We hear you thinking: stomach ache is kind of part of the game, right? Yes, it is! But severe or persistent pain is not something that comes with the territory. There's a lot going on in your abdomen, so sometimes it's hard to determine where the abdominal pain is coming from or what exactly is causing the pain. Don't let it drive you crazy, but don't ignore the abdominal pain either. Abdominal pain doesn't always have to mean bad news, but it would be a shame if it did have serious consequences. So do you suffer a lot from abdominal pain? Then pay attention to this!
Abdominal pain is not a pregnancy ailment
Of course, there's a lot going on in your body. So it could be that the pain you feel sometimes is the stretching of your uterus. Also, your uterus is going to take up more and more space in relation to your other organs. So, ladies, you may experience more bloating, flatulence or constipation as a result. Pregnancy is not all roses, and it may not smell like it (Centrum voor Verloskunde, s.d.).
Say no to cystitis
A little abdominal pain is part of the job, but do contact your midwife if you are still worried about it. Pain under your belly and pain when urinating can be signs of a bladder infection. And you shouldn't let this pass you by. If you do not treat a bladder infection, the chance of a renal pelvic infection that can cause a premature birth increases (Center for Obstetrics, s.d.).
Say no to preeclampsia
Preeclampsia can also have serious consequences. You can recognise this by severe pain in your upper abdomen (Centrum voor Verloskunde, s.d.). This pain can be caused by high blood pressure. Take good care of yourself, by doing so you will automatically take good care of your baby in your belly (Gezondheidsplein, 2019).
From the second half of the pregnancy onwards you may experience ligament pain. Your uterus is not floating freely in your abdomen, but is held in place by ligaments. You can compare these bands with stiff rubber bands. They stretch, but this takes some time and energy. As your baby grows, so does your uterus. This pulls at these bands and you may feel a sudden stabbing pain in your abdomen. Tyre pain can be felt during quick movements or when coughing or sneezing. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about pain in the belly; it is just part of being pregnant (Verloskundigen Ridderhof, 2020).
Give relief to the abdominal pain
Are you suffering from a stomach ache after a long day? Take a rest. Don't let your belly hang down too much, so tighten your abdominal muscles when you're on your feet. Do you have the opportunity to lie down or sit down? Do it! A hot water bottle or a bath will also work wonders against the pain (Verloskundigen Ridderhof, 2020). Or let your partner massage your lower back, this is not only pleasant for you but also a nice and intimate moment with your partner (Centrum voor Verloskunde, s.d.).
A little belly pain is part of the pregnancy, but severe belly pain should not be ignored. Sometimes it is difficult to determine where the pain is coming from, but call your midwife if in doubt. After all, that is what they are there for!
Center for Obstetrics. (s.d.). Abdominal pain during pregnancy. Consulted on July 29, 2021, from https://www.centrumvoorverloskunde-roos.nl/buikpijn-tijdens-de-zwangerschap
Health Square. (2019, September 5). Preeclampsia. https://www.gezondheidsplein.nl/aandoeningen/zwangerschapsvergiftiging/item40200
Midwives Ridderhof. (2020, October 5). Tyre pain. https://verloskundigenridderhof.nl/zwangerschap/zwangerschapsklachten/bandenpijn/