Do you know the intestinal cramps that you sometimes have when you suddenly need to go to the bathroom for number 2 (relief)? Even if you are pregnant you can suffer from it intestinal cramps during pregnancy. Some women have the cramps occasionally, others have a lot of problems. As long as you know that it is cramps, there is not much going on. In addition, you can also suffer from abdominal cramps during pregnancy. This can sometimes be quite a shock, but there are also many causes that can not be directly linked to something bad. Read more about it in this blog!
Menstrual-like cramps at the beginning of pregnancy
At the very beginning of your pregnancy, perhaps even before your pregnancy test is positive, you may experience some menstrual-like cramps. It can be quite scary to have these cramps, because you are afraid that it is a miscarriage. As long as the cramps do not get worse and you do not lose blood, there is as yet nothing to worry about. If you do lose blood and the cramps get worse, contact your doctor or midwife.
If you suffer from some cramps, this can be painful to implant. The fertilized egg drills, as it were, a hole in your womb and you can feel this. Stomach pain feels like mild menstrual cramps or stitches at the bottom of the abdomen. It can last for a few hours, but you can also feel it a little longer.
Intestinal cramps at the beginning of pregnancy
Abdominal cramps in the beginning of pregnancy can therefore be a sign of implantation pain. If you have abdominal cramps a little later in your first trimester, this still does not have to be alarming. It is fairly normal that you feel some cramps or stitches in your stomach or intestines, because a lot is happening in that area. This is how your uterus is growing and your uterus is pushing other organs aside. They will not all be equally happy about this and that is why they are going to have some problems.
The cause of intestinal cramps during pregnancy is usually the growing uterus. This oppresses your intestines so that they can not work as well. In addition, your intestines can work differently because of the hormones. From the 4th or the 5th week of your pregnancy you can suffer from rumbling intestines. Your intestines are then slightly off course. You can feel it through stitches or intestinal cramps.
Intestinal cramps at the end of pregnancy
You can feel cramps during the entire pregnancy. Because of the hormones your intestines will work slower, which may cause constipation (constipation) or you will suffer from diarrhea. It may also be that you feel bad cramps after eating or just before you have to go to the bathroom (very quickly). All pretty natural phenomena and a sign that your intestines are at work, but have a bit more trouble because of limited space and the hormones.
At the end of your pregnancy, your uterus and your baby are the largest and that means: even less space for your intestines. This can increase the intestinal cramps during pregnancy. You can reduce intestinal cramps and intestinal complaints by:
- To eat a lot of fiber such as vegetables, fruit and wholemeal products.
- Enough fluid to drink (at least 1.5 per day).
- Spread over the day to eat.
- Chew food well.
Make sure, especially towards the end of the pregnancy, that you do not eat too large portions at the same time. Your stomach is smaller at the end of your pregnancy because your uterus and baby take up a lot of space. Too large portions are stressful for your stomach and often also for your bowels.
If you suffer from constipation, do not grab the laxatives. If it stays on for several days, ask your midwife or GP for advice.
Causes of abdominal complaints during pregnancy
In addition to intestinal complaints during pregnancy, you can also suffer from abdominal complaints. These can be caused by:
- Growing uterus.
- Tire pain. After about 20 weeks you may suffer from tire pain because your uterus is getting heavier. This pain feels like sharp and short stitches or a nagging pain on one side or both sides of your stomach or groin.
- Hard bellies. In the second half of your pregnancy you can suffer from hard bellies. Other names are practice contractions or Braxton-Hicks contractions. During a hard belly your stomach feels tense, as if you have cramp in your stomach. Usually it is not very painful and it stops after half a minute to minute.
When to the doctor with intestinal complaints or abdominal complaints
Sometimes intestinal cramps or abdominal cramps during pregnancy can be a sign that something serious is going on. If, in addition to the cramps, you still suffer from the symptoms below, please contact your doctor:
- Blood loss (possibly a miscarriage).
- Pain with urination and turbid urine (possibly symptoms of a bladder infection).
- Persistent and very painful cramps.
- Surrender and being sick.
- Cold shivers.
- Abnormal vaginal discharge (symptoms of an infection).
- Persistent diarrhea (possibly an infection) or persistent constipation.
Reduce abdominal cramps or intestinal cramps during pregnancy
Gut cramps can be prevented by adjusting your diet as we have previously mentioned in this blog. Below are some tips to deal with the pain of abdominal cramps or intestinal cramps during pregnancy: