Understanding Abdominal Pain in Pregnancy 

It is quite normal to have abdominal pains when pregnant, as this points out the healthy changes your body is undergoing. Your uterus is expanding, organs are shifting and there’s constant stretching of the ligaments to adapt to the rapid foetus development. 

How do you know when abdominal pain means a miscarriage?

A miscarriage is the early involuntary termination of a foetus, medically termed as “spontaneous abortion’’. It can happen at any point in your pregnancy, although the risk reduces as you progress.

In the African tradition, miscarriages have been associated with witchcraft, abortion, often regarded as taboo and bad omen. It is most often linked to a woman’s bareness and sometimes termed as a curse.

Signs that you might have a miscarriage

When persistent, sharp, abdominal pain is accompanied by heavy bleeding, cramping, or expulsion of tissue with clots from your vagina, they could signal a problem. The pains vary from mild to severe cases and could result in a miscarriage. Catching this early enough could prevent this through medical management. If you experience these signs, you may want to visit your doctor to rule out any possibility of a miscarriage;-  

  • Heavy vaginal bleeding 
  • Cramping
  • Sharp or persistent abdominal pains
  • Reduced or no more morning sickness
  • Not feeling pregnant again 
  • Mild to severe back pain
  • Expulsion of tissue with clots from your vagina

Read more about miscarriages here.

Safe home remedies for abdominal pains 

You will get relieve through the tested home remedies if done properly; 

  • Change your resting positions more often. 
  • Keep fit, by occasionally doing special exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles.
  • Change your diet, include more of iron, vitamins and fibre. Avoid foods that trigger gas like fried and greasy foods, beans, cabbage and carbonated drinks like soda. 
  • Increase your water intake. To make it tasteful, add fresh lemon or orange juice. 
  • Sit down with your feet up, for improved blood circulation. 
  • Instead of pain-killers, try using warm packs or heating pads on your back, don’t apply essential oils unless advice by your gynae.
  • Bend towards the pain
  • Support your abdomen using a pregnancy girdle or sling. 
  • Some essential oils like lavender, Eucalyptus, Chamomile are also believed to relieve pain.

In the rural area, the tradition midwives are allowed to apply an appropriate massage therapy. However, you are advised to choose experienced and well-known traditional midwives.  

In Summary 

It’s true that not all abdominal pain when pregnant signify trouble but better be safe than regret later. Miscarriage is one of the most feared causes of maternal complications. Seek professional medical support as you research widely.  


#Please note that development differs from one child to another.

#Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: healthline, njfamily, nation

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