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Abdominal pain during pregnancy – Part 3

(continued from Part 2 Abdominal Pain during pregnancy Part 2)

Fibroids:

A fibroid is a benign tumor originating in the smooth layer of the uterine muscle. They arise in the middle and later reproductive years in a woman.
Look for the following symptoms:
• Gynecologic hemorrhage
• Painful periods
• Abdominal discomfort
• Bloating
• Painful defecation
• Back ache
• Urinary retention
• Pain during intercourse

It is important to consult a doctor if you have the above symptoms, especially as in pregnancy, fibroids can lead to miscarriage, preterm labor, bleeding and alter fetal positioning in uterus.

Pancreatitis:

This is a condition of inflamed pancreas. Look for the following symptoms:
• Upper abdominal pain
• Pain extends towards the back
• Pain aggravates after eating
• Swollen abdomen
• Tender abdomen
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Fever
• Increased heart rate

In pregnancy, it is caused by gall stones. Consult your physician for further inspection of the condition.

Kidney Infection:

This problem arises due to discomfort or pain in the region of lower abdomen and pelvis. Pain spreading to the kidneys can be associated with pain in the upper abdomen also, along with major discomfort while urinating.

Gallstones:

Bile is stored in the gallbladder which is a small organ. Bile is a digestive juice, that helps in fat breakdown in the gall bladder. The liver secretes bile in the body, which has a major role in fat digestion. In pregnancy, the production of bile and gall bladder action is reduced leading to bile solidification. These form into gallstones. They are also known as cholelithiasis.

Appendicitis:

Any acute pain in the upper side of abdomen in pregnancy (due to inflamed appendix) can be because of appendicitis. This is generally caused by uterus enlargement. It is a difficult to locate appendix issues in pregnancy but it can be serious if left untreated. Therefore, any pain in the stomach region should be mentioned to the doctor during antenatal appointments.

Stretching of Ribs:

The size of the ribs tends to increase as the size of the fetus also increases with pregnancy. This is to allow the baby to tuck in the mother’s womb. Hence a pain in ribs area can be experience during pregnancy.

Other harmless conditions causing abdominal discomfort in pregnancy:

Bloating and gas: In the pregnancy, hormonal changes are prominent and uterus growth causes pressure on the intestines and stomach, the digestive system slows down causing bloating and gas.
Constipation: The very same reason is the reason for cause of constipation in pregnancy. Constipation leads to pressure on rectum and this leads to abdominal pain.

Tips to ease abdominal pain in pregnancy:

These tips can be followed for minor abdominal discomfort during pregnancy. Any persistent pain in the abdomen can be cause of a serious condition, for which a doctor’s consultation is essential.
• Perform some mild and gentle exercise to get relief from the pain due to gas.
• Take a shower with warm water.
• Bend on the side of the pain to release gas and get relieved.
• Take plenty of water as dehydration is the primary cause of Braxton Hicks contractions.
• Lying down and resting may provide some relief in the case of a temporary contraction.
• Brisk walking is good for digestion.
• Eat smaller meals.
• Do not overeat during night time.
• Choose fiber rich foods
• Foods that lead to gas and bloating must be avoided
• Empty the bladder frequently
• Rest as much as you can.

Some good foods for pregnancy are:

• Eggs
• Whole grains
• Beans
• Carrots
• Lentils
• Salmon
• Sweet potatoes
• Greek yogurt
• Popcorn
• Walnuts
• Dark green veggies
• Leafy vegetables
• Lean meats
• Colorful fruits

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