is slowed down thanks to the hormone progesterone. This causes gas to build up, waste to move slower and puts pressure on your abdominal cavity.
Relief: Avoid carbonated drinks, or drinking with a straw. Make sure you eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly. Up your fiber intake to keep things moving- more whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Also drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
Sex. The influx of hormones and extra weight can make sex less enjoyable for a pregnant mom. While your baby is safe and protected, sex can still cause irritation and cramping. Light bleeding or discharge is also common after sex.
Relief: Try changing positions to find something more comfortable for you. Talk to your doctor about any concerns or questions regarding sex during your pregnancy. There are cases where it is not recommended, so make sure your provider knows your medical history.
If your cramps are severe, are accompanied by bleeding, or you are simply anxious about the cause, call your doctor. Your care provider should be willing to talk or meet with you anytime you are concerned about your pregnancy.