The lower GI tract is affected by pregnancy hormones, which effectively slows the passage of stool through the bowels. The slower process allows the stools to absorb more water, making them more difficult to pass. Constipation can also result from taking certain prenatal vitamins and taking iron supplements. Hemorrhoids are more likely later in pregnancy when pressure from the expanding uterus can also make it more difficult to pass stools.
We can anticipate mild to moderate nausea and vomiting during the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, also known as morning sickness. In fact, nausea is one of the first signs of pregnancy for many women.
GI symptoms generally subside quickly during pregnancy and can be managed at home with over-the-counter medications. But when it comes to GI health during pregnancy, women should be aware of what’s normal and when to call the doctor in order to prevent potential complications.
Call your doctor, though, if you feel pain in your upper abdomen below the ribs. Although it is uncommon, epigastric pain may be an indication of preeclampsia, a serious blood pressure condition that can develop suddenly during pregnancy, or fatty liver disease.
Preterm labor symptoms include diarrhea that appears suddenly, in the absence of a known trigger, or in conjunction with low back pain, increased vaginal discharge, or mucus. Immediately contact your physician if you experience this set of symptoms.
Urgent advice: Call your midwife immediately if you have stomach pain and:
Any of these signs might indicate the presence of a serious condition that requires immediate attention.
Are stomach pain and cramps normal in early pregnancy?
Abdominal pain and discomfort can occur throughout pregnancy, according to the Cleveland Clinic. As your uterus grows, you may experience sharp, shooting pains on either side of the stomach.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, round ligament pain, which causes a pulling sensation or cramps on either side of the uterus, becomes more prevalent in the second trimester (though it can also occur earlier). This is due to the round ligaments, which resemble ropes and are located on either side of the uterus. As the fetus develops inside the womb, the uterus and round ligaments stretch6. When a person coughs, laughs, or sneezes, the pain and cramping might be especially severe.
Although discomfort, cramping, and abdominal pain are all very common during pregnancy, if pain ever becomes severe or persistent, contact your doctor to rule out any other possible causes.