Cramping During Pregnancy
Having a baby is a wonderful thing, but many parents suffer from cramping during pregnancy. In fact, many parents are extremely concerned whenever this happens but most of the times there is nothing to worry about unless it is severe cramps. It is most definitely normal to have cramps during pregnancy. During pregnancy, your body is constantly changing and adapting to your baby and eventually getting your body ready for labor. This cramping is not related to your period but is directly correlated to your baby and your body. It’s important to understand why you may be cramping during pregnancy, how to relieve cramping during pregnancy, and most importantly what to do when cramping during pregnancy happens.
Causes of Cramping during Pregnancy
The following are causes of cramping during early pregnancy:
Uterine Stretching: When your body prepares for a baby, your uterus needs to expand in order to accommodate for your baby and thus cramping during pregnancy may occur. In more depth, the uterus consists of many muscles and hormones that are sent to the uterus cause the muscles to expand. Along with this, the ligaments that support the uterus must expand with it as well. This may cause mild cramping during pregnancy.
Implantation Cramping: Implantation is when the human embryo attaches the uterine walls during early pregnancy which happens around 9 days after ovulating. During this stage, you may feel cramping during pregnancy, but this cramping will not occur in later developments. This is actually one of the first signs of pregnancy, a women feels an implantation cramp and finds out she is indeed pregnant.
Miscarriage: A dreadful term that no one ever wants to hear, miscarriage. If the fetus or baby dies due to spontaneous circumstances, cramping during early pregnancy will occur. This is usually accompanied by bleeding or spotting. Call a doctor immediately if this happens.
Normal Cramps: Sometimes your cramping might not be related to your baby at all. It could be simply constipation or gas. After all, even pregnant women have to defecate.
Ectopic Pregnancy or eccysis: This is a serious pregnancy condition that happens outside of the womb. The fetus simply cannot survive and doesn’t develop at all. This complication is accompanied by vaginal bleeding, spotting, and mild cramps. Call a doctor if you believe you have these symptoms.
What do I do when cramping during pregnancy occurs?
Stop. Breathe. And slowly exhale and relax. Cramps will come and go and you do not have to worry about mild cramps. However, with that said, there are certain conditions where you must call a doctor immediately. If your cramping during pregnancy follows with bleeding, always call a doctor. This could be because of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, eccysis or other complications of the fetus. Other tell-tale signs that there might be something wrong are: vaginal fluids, fever, chills, lightheaded, and any other diseases. Diseases include: stomach viruses, infections, food poisoning, and other diseases.
In summary, you should always call your doctor immediately if any of your cramping during pregnancy is followed by one or more of these symptoms:
- Vaginal Fluids
- Severe Cramping
How do I relieve or stop cramping during pregnancy?
An effective method to relax and focus on something other than cramping during pregnancy is doing pursed-lip breathing. Pursed-lip breathing is a technique used during an asthma attack that can soothe and relax the body. To perform pursed-lip breathing, simply pucker your lips for a kiss and breath in and out slowly. This will help to get over cramping during pregnancy.
Another method to resolve cramping during pregnancy is to bend backwards slightly. WARNING: do not bend over your back too far or you can possibly cause miscarriage or have backaches. Also, refrain from moving around positionally too much when cramping during pregnancy.
If you are unsure or have concerns, talk to your doctor about cramping during pregnancy right away. Better safe than sorry with cramping during pregnancy.