Five Common Causes of Belly Aches During Pregnancy and Ways to Relieve Them
Some short-term achiness in your belly is normal during pregnancy, and you can experience different sensations in different trimesters. Here are some common causes:
Many women feel menstrual-like pain or cramps for a day or so early in pregnancy. This usually happens when the embryo is embedding itself in the uterine lining.
2. Stretching ligaments
In the second trimester, the muscles and ligaments that support the uterus stretch, causing a dull ache across the belly or a sharp pain on one side. Many women feel this pain most when getting up from a bed, chair, or bathtub, or while coughing.
3. False labor
In the second and third trimesters, you may feel contractions or an irregular tightening of your uterine muscles, often called Braxton-Hicks contractions or false labor. These are usually painless and tend to increase in the weeks leading up to your due date. It’s probably false labor if the contractions stop when you walk, are irregular, and don’t get more intense or rapid over time.
In the last weeks of pregnancy, cramping that feels like a backache or menstrual cramps may be a sign that labor is imminent.
5. Normal pains
Normal abdominal pain may be the result of gas and bloating from the hormones that slow down digestion, pressure from your growing uterus, constipation, or heartburn. Changing positions, walking, or moderate exercise (such as housework) may help ease gas pains.
Relief from abdominal aches
When you feel abdominal achiness:
- Sit down, put your feet up, and relax. Resting comfortably should relieve your symptoms.
- A hot water bottle or heating pad (on the lowest setting) might help.
- Drink lots of liquids to stay hydrated.
- When you do feel a pain, bend towards the pain to relieve it.