From the very beginning of pregnancy, many women complain about stomach or abdominal pain. It may feel very similar to regular period cramps in the first trimester, especially when the egg is attaching to the uterus wall (this is called nidation).

As your uterus grows, it displaces your bowel, and it may make you feel pain in your abdomen, also like regular cramps.

Pain in your lower belly (Round ligament pain)

It’s possible that you feel pain in your groin area or your lower belly – on one side (usually the right side). However, some women do experience it on both sides. The intensity of discomfort varies from one person to another. Still, it’s often described as a sharp, sudden spasm in the belly. Your body is getting ready for your uterus to grow, and the round ligament stretches.

It usually begins in the second trimester as the baby gets bigger. Everything else in the mother’s body gets shuffled around and compressed. Specific movements may cause a jab feeling. It goes away fast but may come back more frequently as the womb grows, causing strain to the round ligament.

False alarm

Constipation and gas are very common during pregnancy since food is traveling more slowly through your body. It’s a good idea to drink plenty of water and take brisk walks to combat excessive gas and constipation.

When you reach your third trimester, you may experience “practice contractions,” also known as Braxton Hicks or ‘false labor’. These contractions do not indicate the beginning of childbirth.

When is stomach pain a problem?

Most of the time, they are annoying but harmless. BUT in some cases, abdominal pain requires immediate attention by your doctor. Here are the most common risks:

· Miscarriage, especially in the first trimester

· Ectopic pregnancy (the egg implants somewhere outside the uterus)

· Preeclampsia

· Placental abruption

· Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Beware of these red lights.

Never ignore sharp or persistent stomach pain. Call your doctor if the pain doesn’t go away after resting for a few minutes with your feet up or if you show any of the following symptoms:

· Vaginal bleeding

· Unusual vaginal discharge

· Fever or chills and sweats

· Pain or difficulty during urination

· Nausea and vomiting

· Your baby is moving less or not moving

Read next:

+ Early pregnancy symptoms: What to expect?

+ Premature birth: what you need to know

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