So, the test result just got in, and voila! You are pregnant! A million surges of excitement, pride, and joy take you on a spin.
Gradually, some questions come creeping in quietly like “what should you expect being pregnant?” “What can you do or not do in early pregnancy?” The list goes on, almost till forever.
Pregnancy is an amazing journey that almost all women would love to go on. The experience is supernatural and magical. It can also be one hell of a ride! But how does your lower stomach feel in early pregnancy?
Women are made of strength; they hold the ability to overcome every ache and strain to make sure they hold their precious joy bundles in their bosom. Women can defeat all anxiety pregnancy brings their way.
Now let’s look into some vital pointers about the early phase of pregnancy.
What to Expect Few Weeks In Pregnancy
Video: Common Discomforts in Your First Trimester
This video discusses some discomforts you will encounter in early pregnancy.
From the validation of conception, the whole fertilization process happens right in a tube known as follicle tube. After the semen and the fertilized egg goes in the uterus, it gets attached to the uterine walls.
All the changes that later occurs in the pregnant body sets off from this point. The physical, emotional, mental and general alterations a woman begins to experience afterwards has just begun.
Varying according to individual differences, the first trimester is usually tough for most expectant mothers. It could also be just like every other day for some.
The actual trigger for all the changes experienced during pregnancy is owing to hormonal changes occurring in the woman’s body. As soon as you get pregnant, everything changes into a totally different scenario.
Gases might start to fill up in the stomach, lower cramps could follow, and retention of fluid. On some days, your emotions could be all over the place and don’t get us started on the weird cravings at very odd timing.
Round ligament discomfort will come and go which can give rise to some sharp to moderate pain around the lower stomach. This is simply aided by the ligaments being stretched to support the growing uterus.
How Your Lower Stomach Should Feel in Early Pregnancy
No two pregnancy is the same, and some of these changes differ as per body types. But here are a few generally known experiences with early pregnancy and your lower abdomen:
It may feel like you just had an ab workout when you clearly did not. Your lower stomach is likely to feel sour and even though it is not showing yet, it feels bulgy. This can start as early as week 4.
The lower stomach begins to feel bloated and kind of hard when touched.
As your uterus begins to stretch, it becomes hard and you could feel it right under your lower stomach. Although it’s not the same as when the bump appears, but it is your fetus growing.
Some women start showing as early as 9 weeks in. Prior to that, there is slight uterine stretching cramps. This is when most of your under wears, pants, and skirts become tight. The zips won’t budge, and the buttons won’t lock.
Although you don’t have a visible bump yet, you would always feel this tightness around your lower pelvis. It feels like a consistent painless cramping. You definitely know a process is happening right in there. You can get a pregnancy pillow for your comfort on Amazon.
You might also notice that it begins to feel kind of weird and uncomfortable lying on your stomach. However, there may be no visible baby bump yet.
If you are the work-out type of woman, you might want to tone it down at this stage. You need to give your body some time to make your baby.
You could resume later on after you have found some work-out routine suitable for pregnancy. Be sure to check with your doctor or health giver before taking up any form of exercise.
What Kind of Abdominal Pain Should You Expect from the Early Phase of Pregnancy?
It is worthy of note that having pain in the lower stomach or hardness/swelling of the stomach is not an early indicator of pregnancy. This is because the pregnancy bump is not expected to be conspicuous till a few weeks gone.
Although this may vary for women who have had prior pregnancies, the only kind of discomfort that is expected in the early trimester include:
This should be a lot comparable to the usual mensural cramp. It should not be alarming as it is just a sign of implantation. In some cases, this is followed by spotting (commonly referred to as implantation bleeding) usually a few days before the period.
This occurs mostly during about 8 weeks post conception and yes it can hurt sometimes.
Lower Stomach Discomfort and Bloating
While this can begin as early as two weeks post conception, it is normal. Almost every woman experiences digestive problems in the course of pregnancy. This happens only because your body just started the massive production of progesterone.
This hormone is known to slow down the digestive activities. This will buy more time for the nutrients you ingested to gain entrance into your bloodstream and get to the baby. This also results in constipation.
Frequent Urination and Bladder Irritation
Every pregnant woman experience this. For some, it comes as early as the second to third week, and it may last throughout the period of pregnancy.
This happens because the hormone (Hcg) that makes estrogen and progesterone also raises the flow of blood to the lumbar or pelvic area. This increases the efficiency of the waste-removal system.
As a result of that, you will experience increased bathroom trips. Also, the increased fluid that allows for a comfortable home inside your womb for your baby contributes to your increased visit to the bathroom.
Taste and Smell Sensitivity
The heightened sensitivity to taste and smell can arrive two to four weeks post conception. This can be totally upsetting to the stomach and might also aggravate the height of nausea.
What Kind of Lower Stomach Pain Is Risky in Early Pregnancy?
It is a widely accepted fact that early pregnancy can come with some abdominal or lower stomach discomfort. But some degree or kind of pain can be a red alert. It could be an indicator of danger.
You should take note of the following signs as they could be risky in early pregnancy:
Hardness in the lower belly or excruciating pain in the abdomen is however not a recorded sign of early pregnancy.
This is especially so if it occurs in the early trimester and has no kind of resemblance to the normal light cramping. It could be a clear indication of other issues or stress related.
If the abdominal pain or discomfort becomes excruciating or extreme, it could be a really dangerous issue like ectopic pregnancy.
This is a very rare situation whereby the egg implants some place outside the uterus, usually in the Fallopian tube. The woman needs to see her doctor very urgently.
Very painful lower stomach pain could also be a sign of miscarriage. This is the reason why a pregnant woman experiencing any serious lower abdominal pain should always endeavor to visit the doctor.
If the pain is quickly followed by fever chills, vomiting, change in vaginal discharge and/or blood flow.
If the pain or discomfort in the lower stomach makes it really hard to speak, walk, or breathe.
If your lower stomach and ligament pain persists past few minutes.
Common Causes of Extreme Lower Stomach Pain in Early Pregnancy
Lower abdominal pain in early pregnancy as we have been able to establish is a regular complaint. Nonetheless, there are specific conditions with symptoms that come by as abdominal pain.
Meanwhile, lower stomach pain could be caused by so many factors. Below are a few of the likely causes.
Tract infection, yeast infections, group b strep, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, and the numerous lots of other infection can be a leading trigger of lower abdominal pain in early pregnancy.
Spontaneous Abortion or Miscarriage
This can also come with very excruciating lower stomach pain and can be hazardous when the pain is ignored.
Once the normal intermittent mild cramping becomes steady and unbearable, the expectant mother should quickly visit a doctor. A scan should be done to be sure it is not a sign of ectopic pregnancy.
Ectopic pregnancy is very dangerous. Studies have shown it to be a leading cause of early pregnancy mortality in the US. It puts some women in the risk of hypotension, operative complications, intraperitoneal bleeding and a series of other long-term problems.
Uterine leiomyomas (fibroid) is also one major trigger of lower stomach pain during pregnancy
Why Does Your Lower Stomach Feel Uncomfortable?
Basically, the pregnant woman, at about few weeks into pregnancy begins to experience a budge in the lower stomach.
This begins to grow and can become uncomfortable along the cause of time. Don’t be afraid, it is your body making room for your little one.
Here is what you need to know:
The body physiology begins some alterations that cause the uterus to become hyper-active.
The matriarch hormones responsible for almost all the process of pregnancy is the progesterone and the estrogen. A pregnant woman will certainly produce a lot more estrogen in a pregnancy than she ever will in her entire life.
These hormones aid the placenta and the uterus to upgrade formation of her blood vessels. They assist the transfer of nutrients from mother to fetus while providing support for the fetus developing.
All the various hormonal alterations trigger the morphological changes that occur in the body of a pregnant woman.
After about 20 weeks in pregnancy, the lower abdomen often begins to feel slightly painful and hard. Most times, it flashes surges of cramp that come and go.
This happens as a result of the formation of the fetus head putting pressure on your abdomen. This is also the reason for the frequent urge to urinate.
Indulging in so much activity in the day that mostly require bending is another reason your lower stomach feels sour and uncomfortable.
Some Real Truth About Implantation Bleeding
Since we are already talking about how the lower stomach feels in early pregnancy, let us explore some truth relating to implantation bleeding. We shall try to decipher what your body is saying to you when this happen.
This might actually be helpful especially for women who have long being trying to conceive, or for the lot having irregular periods.
Many women, both expectant and early into pregnancy, do not quite understand what implantation bleeding is; how it works; and why it occurs.
The TV imprinted idea of the first signs of pregnancy usually is finding out that you have just missed your period. Though this is correct, but not perfectly a good yardstick.
We often fail to put into account that 20-50 percent of newly pregnant women may experience some bleeding early in pregnancy.
The theory of implantation bleeding posits that two weeks post ovulation, you might experience some slight spotting. This is as a result of the embryo nestling in the uterine lining, getting ready to develop into a baby.
The confusion that envelops women that have been trying to get pregnant is mainly whether this really happens or not.
What the Doctors Say About Implantation Bleeding
We cannot exactly see for sure what is happening during the period of embryonic implantation. Some doctors argue that it is most doubtful that bleeding around early stage of pregnancy is due to the implantation process.
One study actually researched to be sure as to the likeliness that implantation bleeding is most probably to happen. It also showed zero evidence supporting this theory, stating that implantation would probably cause bleeding vaginally.
What Triggers Bleeding in Women During Early Stage of Pregnancy?
There are numerous reasons that can lead to women bleeding in the early trimester of pregnancy. These include:
- Internal irritation induced by using progesterone pessaries during fertility treatment.
- Pimples and in grown vagina/pubic hairs
- Uterus or cervix polyps.
- Side effect from increase of blood flow/blood vessels which is essentially supporting the developing baby.
- Vaginal bleeding during early stage of pregnancy could also indicate miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
Howbeit, implantation bleeding could just be a polite way for doctors to explain the cause of slight bleeding. They do not want to cause little or no anxiety at all.
In the real sense, implantation bleeding probably does not exist. There are quite a range of details why a pregnant woman can bleed at this stage.
What to Do When Having Lower Belly Pain or Bleeding Around Early Pregnancy
Obstetricians advise that if you find out that you’re bleeding or think you may be pregnant; it is most ideal to talk to your OBT doctor or healthcare team. This is so that you can be monitored until a scan can be done at the 6-week-2-day mark at the time heartbeat could be detected.
When experiencing bleeding through early time in pregnancy, your doctors should run some test to ascertain your progesterone levels.
The progesterone as we have established is one of the pilot hormones. If the levels of the progesterone drop low, it could give room to spotting and discontinuation of the pregnancy.
If this is earlier discovered, the woman could be placed on a supplementing progesterone to potentially slow down odds of a miscarriage.
Try to grow some good rapport with a good obstetrician before getting pregnant.
What You Can Do to Relieve the Lower Stomach Cramps?
Abdominal cramps in first weeks of pregnancy is often a minor complaint when it is not risk related. They could be quite sporadic and could last a couple of days or weeks as the case maybe.
Take calcium or magnesium supplement to help tone down the cramping and muscles. Buy calcium supplement on Amazon.
Drink lots of water and be sure to incorporate enough fiber in your daily diet. This should be around 30 grams of fiber. You can support your fiber intake with some supplements. This should relieve the constipation.
To help the acid flux, try exempting a few hours after food prior to retiring to bed. This allows for the digestion to occur thereby making your sleep comfortable.
You might also want to sleep on some pillows such that your head region is well elevated than the stomach region.
To relieve mildly frequent urination, try cutting down on too sweet or carbonated drinks that well up the bladder. This adds to the unnecessary pressure in addition to the pressure of your budding baby’s head. We all agree that you do not need all that right now.
To relieve the discomfort of winding and bloating, you might want to consume small meals at intervals; masticate or ingest slowly; avoid drinking while eating; do not wear tight clothing; do not chew gum; and try to always sit up right especially during meal time.
For the heightened sensitivity of smell and taste, try to avoid any smell or taste that you cannot tolerate. This could be so upsetting to the stomach or give you a feel of actual illness.
The only sure way to know whether the bleeding is your period or a pregnancy related type, is to go to the hospital and run a pregnancy test.
However, this can be really emotionally straining for long expecting women who may not want to face the single line result or any form of disappointing news.