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Cramps, aches and discomfort around the tummy region are a normal part of pregnancy. There is a lot of pressure on the muscles of pelvic area, the ligaments and veins inside the woman’s body when she is carrying a baby. Due to this strain, one often experiences tummy cramps, which is considered a normal pregnancy symptom.
Stomach cramps: To what extent are they normal?
Occasional cramping due to stretching of muscles and ligaments supporting the uterus is normal. The pain can be dull or sharp. Whenever you get up after sitting for a long time, sneeze, cough or move quickly all of a sudden, the pain may become noticeable. Cramps can also be an indication of what you are eating. Overeating or consuming the wrong food can make the cramps more painful, and constipation further worsens the situation.
Exercising can also put stress on the muscles and cause cramping. When you feel cramped due to exercising, stop immediately and take some rest. It is body’s indication to stop putting pressure on the already strained ligaments.
During early labor, stomach cramps indicate stretching of uterus to accommodate the growing baby. They are no reason to worry.
If one is experiencing cramps with severe pain, fever, chills, spotting or vaginal discharge, it can be a cause of concern. If the cramps do not go away even after resting for some time, the doctor must be consulted immediately as it may point to one of the following situations:
A majority of miscarriage cases are during the first trimester of pregnancy. Severe cramping, accompanied with bleeding is a sign of trouble. Cramps and pain in the center of lower abdomen must not be ignored.
This is a situation when the fertilized egg locates itself outside the uterus. This will show as positive on the pregnancy test but as the baby starts to grow, the fetus will not be able to survive outside the uterus. Abdominal cramps accompanied with spotting may possibly point to an ectopic pregnancy.
If the baby's birth takes place before the due date, it is called premature labor. This occurs during late pregnancy and normally the baby announces its arrival with a number of signs, cramping being one of them. The mother will experience dull backache, tummy cramps, water breaking and sometimes, more vaginal discharge than the normal amount.
If one experiences severe cramps, the doctor must be consulted immediately. It is often hard to differentiate between a normal pregnancy symptom and a sign of danger; hence it is advised to take guidance of the doctor in any such case. It is normal to experience cramping even after delivery, when the uterus starts coming back to its normal size.