During pregnancy, your body will undergo many changes.
While some of these changes may seem strange and frightening, you can be sure that they are perfectly normal aspects of being pregnant.
As one of the earliest indicators of pregnancy, cramps may be somewhat familiar to you, because they are part of most women's regular menstrual cycle.
Throughout your pregnancy, you may experience two different kinds of cramps.
As soon as 8 to 10 days after conception, pregnancy cramps may be a sign that something unusual is going on with your body.
They can be anything from mild to severe, but will feel much like regular menstrual cramping, so you may really see the difference initially.
Pregnancy cramps generally are nothing to be alarmed over, but you do need to pay attention to their frequency and severity.
While cramps can come and go during the course of your pregnancy, cramps that become suddenly sharp and severe, can be a sign of trouble, even possibly early labour.
If you find the pregnancy cramps worse than what you've come to expect, don't hesitate to tell your doctor.
Menstrual-type cramps are not the only ones you may have to deal with. Pregnancy stomach cramps are also quite common, especially early in the pregnancy.
You may find that they frequently accompany some other unpleasant aspects of your pregnancy, like morning sickness, diarrhoea and nausea.
During pregnancy, your digestive system slows down a bit, so more nutrients can be absorbed into the bloodstream to nourish the foetus.
Pregnancy stomach cramps can result as your digestion behaves differently than what you're used to.
Again, although unpleasant, these cramps are not necessarily cause for alarm.
You may find that pregnancy stomach cramps are more prevalent early on during pregnancy, and gradually subside in frequency and severity as your body adjusts to the discomfort.
Unfortunately, some women experience these symptoms throughout the duration of their pregnancy.
If you should find that pregnancy stomach cramps are increasingly sharp and painful, it could be a sign of more complex problems.
Again, it's wise to consult with your doctor if you feel that you are feeling suddenly much worse than before.
While cramping of any kind can be unpleasant, it's a perfectly normal part of many normal and healthy pregnancies.
You might be able to help them become less severe by pursuing some mild exercise. This can help your muscles relax and make cramping less severe.
In addition, if you follow a diet high in fibre and nutrients, your body is much more likely to respond favourably by digesting food more easily.
Drinking plenty of water is also helpful, since much of that is also diverted to your bloodstream nourishing the foetus.
Just remember that, while you may not feel great all the time, it will be over soon, and all of the unpleasantness will be a distant memory once your baby arrives.
When your egg is released from your follicle during ovulation what remains of the follicle becomes the corpus luteum.
This cyst is what secretes progesterone during the second half of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone helps to make the lining of the uterus thick and nutrient rich for implantation.
Implantation cramping may feel similar to menstrual cramps.
You may notice implantation cramping before you would even be able to test positive on a home pregnancy test.
Some women mistake this type of cramping as premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or as a sign that they are not pregnant.
As the embryo burrows into the lining of the uterus it can cause mild spotting or bleeding. The bleeding can be pink, red or brown, but is usually scant and not like a normal menstrual period.
Implantation bleeding typically happens a few days before a missed period. Spotting around this time is usually not something to worry about but any bleeding or spotting should be reported to your doctor.
This stretching can cause mild cramping or a tugging sensation.
This may cause you to feel more bloated and uncomfortable. Because your digestive system is slowed down, constipation may occur.
Gas and digestive problems may be another cause of mild cramping in early pregnancy.
If pregnancy cramping is accompanied by spotting, bleeding, or if something just doesn't feel right, contact your doctor immediately.
To help relieve symptoms of early pregnancy cramping, you can put your feet up and try to relax.
When you rest comfortably, the pain gradually fades. While you're comfortably seated or lying on your back, put a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel and place it on the lowest setting on your belly.
You can also use a thermo therapy heat pad if you want.
Taking a warm bath or shower will also help you relax. Avoid quick changes in your position to avoid straining your stomach and muscles.
Make sure you are taking enough fluids as well.
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