Pregnancy can be uncomfortable. Sore feet, tender breasts and an achy back – all worth it, of course, but it’s not the most comfortable time of your life. However, if you’re experiencing abdominal cramps or pain, that discomfort can quickly turn into worry. But is there really a need to worry?
The good news is that pains or cramps are very common, and usually nothing to worry about. After all, your body is doing its best to accommodate your growing baby by moving your organs and stretching your ligaments, which can certainly cause some discomfort. Trapped wind or constipation can also cause the cramps – glamorous.
These pains can be sharp or crampy, and usually go away by adjusting your position, taking a rest or having a warm shower or bath, or they clear up on their own shortly after onset. As with other pains, you can help keep it under control by eating a balanced diet, exercising often and in a way
that is safe and avoid standing for long periods of time. Be careful when lifting heavy loads – especially children! Bend at the knees, keep your back as straight as you can and raise yourself back up slowly.
However, if the pain is accompanied with vomiting, fever, chills, bleeding or spotting or the pain is continuous, it’s important to contact your doctor or midwife just to be safe. Trust your intuition; if something doesn’t seem right, it doesn’t hurt to get it checked out.
With your organs shifting and your belly growing, unsurprisingly, comes some back pain. Your growing baby changes your whole centre of
gravity, leading to pain in the middle lower back area and may even wrap around to your hips and pubic bone, too.
Exercises such as squats, lunges or bridges can help support your posture, and swimming is another pregnancy-friendly way to get moving and
take the stress off your joints. Overly tight pelvic muscles can also contribute to back pain, so it’s a good idea to see a pelvic floor physiotherapist. You can also practise deep breathing, mindfulness, or treat yourself to a pregnancy massage.