If there is just one constant in the art of pregnancy it is change. Your body starts to change from the moment of conception. Those early changes go undetected, but soon the smallest changes evolve into bigger changes and symptoms of pregnancy develop. Abdominal pain is a common symptom of pregnancy, but just because many women feel pain does not mean all pain is created equal. During pregnancy it is extremely important to keep track of abdominal aches and pains and contact your doctor immediately if something does not feel quite right.
Safe Abdominal Pain
You are growing a baby inside your womb and that requires your body to change drastically. Your abdomen will stretch, grow and move in ways you never thought possible, quite often causing pain as one of the symptoms of pregnancy. You can expect irritation of the abdominal skin as that skin grows to accommodate the expanding uterus. There may also be slight cramping in early pregnancy and throughout the third trimester as the uterus begins to practice contractions – called Braxton Hicks contractions. These are typically considered safe abdominal pains during pregnancy, but when it comes to pain you are the true judge. Never be afraid to call your physician if you are experiencing abdominal pain of any kind.
Unsafe Abdominal Pains
Passing bright red blood is not one of the safe symptoms of pregnancy. Some women experience spotting early in the pregnancy when the fertilized egg implants in the uterus – known as implantation bleeding. This bleeding should not be as heavy as a normal period. There may also be some spotting at the end of the pregnancy when the mucus plug is released from the cervix, but again the bleeding should be limited to minimal spotting. There may be some cramping associated with implantation bleeding, but the release of the cervical plug typically goes unnoticed as no pain is associated with the release. Cramping of any kind – either associated with bleeding or not – should be reported immediately to your physician.
There are many aches and pains associated with symptoms of pregnancy, but abdominal pain is typically mild, associated with your growing uterus and inconsistent. Consistent or persistent pain may be associated with pregnancy complications or preterm labor and should be a cause for concern. If the pains appear to follow a regular pattern, increase in intensity, duration and frequency, you could be in labor. Labor pains before your expected due date, give or take a week or two, require a doctor’s visit or trip to the emergency room.
Find out more about the common and not-so-common symptoms of pregnancy on BabyMed.com today.