Your pregnancy will be a period of time where you are going through body changes so that it can get used to being a home to your baby in that belly of yours. With these body changes, you may be experiencing some body discomforts during your pregnancy.
Experiencing cramps during your pregnancy is something that many pregnant women go through during their 37 weeks of pregnancy. It’s important for you to know what to expect and also how to cope when you are faced with abdominal cramps, and you’ve come to the right place!
What Causes Cramps?
Your body is no longer functioning for only one person now that you have a baby growing in your belly. Your body will be working extra hard to help prepare for your new baby. This means that it will be going through many changes in order to adapt, which can cause some discomfort and cramping.
As your baby is growing bigger and stronger inside of your uterus, the muscles will start to expand and stretch out to make room. This expansion will cause your stomach to feel a sense of stretching or pulling, which can be painful. This kind of sharp pain can be comparable to that which you feel during your period.
You may actually feel more cramping occur when you exercise or you have a full bladder since that stimulates the uterus, and your uterus will likely contract. Cramping during pregnancy may be uncomfortable and concerning, but it’s actually a very common pregnancy symptom throughout all your trimesters.
How To Cope
- Drink water: You are more likely to feel cramps if you are dehydrated and haven’t gotten enough water intake. Therefore, it is very important that you are drinking water so that you avoid dehydration and also a full bladder, as both these increase cramping. Try drinking two cups of water with each meal and sipping on some water throughout the day, in between meals as well.
- Stretch: As mentioned before, your muscles will cause cramps in your body. Therefore, stretching out your body and your muscles is a great way to relax and prevent cramps from occurring. It’s a good idea to pay special attention to the areas in your body that you feel cramps the most so you can focus your exercises and stretches on those areas.
- Body positioning: Try to elevate your legs while you sleep because it will increase comfortability overnight. The best way to do this is to keep a couple pillows under your lower legs so that your knees, calves, and feet are slightly higher than your hips. This will avoid cramping in your muscles since you’ll have better circulation.
- Get lots of sleep: Lack of sleep and fatigue will increase your chances of cramps because of your tired muscles. It’ll be a never ending cycle that will not end well -- you’ll wake up because of your cramps and lose sleep over the discomfort which will make your body continue to experience cramping. It is so important for you to make sure you’re getting proper sleep and dealing with pregnancy fatigue.
When Is Cramping Not Normal?
Cramping is a common and normal symptom during pregnancy that many pregnant women go through during one or all of their trimesters. However, it is important to monitor your pain and discomfort just in case you need special treatment or care from a doctor.
Always contact your practitioner if you feel like something is wrong and you’re worried about your baby or your own body during pregnancy.
Contact your doctor or a healthcare professional if you experience:
- Severe abdominal pain on one or both sides
- Sudden increase in thirst
- No urination for a full day
- Burning during urination
- Headaches that won’t go away
- Vision changes, feeling dizziness
- Fever or chills
- Heavy bleeding during cramps
- More than four contractions in one hour
It is very likely that everything is completely normal with your mild cramps, but it’s always better to be more careful! Take care of yourself and trust your body during your pregnancy in order to have a healthy and happy journey.