I’m 7 months pregnant and keep getting tummy aches – is it serious?
Pain in the abdomen is very common in pregnancy and may be felt in a number of ways. All the organs in your abdomen are being squeezed for space, your abdominal muscles are stretching, all the ligaments in the pelvis stretch and soften, and there is upward pressure under the ribs, stomach and diaphragm. It is hardly surprising that there is discomfort as pregnancy progresses!
Other common causes are:
Round ligament pain
The round ligaments are attached into the groin and run to the top of your uterus. They have to lengthen a lot during pregnancy and may ache or give you a sharp pain, especially as you move from sitting to standing. This is completely harmless.
The uterus contracts throughout pregnancy in practice Contractions called Braxton Hicks. You might feel your uterus becoming hard, or a firm rolling sensation across the uterus. They tend to increase in strength towards the end of pregnancy. Runs of them may happen lasting minutes or hours. This does not mean you are more likely to have an early baby. Some women are barely aware of them, whilst others can feel them as quite uncomfortable.
This is where a part of the uterine wall has thickened. Often they do not cause symptoms, but there could be pain over the area. This can be confirmed by scan.
Bladder or kidneys
It is possible that pain may be caused by a bladder infection. If you think this may be the cause see your doctor for a urine test.
Stomach or bowel
Indigestion, diarrhoea and constipation can all be more common in pregnancy and give rise to pain, sometimes quite severe.
If you are worried, or if the pain is severe, see your midwife or doctor. You may also wish to contact a Midwife or Health Visitor by phone, via Greatvine.com.
Ruth Armes is a qualified active birth and NCT teacher with over 15 years of experience and has supported over 2,000 pregnant women and their partners through the physical and emotional challenges of pregnancy. Ruth’s specialities include pregnancy-related ailments, Yoga for pregnancy, and educating parents about their options for childbirth so that parents can make the right choice for them. For individual advice you can trust, book a private phone call with Ruth at www.greatvine.com/ruth_armes