SORE STOMACH DURING PREGNANCY
also known as Abdominal Achiness or Round Ligament Pain
As your round ligaments (which support your lower abdomen) stretch to accommodate your growing bump, you may feel crampy or sharp pain. There’s not much you can do other than take it easy.
As your uterus expands during your pregnancy, you may experience “growing pains” around the middle. Many women start feeling it around week 14 of pregnancy, but it can strike at any time from the second trimester on. Your doctor calls it round ligament pain, and it’s typically felt as achy, crampy or sharp sensations on one or both sides of the lower abdomen.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
Your uterus is supported by thick bands of ligaments that run from the groin up the side of the abdomen. As your uterus grows (and grows!), the supporting ligaments stretch and thin out to accommodate the increasing weight – which pulls on the ligaments and causes sharp pains and/or dull aches in the lower abdomen. Other causes of a sore lower tummy include increased blood flow (you’ve pumped up the volume to nurture your baby) and the buildup of your uterine lining.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
You’ll probably notice occasional round ligament pain more when you change positions suddenly or get up from sitting or lying down, or when you cough, sneeze or laugh. It may be brief or last for several hours (yet another mystery of pregnancy). But if it’s frequent and you experience other symptoms including fever, chills, bleeding, vaginal discharge, or lightheadedness), or if you’re experiencing more than four contractions per hour (which could be a sign of labor), call your doctor right away.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Kick up your feet (you’ll probably want to do that anyway, especially if you’ve got swollen feet and ankles) and relax! If resting in a comfortable position doesn’t bring relief to your abdominal achiness, or if it becomes severe, contact your practitioner and let him or her know what you’re feeling.