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Paula Kashtan

Abdominal Pain or Cramps During Pregnancy

Aches and pains in your stomach and pelvis during pregnancy? Find out what they could mean.

Aches and pains happen during pregnancy, but when you’re getting them in your belly, you might start wondering if something’s wrong with your baby. The good news? Baby’s probably just fine.

What could be causing my abdominal pain?

The probable cause? Round ligament pain. Your uterus is getting bigger every day, and the muscles and ligaments supporting it are stretching out to accommodate the changes. That stretching can bring a bit of pain, especially when you change positions, cough or are particularly active. These mild aches and jabs are normal and may persist as your uterus continues to grow.

Less likely causes of abdominal pain or cramps include digestive issues like constipation, food poisoning and gas, and  pregnancy problems like ectopic pregnancy and preterm labor.

When should I go to the doctor?

You don’t need to worry unless the pain is severe, constant or accompanied by bleeding or other unusual signs. If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor right away.

What should I do to treat my cramps?

If it’s round ligament pain, to get some relief, scale back your physical activity and avoid cramp-inducing positions. Also try a warm bath, or simply stretch out and kick up your heels—resting comfortably should ease the pain. If it’s some other condition, your doctor will point you in the right direction.

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