Pregnancy gets you accustomed to a small amount of discomfort all over, from tender breasts to an achy back. Some abdominal discomfort during pregnancy is normal, but it can sometimes signal a problem that warrants medical attention. Here's how to tell when cramps during pregnancy are likely nothing to worry about — and when they might be linked to something more serious. Some abdominal cramping and stomach pain in pregnancy is common. Early pregnancy cramps can be linked to many run-of-the-mill pregnancy symptoms , including constipation or increased blood flow to the uterus. Sometimes, however, abdominal pain during pregnancy can be a sign of a condition that requires medical attention, like a urinary tract infection, miscarriage, preterm labor or preeclampsia.
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A bloated stomach is a very uncomfortable feeling that can be quite embarrassing when it is accompanied by excessive, smelly gas or the sudden need to run to the toilet. Abdominal bloating may also interfere with your professional, recreational, or social life. Abdominal pain and bloating typically results when the gastrointestinal GI tract fills with gas or air. It is often described as a feeling of fullness, tightness, or swollenness in the abdominal region.
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Plus, with the sudden influx of new and intense hormones, pregnancy can be extremely uncomfortable in a wide variety of ways. Back pain, for example, might occur when your uterus expands to accommodate your baby, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ACOG. This throws off your center of gravity and stretches out your abdominal muscles. As you try to adjust to your growing body by shifting your posture, that back pain might show up in response.
Experiencing cramps early in your pregnancy can lead to anxiety. You might wonder if it is just normal uterine stretching and growth or a sign of an impending miscarriage. Because there are numerous causes of cramping and your body is changing rapidly, the answer isn't always obvious. Even though cramps can sometimes indicate problems, mild and transient cramping early in your pregnancy is usually normal and not a sign of miscarriage.