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Stomach cramps in early pregnancy

Aches and pains in early pregnancy are usually just a sign of your changing body, but when are stomach cramps safe, and when are they a concern?


Posted: 5 March 2011
by Kimberley Smith

Woman in early pregnancy holding onto her stomach during a stomach cramp
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Not all stomach cramps in pregnancy are a cause for concern

Not all tummy pains in early pregnancy are a bad thing and signal a miscarriage. There are huge changes beginning in your body right now so twinges and cramps in your belly are often just a sign of this. As soon as a fertilised egg implants in your womb, your body begins to change, and comes under the control of pregnancy hormones. Because of this, pregnancy stomach cramps and other aches and pains in your belly are perfectly normal.

The kind of cramps you get in early pregnancy aren't usually as strong as monthly period cramps can be and are often caused by the ligaments stretching as the uterus grows. If it feels more like mild tugging than a stabbing pain, then you probably have nothing to worry about.

Having a baby puts lots of pressure on your muscles, veins and joints, so it's not surprising that you're going to feel some aches. You're likely to find that you feel any early pregnancy stomach cramps more strongly on your right hand side. This is because, as your baby gets bigger, your womb has a tendency to tilt to the right.

Making love and achieving orgasm during pregnancy can sometimes bring on stomach cramps. Ease them by making love nice and slowly. And why not ask your partner to give you a post-sex back rub too.

Am I having a miscarriage?

More on abdominal pains and what they mean

What if I feel unwell and have pregnancy stomach cramps?

The tummy cramps you're experiencing could mean that you're sick with something that has nothing to do with your baby. A urinary tract infection, kidney stones, appendicitis or gall bladder problems can also cause stomach cramps.

What other aches and pains will I experience in my first trimester?

How can I ease pregnancy stomach cramps?

Try lying down on the side opposite to where you're feeling the pain. A warm bath might also help. You can sometimes also relieve the pain of pregnancy stomach cramps with a hot water bottle or a wheat bag that you heat up in the microwave.

How else will hormones change my body now I'm pregnant?

But could my pregnancy stomach cramps be something serious?

Find out when pregnancy stomach cramps are a cause for concern. If you're worried about othe pregnancy symptoms you might be experiencing we have more information on bleeding in early pregnancy and what to watch for and implantation bleeding and why it can explain light spotting in early pregnancy. Find out when you should contact your doctor or midwife

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stomach cramps, stomach, cramps, early pregnancy, stomach cramps early pregnancy, pregnancy stomach cramps, aches and pains, first trimester, pregnancy, pregnant, miscarriage, worry, uterus, hormones, bleeding, implantation bleeding
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