What Are Five Common Signs Of Pregnancy
There are several signs of early pregnancy that you could experience. Not everyone will have all of these symptoms, and some women may not feel any of these things. Pregnancy symptoms throughout the entire pregnancy can vary dramatically between women. Its important not to compare your pregnancy to someone elses.
Common early pregnancy symptoms can include:
Whats Considered Normal Cramping During Pregnancy
Early on in your pregnancy, its natural to feel some mild cramping in your lower abdomen at infrequent times as your body prepares for your growing baby, Dr. Nalla said.
As your belly grows, so does your uterus. This may cause you to feel some slight pulling, tugging or stretching similar to menstrual cramps.
Later in your pregnancy, you may experience some mild lower abdominal discomfort due to the tightening of your uterus. These are normal as long as they occur in irregular intervals and subside on their own, Dr. Nalla said. A common cause later in pregnancy is due to round ligament pain, a muscle that supports the uterus. As it stretches, it can cause some mild aches and pains.
Other causes for mild cramping include:
What Does 3 Weeks Pregnant Feel Like
Pregnancy symptoms during week 3 If you have symptoms this week, some of them may feel like PMS. Progesterone relaxes muscles throughout your body, including your digestive tract. These relaxed muscles slow down digestion, which can lead to gas and bloating, and create uncomfortable sensations in your gut.
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What Should I Do For Cramps While Pregnant
If you experience minor cramping during pregnancy, there are a couple of things you can do for prevention and self-care:
- Try to sit, lie down or change positions.
- Soak in a warm bath.
- Try doing relaxation exercises.
- Place a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel on the ache.
- Make sure you get plenty of fluids.
How To Relieve Pregnancy Cramps
Pregnancy cramp relief depends on the cause behind the pain youre experiencing. These tips can relieve the most common causes of abdominal cramps during pregnancy:
- Lie down and relax for a while, which can relieve pregnancy cramps related to implantation, orgasm, increased blood flow to the uterus and round ligament pain
- Drink plenty of water, which may ease any cramping related to dehydration, bloating or constipation
- Soak in a warm bath, which can help ease pregnancy cramps related to increased uterine blood flow
- Wear a belly band, which can help relieve abdominal cramps linked to round ligament pain in the second half of pregnancy
- Change positions if you think youre having Braxton Hicks contractions
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How Does Your Stomach Feel In Early Pregnancy
Feeling pain in your lower abdomen or feeling like your stomach is hard, swollen, or heavy are not early signs of pregnancy.
To the touch, a person’s stomach and abdomen will not show any noticeable signs of pregnancy until later on, depending on your specific body type. People who are in their first pregnancy usually don’t start showing until twenty weeks or later.1 Those who have already been pregnant might start showing sooner.
Yeast Infections Or Uti
From 6 weeks to 24 weeks, youre more likely to develop a urinary tract infection. UTIs and yeast infections can cause period-like cramps from time to time. If you first trimester cramps are accompanied by a burning sensation when you pee, more frequent trips to the bathroom, or cloudy, smelly urine, its time to call your provider.
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Cramping In Early Pregnancy: 8 Of Your Faqs Answered By An Expert
A consultant obstetrician fills you in
Lets be real, stomach pains are never going to fill you with joy. But they are particularly upsetting when youre trying to get pregnant. You might think that the gripes are a sign your period is on the way, or worse – if youve recently had a positive pregnancy test, you may be worried about miscarriage.
But cramping in early pregnancy is super common, and, actually it’s a symptom that you’re expecting. Along with achey boobs and nausea, it can be just one of the many little signs that your body is busy growing a baby.
So how can you tell if your stomach ache is simply a sign that you’re on the fast train to parenthood, or if you need to seek medical advice? To get answers, WH asked Dr Virginia Beckett, consultant obstetrician and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, to answer your frequently asked questions on this very topic.
Early Symptoms Of Pregnancy
Every woman and every pregnancy are different. But many moms-to-be experience early pregnancy symptoms. The majority of these symptoms are related to surging hormones. Its important to understand that all of these symptoms arent exclusive to pregnancy. That means there are other reasons that you could be experiencing them.
According to a poll from the American Pregnancy Association, 29 percent of the women surveyed noted that a missed period was their first sign of pregnancy. Often, there are other common symptoms of early pregnancy.
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Anyone For Gherkins And Custard
Are you getting cravings? Some women do, some dont. Pregnancy cravings are caused by hormonal changes affecting your senses of taste and smell. Some mums go off coffee and curries. Others crave cake or fruit. Try eating a balanced healthy diet. If you get any weird pregnancy cravings, like wanting to eat dirt, talk to your midwife or doctor, as you may have a dangerous condition called pica caused by a lack of iron.
Signs You Need To Take A Pregnancy Test
4 min Read Time
Most over-the-counter pregnancy tests are 99% effective when you take them after a missed period. But how do you know when its time to pee on a stick?
Pregnancy symptoms are different for everyone, and as the levels of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin rise, your symptoms may increase, says OBGYN Jessica Brown, MD. At four weeks, you may have a little bit of cramping, but classic symptoms like sore breasts, nausea and fatigue may not begin for six or seven weeks, she says.
So, how do you know if your symptoms point to pregnancy? Brown discusses some of the very first symptoms, along with how to ease the discomfort and the best time to take a pregnancy test.
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/ What Can You Do To Ease Cramping In Early Pregnancy
‘Mild pain during pregnancy can be managed with paracetamol, if a woman usually takes this safely, and also may be alleviated with a hot water bottle, a warm bath or gentle exercise,’ says Dr Beckett. ‘If a woman is not sure what she can safely do to manage her pain, she should contact her healthcare professional for advice.’
Why Am I Cramping
The muscles in your uterus will soon begin to stretch and expand. This can cause a pulling feeling on both sides of your stomach. Very early in your pregnancy, you may even feel aches that are similar to those during your period. Increasing pelvic pressure over the course of pregnancy is quite common, explained Annette Bond, MD, director of maternal-fetal medicine at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut.
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Can A Pregnancy Test Be Positive At 1 Week
You should wait to take a pregnancy test until the week after your missed period for the most accurate result. If you dont want to wait until youve missed your period, you should wait at least one to two weeks after you had sex. If you are pregnant, your body needs time to develop detectable levels of HCG.
Chloasma Or The Mask Of Pregnancy
The pigmentation of your skin is usually affected by pregnancy hormones, with pigmented areas such as moles, freckles and nipples the most obviously affected. Some pregnant women also develop dark patches of skin, known as the mask of pregnancy, on the bridge of the nose, cheeks and neck which fade over time after the birth of their baby.
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Cramping During Pregnancy: When Should You Be Worried
Any pregnant woman knows that pregnancy is a time when you feel twinges all over the body. From tender breasts to an aching back, small discomforts are a common feature during those 9 months. However, if youre getting pregnancy cramps, its only natural to feel some concerns. Newly pregnant moms often worry when they experience any kind of unusual sensation, so, of course, when cramping occurs it can trigger panic. Yet, in most cases, the twinges that women experience in their abdomen during pregnancy are completely normal and are experienced by many other pregnant women.
Experiencing cramping sensations in early pregnancy naturally leads to anxiety. While its most likely to simply be normal growth and stretching of the uterus, theres always the possibility that it could be a sign that a miscarriage is going to happen. It may not always be obvious which it is since there are many causes for pregnancy cramps due to your rapidly changing body.
Although cramps could indicate a problem, transient, mild cramping at an early stage of your pregnancy will usually turn out to be simply normal stretching and not an impending miscarriage. If youre experiencing pain that isnt too severe, is on both sides of your body, and isnt accompanied by any bleeding, youve probably got no major causes for concern.
Cramps During Early Pregnancy
“The majority of pregnancies will have some mild cramping intermittently during the first 16 weeks,” says Chad Klauser, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. Here are some common causes of first trimester cramping.
Implantation Cramping: For some women, cramping is the first sign of pregnancy, as it sometimes happens when a fertilized egg burrows in the uterine wall. This is called implantation cramping, and it can feel like your period is about to start, says Dr. Puritz.
Uterine Growth: Rapid uterine growth in the first two trimesters of pregnancy can also lead to a pulling sensation within the stomach, says Dr. Klauser. Your uterus must stretch and expand to accommodate your growing baby.
Gastrointestinal Issues. Changing hormone levels might cause increased gas, bloating, and constipation during the first trimester. All of these gastrointestinal issues can cause cramping sensations.
Ectopic Pregnancy: In rare cases, first trimester cramping could be caused by ectopic pregnancy . Ectopic pregnancy often comes with one-sided cramping, bleeding, lightheadedness, or shoulder pain. Contact your doctor immediately if you have symptoms of ectopic pregnancy.
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Are Cramps In Pregnancy Normal
Its completely understandable to worry about stomach pain in pregnancy and be anxious about this being a sign of miscarriage. But stomach pains or cramps are common in pregnancy and usually nothing to worry about.
Mild stomach pain in early pregnancy is usually caused by your womb expanding, the ligaments stretching as your bump grows, hormones constipation or trapped wind. It may sometimes feel like a stitch or mild period pain. Its is probably nothing to worry about if the pain is mild and goes away when you change position, have a rest, do a poo or pass wind.
You may also feel light period-like discomfort or cramps at the end of your pregnancy. This is nothing to worry about, but call your midwife if you have any concerns.
Is It Round Ligament Pain
Round ligament pain usually starts in the second trimester, so its unlikely to be the cause of pain in early pregnancy. The round ligaments are located in the pelvis and hold the uterus in place. As your belly grows, they stretch.
With round ligament pain, you may experience what feels like a spasm on the right side of your abdomen or right hip. Some pregnant women do feel round ligament pain on both sides, though.
The pain should only last a few seconds or minutes, though it may return when you laugh or do certain movements like standing or bending down.
If you continue to experience round ligament pain, it may be helpful to try light stretching, prenatal yoga, or prenatal massage. Always check with your doctor before trying these treatments, though.
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How To Treat Stomach Cramps During The First Trimester
Needless to say, painful cramps during early pregnancy can be inconvenient and uncomfortable. You might be experiencing physical and emotional changes, and adding cramps to your discomfort might feel overwhelming. Treating pregnancy cramps can help you feel more comfortable and as stress free as possible.
If youre experiencing cramps, here are a few tips for alleviating them quickly:
- Drink water. You are more likely to experience cramps if you are dehydrated. Make sure that you drink at least eight cups of water each day.
- Change positions. When you experience cramps, try shifting positions while lying or sitting down. Dont put pressure on the source of the pain.
- Stretch and exercise. Try doing mild pregnancy exercises or stretch your body to soothe cramped muscles. In addition to relieving active cramps, this can also help prevent future ones.
- Gentle massage. A massage can stimulate blood circulation in your muscles, relieving uncomfortable cramps. Getting a gentle lower back massage might help relieve aches.
- Sleep. Try to get a good nights sleep during early pregnancy as this makes you feel rested. Try to get enough sleep every night.
/ Is It Normal To Get Cramps Later On In The First Trimester
Mild cramping at any point during the first three months of pregnancy is usually nothing to worry about, as it can be caused by the significant hormone changes youre experiencing. ‘The body produces higher rates of progesterone during pregnancy, which can have an effect on muscles, ligaments and joints, making them more flexible,’ explains Dr Beckett. ‘This may be felt as the womb expands to accommodate the growing foetus.’
Other causes of cramps include trapped wind and constipation, both of which are common in pregnancy – its such a glamorous time.
If the pain is only mild and goes away after you rest, poo or pass wind, then its probably nothing to fret about, according to the NHS. But if you are worried, you should call your midwife or your GP. Feeling anxious is perfectly understandable and they’ll be able address any concerns you have.
What Stomach Pain And Cramps Should I Look Out For In Pregnancy
Most stomach pain and cramps in pregnancy are nothing to worry about. But there are some symptoms you should know about as they could be a sign of something more serious.
If you feel any of the following pains, even if you’re not experiencing any of the other symptoms listed, call your midwife, doctor or hospital immediately.
Severe pain on one side of the lower stomach in early pregnancyThis pain could be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy. Other symptoms may include:
- pain in the tip of your shoulder
- brown discharge
Severe cramps in your stomach with or without bleeding that lasts for several hours This could be a sign of a miscarriage or placental abruption.
Regular painful contractions/cramps before 37 weeksThis could be a sign of premature labour, especially if you also have:
- either a slow trickle or a gush of clear or pinkish fluid from the vagina or any increase in vaginal discharge
- backache thats unusual for you
- cramps like strong period pains
- a feeling of pressure in the lowest part of your stomach .
Severe pain in your stomach that doesnt go away This pain could be a sign of placental abruption. Other symptoms may include:
- tenderness when you press your stomach
- back pain with or without bleeding.
Pain in the upper stomach
- a sudden increase in swelling in your face, hands or feet
- a very bad headache or a dull headache that wont go away
- problems with your vision, such as blurring or flashing lights
- vomiting or just generally feeling unwell.
Treatments For Early Pregnancy Cramping
Early pregnancy cramps may be relieved without medication. Try the following home treatments to relieve pain:
- Lie down, sit, or change positions
- Take a warm bath
- Place a heating pad or hot water bottle at the site of the cramp
- Perform relaxation exercises
Drinking plenty of fluids may also help with cramp prevention.
In the case of more persistent cramping, you may want to try over-the-counter pain relievers. You may need to avoid some of the following medications, but a few are perfectly safe in your first trimester:
Most pregnant people can take low doses of acetaminophen without fear of harming either their fetus or themselves.
Aspirin can contribute to maternal or fetal bleeding. Low doses of the drug are most likely safe, but use sparingly. You may also want to avoid it if you are spotting.
Ibuprofen and Naproxen
These NSAIDs are safe for pregnant people during the first trimester. However, during late pregnancy they have been associated with an increased risk for a rare but serious fetal heart problem called premature ductal closure. If your doctor is concerned about this, they may recommend alternative pain-relieving medications.
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Abnormal Cramps During Pregnancy
Any cramping that seems out of the ordinary, such as cramps that feel severe and that dont go away, should be reported to your doctor. Its possible that youre perfectly fine, but its important to be absolutely sure just to be safe. Sometimes, severe cramping can signify an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when the fertilized egg implants in one of the fallopian tubes instead of the uterus. Ectopic pregnancy is a very serious, dangerous condition that requires immediate surgery as the pregnancy cannot be sustained. It can also threaten the moms health if the fallopian tube ruptures. Cramping on one side should also be reported to your doctor as it might mean an ectopic pregnancy. Cramping accompanied by vaginal bleeding should also be immediately reported to the doctor. It might mean youre experiencing a miscarriage. The doctor can diagnose it or rule it out by ordering an ultrasound or hCG blood test. If youre concerned about cramps during pregnancy, contact WFMC Health to schedule an in-office or telehealth appointment.
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