Pregnancy brings about a great number of changes in the body and mind of a woman. Many women experience some discomforting symptoms including nausea, fatigue and body aches. During pregnancy, the body is getting ready to care for the baby and the resulting hormonal changes can also cause pregnancy cramps.
Many women tend to experience pregnancy cramps particularly during the early part of the pregnancy period. These cramps are similar to the cramps experienced during the monthly period. This cramping is caused because of the uterus that gets ready for the baby. Some women tend to experience cramping as early as seven days after ovulation and this is called implantation cramping. This cramping occurs when the egg itself attaches to the uterus. Sometimes the cramping is also accompanied by light spotting.
Round ligament pain is often a very common kind of pregnancy cramping. This cramping takes places when the muscles underneath the uterus expand to support the uterus and the baby as it continues to grow. Most women experience this problem. Pregnancy cramps continue right into the second and the third trimester as the body continues to change and this is perfectly normal.
Women might feel alarmed and scared because of the pregnancy cramping but it is important to understand that it is perfectly normal. Some women tend to experience strong and shooting pain in the groin or hip region and this is particularly true in case of women who have been pregnant more than once. For many women the pain is quite intense when they stand up after sitting or lying down. It is necessary to seek medical intervention if the pregnancy cramps are too high in intensity and are accompanied with extremely heavy spotting. It is also important to notify the doctor if the cramps continue even after the sixth week of pregnancy.
Pregnancy cramps that are concentrated on one side on the lower abdomen region may indicate possibility of ectopic pregnancy. Many women tend to experience cramping under the ribs in the region of upper abdomen and this is experienced after eating. If this cramp is particularly severe and extends to the area of the right shoulder then it could mean that the pregnant woman has a possible gallbladder disease.
Many pregnant women tend to experience problems of constipation and resultant cramping because of this. If cramping is accompanied with diarrhea and also back pain then it could be an indication of preterm labor. Many women experience irregular and intermittent contractions that occur in the second and the third trimester and this is called Braxton Hicks contractions. Cramps in the feet, thigh and calf muscles are also quite common in pregnancy. These ordinarily are experienced at night particularly in during the last trimester.
The leg cramps can be experienced in the form of shooting pain from the calf region to the foot and this may make the calf muscles seem rather taut and painful. The legs and muscles may feel tender and walking may become difficult. It is important to continue eating nutritious food during pregnancy as cramping may also occur following deficiency of calcium. The best way to alleviate pregnancy cramps is by taking hot showers or warm baths particularly in the back region. Hot compresses and heating pads placed on the lower back can also help reduce back pains. It is advisable to discuss the pregnancy cramps with the doctor so that proper steps can be taken to alleviate the pain.