Wonder what cramps during pregnancy are? When getting pregnant, you get used to an amount of discomfort, such as tender breasts, sore feet, an achy back, morning sickness, etc. However, cramping during pregnancy may be a very concerning issue to a mom-to-be. This symptom can be mild to severe. Cramps may be a sign of a serious matter or simply another symptom of a stretching and growing uterus. Then, the question arises: “Should I be concerned about cramping?” Today, let us clarify some of the common facts about cramping right now!
Are Cramps During Pregnancy A Cause For Concern?
Of course, it is true that twinges in your belly or lower abdominal cramps during pregnancy are totally normal. But, it is an alarm if you experience severe cramping that you have doubled over or wanted pain medicine. When to contact a healthcare provider? It is when you feel severe cramping with spotting/bleeding, light-headedness, faintness or fever. In that case, this can be a sign of a serious complication.
Cramps during pregnancy 1st trimester
Cramping during early pregnancy can occur when the fetus tends to implant into the uterus. At that time, expectant mothers can experience a little bit of spotting. To be sure, spotting and implantation cramping should take place in the time you would normally get your menstruation period. Nevertheless, early pregnancy cramping and spotting can also be a serious symptom of ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage. As a result, if you notice cramping and spotting or bleeding, it is better to call your doctor immediately. It is also a good way to be safe!
Cramping in The Second Trimester
A lot of mamas also feel cramps or twinges in their abdomen during the second trimester. The main reason can be ligament pain, which just feels like a sharp ache across a side or a dull ache across the belly. You can notice ligament pain once coughing or even getting up from a chair. Is ligament pain truly bothering you? Then, let your healthcare provider know your current condition. In fact, she can help with tips, such as:
– A maternity belt
– Pregnancy yoga
– A pillow between your legs while falling asleep
– A birthing/exercise ball while you sit
– Taking a break when standing from a chair or bed
– Using a warm bath or shower
– A heating pad
Cramping in The Third Trimester
In general, other women can experience mild cramping during the end of the second trimester and the beginning of the third trimester. In that case, this cramping is also named having Braxton Hicks contractions. Although such contractions are painless, they may be uncomfortable for some expectant women. Some of them can be confused with real labor. Remember that mild menstrual-like cramping without any symptom around the week 34 or week 35 can show that your body is now getting ready for birth. What if your cramping is associated with pressure, backache, or spotting? Then, you can actually be going into labor. Be careful in case you are less than 37 weeks pregnant? In that case, contact your doctor right away since you are going into preterm labor.
So, how about pregnancy cramping after week 37? Don’t worry! It is a good indication that you are going into labor. According to many previous mothers, early contractions are just similar to menstrual cramps. Hence, what should do if I am in early labor and the contractions aren’t too bad yet? Then, it is a wise idea to follow some comfort measures below:
– Using a heating pad
– Taking a warm bath or shower
– Making yourself busy with talking, chores, movies, or books
– Sitting on a birthing ball
– Walking or swimming slightly
– Getting a massage from your spouse, doula, or family member
In case you’re indeed in early labor, then make sure to eat unless your doctor tells you not to. Some recommendations are chicken broth, smoothies, or toast. Don’t forget to drink lots of water, too!
When To Call A Healthcare Provider?
Wondering whether abdominal cramps during pregnancy are a cause for concern? As we mentioned above, you should always contact a practitioner if you feel anxious about cramping. To be sure, always call immediately or go to the hospital if you experience continuous or severe abdominal pain. Besides, it is a safe side to get in touch with your doctor if cramps are also accompanied by any of the symptoms below:
– Fever or chills
– Severe headache
– Spotting or bleeding with or without cramps
– Changes in your visions (including seeing flashing lights/spots, blurred vision, temporary blindness, or sensitivity to light)
– Dizziness or feeling faint
– Burning or pain during urination, blood in your urine or difficult to urinate
– More than 4 contractions in only 1 hour! In general, this can be a sign of labor.
– Severe pain that usually wakes you up at night
– One-sided abdominal pain
– Sharp lower abdominal pain in early pregnancy, along with passing blood clots and tissues or vaginal bleeding
– Constant pain with or without bleeding during the first trimester
– Pain as well as diarrhea and lower back pain
– Intense pain in the upper abdominal area, as well as nausea, headache, and vision disturbances during the third trimester
– Abdominal cramps along with a burning sensation while urinating
In short, whether cramps during pregnancy are serious or not, it depends on your current condition. Having occasional mild to even moderate abdominal pain is usual during pregnancy. Of course, the pain tends to be more severe in those who carry twins than those who carry in single pregnancies. Constant and severe pain with or without other symptoms can indicate a number of serious complications. For that reason, it is better to call a doctor right away when you notice anything unusual in your body!