Pains in lower abdomen

I am 11 weeks pregnant and wondering if it is normal to experience pains in my lower abdomen? Also, is there anything I can do about excessive gas?


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

These two things may be related. Mild lower abdominal pain can be normal during early pregnancy. As progesterone softens ligaments and relaxes muscles in the body, it may cause the round ligaments, which suspend the enlarging uterus, to stretch and cause pain. These feel like pulling sensations in the right and left lower quadrants of the abdomen and are most annoying. They decrease in intensity in the second and third trimester. Progesterone also relaxes the bowel and slows it down, causing constipation and gas.

Make sure you eat a diet high in fiber, at least 12 grams per day. Most cereals have only one to five grams, but the less-processed cereals and breads have much more. Bran is especially good. Though most anti-gas and antacid preparations are okay to use in pregnancy, check with your pharmacist and provider before using one.

The absolutely best thing for gas in pregnancy is exercise. Even gentle stretching and yoga stimulate the bowel and get things moving. As the uterus grows and pushes up into the abdomen, it will move off the large intestine to some degree, which will also help. Try to eat six to eight small meals per day instead of three larger ones.

If you have seen your care provider already and know that the pregnancy is not ectopic, and the pain is mild and there is no associated bleeding or uterine contractions or fluid loss, it is probably one of the normal common discomforts of pregnancy. The book "What to Expect When You're Expecting," by Arlene Eisenberg, is a good one to troubleshoot various problems.

Sometimes it is pretty difficult to know what to worry about and what to ignore. An understanding midwife or doctor is, of course, your best resource.

I hope things go well for you.


Watch Video: Pain Relievers and Pregnancy

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