Cramping In Early Pregnancy
Cramping In Early Pregnancy and the nerves and jitters of a first pregnancy are unrelenting. You have read every book, listened to every woman who has ever given birth, called your mom five times a day but you still don’t know what to expect.
Cramping In Early Pregnancy is one of the biggest concerns, especially in early pregnancy. It is difficult to know what is “normal” and what requires immediate medical attention. Sorting through the mountain of information is overwhelming. Let’s start by defining the different kinds of cramping that can happen during pregnancy.
The first trimester of pregnancy can be rough. Hormones are rocketing through your body, morning sickness isn’t just for the morning and your body feels different. Cramping In Early Pregnancy is normal and to be expected.
The uterus and all the surrounding muscles and tendons are stretching and growing making room for your baby. This can trigger uncomfortable cramps similar to that of menstruation or how you may feel after a particularly hard workout with a slight to uncomfortable tugging in the very low abdomen above the pubic bone.
Because every human is different cramping can also happen in the low back and radiate around into the low belly. As the uterus grows it shifts the pelvis which begins to tip forward and this too can trigger muscle cramping similar to that of a mild muscle spasm.
It is important to understand this Cramping In Early Pregnancy is uncomfortable, scary but completely normal. It is not normal when it is extreme or accompanied by bleeding. If this happens then you need to see a doctor immediately.
Every person will experience cramping differently or not at all. Leg and feet cramps are common in pregnancy and they hurt! These normally start much later in the pregnancy and the medical community is not clear on the cause. There is no mistaking these for anything other than a cramp. They are the “hop out of bed in the middle of the night, screaming” type of pain in your legs or feet.
A final type of cramp is the Braxton Hicks contractions experienced near the end of the pregnancy. These pains are a warm-up for giving birth. They too are uncomfortable to almost painful and are more of a gentle squeezing of your tight belly starting near the top and working their way down your belly. This type of cramping is normal too. It is nature strengthening you for what is to come. While the pain of a Braxton Hicks can stop you in your tracks, they are short-lived and eventually pass or fade away.
Cramping In Early Pregnancy
Back to early pregnancy cramps, there are many things that can contribute to the growing uterus cramps, like gas and bloat, constipation and sexual intercourse. The hormonal changes in the body cause inflammation and constipation is a real concern. When constipated, it adds pressure to an area of your body that is rapidly changing which can trigger more cramping. The increase in progesterone which controls the smooth muscle in the body as well as the increased amount of blood volume contributes to constipation in pregnancy, especially in the first trimester.
The fifth week of pregnancy is quite a common time women report cramping and pain with sexual intercourse, especially with orgasm. This too is related to the hormonal changes. This is normal and unless told not to be sexually active, you are able to continue at your comfort level. As if a woman needed more complications during a pregnancy, gas can become a painful cramp-inducing issue adding to the pregnancy jitters. The morning sickness, hormonal changes and probably some diet changes will all produce gas. This is never comfortable and worse so in pregnancy.
A final cause of cramping is implanting which is when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus. This can be accompanied by spotting and it too is normal. The spotting will stop in a couple days but the cramps may continue. As with any bleeding, it is important to contact your doctor to be safe.
Cramping In Pregnancy Relief
There are things you can do to help with the cramping. Start by relaxing. This is an amazing time and a woman’s body is a miracle to change as it does to produce and grow a life within. It is a complex physiologically complex process, so mentally relaxing and let the process happen will help with the pain. This is a great time to practice relaxation exercises and marvel at the miracle you and the life within.
If you notice one position like standing makes the cramping worse, try changing positions to provide relief. If laying on your right side is the uncomfortable switch to the other side, use a pillow or raise the head of your bed. Keeping calm, comfortable and relaxed is the name of the game at this stage.
A warm bath with an added treat of candles will help relieve the cramping sensation. While the candles won’t provide any physical relief, they will relaxation while the warm water relaxes muscles. Hot tubs or extremely hot water is not recommended and should be discussed with your doctor. The use of a water bottle wrapped in a towel and placed on your tummy or back where you are experiencing the cramping may provide relief too. Other similar remedies like a heating pad or a rice bag warmed in the microwave will work similarly to a bath.
You’ll hear it at least a million times but drinking fluids are so important when pregnant. As previously mentioned the hormonal changes of pregnancy create changes all over your body like with your intestines and constipation. Drinking more than the daily recommended amounts will keep your muscles well hydrated, your bowels functioning well and help with that increased blood volume which is now nourishing your baby.
Pregnancy is beyond an amazing time in a woman’s life. There are so many changes that happen to a woman’s body and it can be frightening. Cramping In Early Pregnancy is normal for many reasons and can be treated at home with self-care. If the cramps are intense and accompanied with heavy bleeding you must contact your doctor right away.
Enjoy the miracle of your own body and that if of the life growing inside of you, expect some discomfort through the different stages and know that it is a normal part of the miracle.