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36 weeks pregnant back pain and stomach tightening
Symptoms, Development, Movement, and More
After 36 weeks, you’ve officially reached 9 months of pregnancy and are finally in the home stretch.
From growing fingernails to developing strong, healthy bones, your baby is growing rapidly during your last month of pregnancy and starting to get ready for birth.
You can take several steps to ensure you’re fully prepared as well, from packing a birth bag to picking a pediatrician.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know once you’ve reached 36 weeks of pregnancy, including how your baby is developing, what symptoms you should expect, and how you can prepare for a safe and healthy delivery.
Changes in your body
Does it feel like there’s no more room at the baby inn? It may feel like that, but your baby will continue to grow until your due date arrives — a date only your baby knows, which might be driving you mad with uncertainty.
Whenever you feel tired from your pregnancy, just remind yourself that your baby will benefit from every last moment it spends in your womb.
As of next week, your baby will be considered early term, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Full term is now considered 40 weeks.
Try to enjoy these last few special weeks of your pregnancy, because your baby will be here before you know it.
That said, you’re no doubt exhausted from carrying around your growing belly, and you might be weary with worry. Even if this isn’t your first pregnancy, every pregnancy and every baby is different, so feeling a little anxious about the unknown is totally expected.
If you find that your anxiety is impacting your daily life or your relationships, you should bring it up with your doctor.
One symptom during week 36 to look out for is contractions. This could mean your baby is coming early or might just be Braxton-Hicks contractions.
Overall, you’ll probably continue experiencing many of the same symptoms you’ve encountered throughout your third trimester, such as:
Many pregnant people experience breast leakage in their third trimester.
This thin, yellowish fluid, known as colostrum, will provide your baby with nutrients in the first days of life. Even if you aren’t planning to breastfeed or chestfeed, your body will still produce colostrum.
If you’re finding the leakage uncomfortable, try wearing nursing pads. You could stock up on these anyway, as you’ll likely need them post-delivery (whether or not you breastfeed), and there’s no reason you can’t use them now.
Nursing pads are relatively inexpensive and available at most major retailers that sell baby products. They can also be purchased in bulk and will come in handy after the baby is born and nursing.
Sometimes babies decide to come early, so you should be on the lookout for contractions.
These feel like a tightening or cramping in your uterus, similar to menstrual cramps. Some women feel them in their back as well. Your stomach will feel hard to the touch during a contraction.
Each contraction will grow in intensity, peak, and then slowly subside. Think of it as a wave, rolling into the shore, then gently making its way back out to sea. As your contractions become closer together, the peaks will occur sooner and last longer.
Some women confuse contractions with Braxton-Hicks contractions, which are sometimes referred to as “false labor.” Braxton-Hicks contractions are intermittent, don’t have a pattern to them, and don’t grow in intensity.
If you’re experiencing contractions, it’s important to time them. There are many mobile apps available that make it easy to time and record your contractions. Alternatively, you can track them the old-fashioned way, using a watch or timer (or counting the seconds out loud) and a pen and paper.
To track your contractions, record the time they start and when they end. The length of time between when one starts and when the next one starts is referred to as the frequency of contractions. Bring this record with you when you go to the hospital.
If your water breaks, make note of the time and head to the hospital.
If you’re uncertain about what pains should warrant a call to your doctor or a trip to the hospital, ask your doctor now so you’ll be prepared when the time comes.
If you start to experience contractions that last for about 1 minute and come every 5 minutes for at least an hour, you’re likely on your way to your baby’s birth.
Somewhere around 18 inches in length, your baby weighs between 5 and 6 pounds at 36 weeks.
During this time, your baby’s bones will begin to harden as the lungs, reproductive organs, and nervous system continue to develop, according to ACOG.
As more fat begins to build up under the skin, your baby’s limbs may begin to look chubby. Your little one also starts having more hair on their head and grows fingernails that extend to the ends of their fingers.
Around this time, your baby may also turn into a head-down position to prepare for birth. After 37 weeks, about 97% of babies will have fully shifted into this position.
Soon, your doctor will probably check whether your baby is readying for delivery. To check this, your doctor will look to see if your baby’s head is down by your cervix.
Your baby should move into this position by 36 weeks, but don’t fret if they haven’t turned yet. Most babies will turn toward the birth canal in the last weeks of pregnancy, but 3-4% of all term pregnancies will remain breech, or feet first.
Breech presentation is always considered high risk, according to 2016 research. Most such cases result in cesarean delivery.
If your doctor suspects your baby is breech, you’ll likely be sent for an ultrasound to confirm. After that, your doctor may recommend one of several ways to help baby move downward, such as external cephalic version (ECV). ECV is a nonsurgical method sometimes used to try to turn your baby.
If you’re worried about the potentials of a breech delivery, share your concerns with your doctor. Your doctor should be able to ease your concerns with all the resources available for breech pregnancies.
In an ideal world, you’d probably like to already have everything ready for your baby’s arrival. Realistically, though, there may be several things left on your to-do list, and that’s fine. You still have time. Here are some things to focus on this week.
Pick your pediatrician
If you haven’t chosen a pediatrician for your baby yet, you’ll want to pick one soon. While you likely have a few more weeks before your baby arrives, that time isn’t guaranteed.
Ask local friends or family members for referrals, and be sure to call ahead to schedule a tour. It’s not only easier to gauge your comfort with a doctor and the office environment in person, but you’ll likely feel less stress now that you’ve checked one more thing off your to-do list.
Pack a birth bag
Another to-do list item you should probably check off soon is packing your birth bag.
You can find countless recommendations of what to include from people who have gone through this before. To find what’s best for you, ask loved ones for their advice, then stick with what you find most important.
In general, you’ll want to pack items that will make you, your partner, and your baby comfortable. Some things you might want to pack for yourself include:
a copy of your birth plan
comfortable pajamas and slippers
things that will help you relax during labor
a book or magazines
For your baby, a car seat is a must. If you haven’t already, call your local police or fire station to see if they do car seat checks. Installing a car seat can be tricky, and it’s the last thing you’ll want to have to worry about when you’re in labor.
Get a new car seat to be sure it was manufactured with the most current safety guidelines. Car seats are meant to protect the child from one accident and then be discarded. If you buy one at a garage sale, you may not know if it has been in a motor vehicle accident.
Pack an outfit to bring baby home in, but skip the frills and pick something that will be easy to put on and take off in case of a diaper change. You may also want to consider packing a backup outfit, just in case your baby has an accident that makes its way out of the diaper.
Think about your baby’s comfort when picking an outfit as well. If you’re delivering in the winter, pick something that will keep your baby warm. If it will be in the 90s, consider a lightweight outfit. The hospital should provide most other basics for the baby, such as diapers.
And don’t forget your partner! Their comfort will likely be far from your mind when you’re breathing through labor pains, but now is when you can show them that their comfort matters, too.
snacks you can share
a charger for your phone and other electronics so your partner can text or email everyone when your baby arrives
headphones, for what could be a long day or night
list of contacts so your partner knows who to call or email once your baby arrives
a jacket or sweater for your partner (hospitals can get cold)
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If you’re experiencing contractions or think you may be experiencing them, call your doctor or head to the hospital. You should also call your doctor if you experience vaginal bleeding, fluid leakage, or severe abdominal pain.
As your baby continues to grow, there’s less room for them to move. While baby’s movements have probably slowed down some, you should still feel them.
If you notice a decrease in movement (fewer than 10 movements in an hour) or if you’re concerned about your baby’s movement, contact your doctor.
While a decrease in movement could be nothing, it could also be a sign that your baby is in distress. It’s always better to play it safe and contact your healthcare professional.
Is it safe to deliver at 36 weeks?
Babies are considered late preterm at 36 weeks. While it’s best to wait until at least 39 weeks if possible, some babies are born prematurely and early delivery may even be necessary in some cases.
Although the risk of complications is significantly reduced after 36 weeks, late preterm infants are still at risk for several health concerns, including:
hyperbilirubinemia, or high bilirubin levels
low blood sugar
Your doctor can help you determine the risks associated with preterm delivery for your baby and develop a plan to ensure a safe and healthy delivery.
What are the chances of going into labor at 36 weeks?
According to the National Vital Statistics System, approximately 7% of births in the United States occur at 34 to 36 weeks.
People who have had a preterm birth before, those who are pregnant with multiple babies, and those with certain medical conditions may be at a higher risk of early delivery.
What should I avoid at 36 weeks pregnant?
You should avoid alcohol use and smoking during pregnancy to reduce the risk of issues like miscarriage, early delivery, and fetal alcohol syndrome.
You should also steer clear of unpasteurized dairy products and raw or undercooked meat, eggs, poultry, and fish to prevent foodborne illness.
Additionally, be sure to limit caffeine intake to less than 200 mg per day and avoid fish high in mercury, such as shark, swordfish, or raw shellfish.
You are almost at the finish line. Remember to enjoy these last couple of weeks. Take naps whenever you can, and continue eating healthy, balanced meals. You’ll be thankful for the extra nutrients and energy once your big day arrives.
Pregnancy Risk Preterm Labor
Preterm labor is defined as labor that begins before completion of 36 weeks of pregnancy.
Early warning signs of preterm labor may be subtle and develop slowly. Many symptoms are present during a normal pregnancy. You may not always be able to identify a specific problem; you may just feel that something is different from what you have previously experienced.
As you read the list of signs and symptoms, the question to keep in mind is whether a change has appeared from what has been usual for you:
Menstrual-like cramps -You may feel dull, aching cramps in the lower part of your abdomen. They may be continuous or come and go in a rhythmic pattern.
Low backache - The backache you experience in preterm labor is usually located in the lower back. It may come in waves and may travel to the front of your abdomen. This ache is not relieved by changing your position. It may come and go, or seem different from the normal backache you have felt at other times during your pregnancy.
Abdominal cramps: Abdominal or intestinal cramps, with or without diarrhea. Persistent diarrhea may cause irritation of the uterus, which can lead to excessive uterine contractions.
Pelvic pressure: Sometimes described as a feeling that the baby will “fall out”. You may feel you need to move your bowels, but with no result. This feeling of pressure may be constant or may come and go. You also may need to urinate more frequently.
Increase or change in vaginal discharge: Any of the following changes may be a sign of preterm labor:
Change in type of discharge
Change in consistency or feel of discharge
Increased amount of discharge
Change in color, especially to a brown or pink
Contractions: A contraction is the tightening of the uterine muscle. The type of contractions that you feel in preterm labor may be different from those felt in term labor. You may feel only a tightening of the muscle. Sometimes, you may feel the contraction only if you have your fingers on the uterus to feel for the tightening. Occasionally, you may see the uterus tighten and appear to rise up like a ball. Contractions are normal during pregnancy, but you need to watch for an increase in frequency or contractions that come at regular intervals. You should not have five or more contractions or tightenings in 1 hour, or contractions should not be less than 15 minutes apart while you are lying down. If you have fewer than five contractions an hour, this uterine activity is probably normal and needs only your careful observation.
How to monitor:
Tilt toward your left side
Put a small pillow under your hip to support your back, if needed
Using your fingertips, gently feel your uterus for tightening. (Ask your provider to work with you in practicing the steps until you have learned “the feel” of your own uterus and its contractions)
Think of your uterus as divided into four sections, and feel over each of the four sections. You are monitoring especially to detect contractions that feel uniformly firm over all four sections of your uterus.
When the uterus is relaxed, you will be able to indent it with your fingers.
During a contraction, the uterus will feel firm to the touch. You will notice a definite pressure change.
Sometimes you may feel the baby move.
The uterus may feel firm on one side while the opposite side remains soft. You may also have localized contractions that cause a bulging on only one side of the uterus. This type of contraction does not cause equal pressure within the uterus and does not cause your cervix to change.
If you feel uterine tightening, try to determine how often it is coming and how long it lasts. Start counting minutes from the time the uterus begins to tighten. The time from the beginning of a tightening until the uterus becomes soft again is the length, or duration, of a single contraction. The number of contractions in any given time period (for example, one hour) is the frequency of contractions.
What to do if you have frequent contractions
If you have five or more contractions in an hour, or the time between the beginning of one contraction and the beginning of the next is less than 15 minutes, do the following:
Empty your bladder
Drink some fluids
Rest on your left side for an hour while re-checking your uterine activity.
If this uterine activity persists while you are resting, then you may be in preterm labor and you should contact your provider.
Remember, it is often not possible to determine true labor from false labor over the phone, so you may be asked to come into the clinic or hospital for observation and/or to have your cervix checked.
Adapted from: Preventing Preterm Birth: A Parent’s Guide, Editors: Michael Katz, Pamela Gill, Judith Turiel (Pages 28 – 32)
33-36 weeks of pregnancy
33 weeks of pregnancy
How does the baby develop?
This week, the baby continues to actively grow and gain weight, his height is already about 44 cm, and the weight of a tiny body is approximately 1800-1900 g. During this period, the baby is no longer so easy to turn around, it takes up more space, which is why and his movements. This week, the baby sleeps a lot and therefore moves less, and the amplitude of his movements also decreases. The muscles become stronger, so the pushes, although rare, are quite strong and more concentrated. For a mother, baby movements can be very sensitive and painful, causing internal organs to suffer. The blood vessels of the baby are already expanding and contracting, their walls are becoming thicker, and the tone is higher. Brain cells undergo a process of adhesion. The skin of the crumbs turns pink, and due to the increase in subcutaneous fat, all wrinkles on the body are smoothed out. On the head of the crumbs, the hairs become darker and thicker, and the hairs covering the body become less and less. This fluffy hairiness is called lanugo. At 33 weeks, the baby's skin is covered with a special lubricant that protects it and ensures an easier delivery. Lubrication most of all covers the face, back, folds under the arms, groin and neck.
How does mother feel?
The uterus of the expectant mother rises higher and higher, at a distance of up to 34 cm from the pubis, and the tummy grows significantly. This is due to the large weight of the crumbs, amniotic fluid and placenta. At the same time, it is harder for the mother to squat and make other movements. Strong and sharp jolts of the baby, as well as an enlarged uterus, can cause pain. But the expectant mother can already determine what exactly pushed her baby: with her knee or fist. If the tremors are light, this may indicate that the baby is hiccuping. At this time, a woman is recommended light physical activity, which allows you to take frequent breaks. Walking or fitness is best. Due to the fact that the enlarged uterus puts pressure on many organs, the mother may experience temporary discomfort, which is not related to any diseases. A high load is placed on the spine, causing pain in the sacrum, lower back and pelvis. In a pregnant woman, the volume of circulating blood increases by a liter, which has a strong effect on the functioning of the kidneys, oppressing the bladder and causing frequent urination. Sometimes mom can get up to six times a night. The cause of heaviness in the stomach, heartburn and nausea is the pressure of the uterus on the stomach. In this case, frequent meals in small portions will help to alleviate the condition.
34 weeks pregnant. How does the baby develop?
At this time, the baby has grown significantly, the weight of his small body reaches 2100 g, and the length is 45 cm. The body of the baby is already proportional and it is difficult to distinguish it from a newborn child. There are no wrinkles and folds on the face, the skin is smooth and even. The baby already often sucks his finger, developing a sucking reflex, so his cheeks are already formed and visible. Bones become denser, muscle mass also grows significantly. You can already see even the facial muscles on the face. By this time, the baby has already finally settled down in his mother's tummy and he is unlikely to be able to change the position of the body now. The bones of the skull, which are filled with connective tissue, remain very soft.
The baby's internal organs continue to develop. He swallows amniotic fluid many times throughout the day. Water passes through the digestive tract and stimulates the muscles. The pancreas and liver process the dense part of the amniotic fluid, which consists of vellus hairs, lubrication, and small skin flakes. The liquid component of the water is excreted by the kidneys. The body thus processes about half a liter of water. Bile continues to accumulate in the gallbladder, providing preparation for the activities of the organs after birth. There is an intensive preparation for the appearance of the crumbs into the world, his head shape may change. With the onset of childbirth during this period, the lungs of the baby are able to provide the body with the necessary amount of oxygen.
How does mother feel?
This week of pregnancy requires conscientious control of the condition of the expectant mother. This is just the period when a woman can feel false contractions. Painful sensations appear in the upper part of the uterus and gradually subside. With the increase in the duration of pregnancy, contractions become more pronounced. They resemble short muscle contractions lasting from a few seconds to five minutes. Thus, the body prepares for the upcoming birth. This process with varying intensity accompanies the pregnancy of every woman. Experts call it Braxton-Hicks contractions. How can a future mother distinguish labor pains from precursors, especially if she is expecting a baby for the first time?
Consider the main differences:
Preparatory contractions are characterized by a high interval between them, which varies in duration. And prenatal contractions are regular, with a gradually decreasing interval.
Preparatory contractions may stop immediately after rest or a change in the position of the expectant mother's body, and labor gradually intensifies regardless of the change in position.
Pain is also different. Labor pains are accompanied by severe pains that become more and more noticeable. Preparatory contractions are characterized by either sharp pain, or they can be completely painless.
False contractions may stop with the use of medically approved antispasmodics. While such drugs will not have any effect on labor pains or it will be minimized.
A woman can feel false contractions in various places. This may be the lower abdomen, the side walls of the uterus, the entire abdomen. Pain during labor pains can resemble premenstrual pain. Also, pain can begin in the lower back, gradually covering the front of the abdomen.
It is very important for a woman with such symptoms to ensure a sense of security, in case of any contractions, it is necessary to inform the gynecologist of the pregnant woman.
35 weeks pregnant. How does the baby develop?
Every baby reaches their weight and height this week. Approximately, his body weight is approximately 2,300 g, and his height is up to 47 cm. Starting this week, the height and weight of the crumbs will gradually increase by 250 g. But these parameters depend on genetics and individual characteristics of the organism. By this period, the formation of all systems and organs of the baby is already ending, and cardinal changes in the body are not expected. The amount of mucus that covers the baby's skin gradually decreases. The hair fluff practically disappears from the body, and even if it remains, it completely disappears after birth. The body becomes pink, the muscles are stronger, and the shoulders become rounded. The baby already almost completely occupies the uterine cavity, its arms and legs are in a bent state. The baby is already very crowded and the mother can feel his every movement. The baby often changes his facial expression, closing his eyelids and contracting facial muscles. Small nails appear on the fingers. This week, the formation of the genitourinary and nervous system ends. The fact that the bones of the skull have not yet fused will make it easier to pass through the birth canal. It is important during this period to control the number of movements of the baby. For half a day, approximately 10 movements should be recorded. If the movements are much more or less, the mother should consult a doctor.
How does mother feel?
Mom has difficulty breathing during this period. This is caused by the growing uterus, which pushes the lungs first. The lungs cannot fully expand, making breathing difficult. Also, an enlarged uterus pushes the bladder and intestines aside. This week, almost every pregnant woman feels short of breath, she has shallow and rapid breathing and a constant desire to take a deep breath. The cause of shortness of breath during this period can be a long walk or climbing stairs, as well as a long stay in the supine position. Proper alternation of rest and physical activity will help to alleviate the condition. The bottom of the uterus rises 35 cm from the pubis and 15 cm from the navel, this is the highest point for the entire period of bearing a baby. It feels like one of the hardest weeks of pregnancy. The body of the expectant mother is actively preparing for the upcoming birth, all ligaments become more extensible and elastic. It can also lead to an increased risk of injury and falls. During this period, doctors do not recommend flights and long trips. If you need to go somewhere, the presence of a loved one and a mandatory change of position approximately every 15 minutes is important. Mom needs to rest more often this week. Special physical exercises that will help reduce back pain will be useful.
36 weeks pregnant. How does the baby develop?
This week the baby begins to actively prepare for the birth. All organs of the baby are already almost completely mature and can function independently. The weight of the baby reaches 2,500 g, and its height is approximately 46 cm. This period is preparatory for the birth of the baby. By the beginning of this week, the baby is already in its final position in the uterus. In the vast majority of cases, it is located facing the back of the mother and head down. This position is the safest during the passage of the birth canal and the most convenient. If there is a breech presentation of the baby, a caesarean section is possible. In this case, it all depends on the individual characteristics of the organism. But this week, it is possible to change the position of the body only from the pelvic to the head, since the baby's head is heavier and this part of the body outweighs. The baby constantly sucks his finger and his cheeks become chubby. The baby also receives oxygen through the umbilical cord and also makes respiratory and swallowing movements. The baby at this time looks the way it is born, and the bones of the skull still remain pliable and soft to facilitate passage through the birth canal.
How does mother feel?
During this period, a pregnant woman feels very tired. The tummy becomes heavier, making it difficult to choose the position of the body. The baby begins to sink lower, preparing for childbirth, and it becomes easier for the mother to breathe. But this increases the pressure on the bladder, causing more frequent urination. The uterus is located at a distance of 36 cm from the pubis. This is the highest point throughout the entire period of pregnancy. The body of the expectant mother is being rebuilt, leading intensive preparation for childbirth. Hormonal changes cause an increase in hormone levels. The pelvic bones soften under the influence of hormones, trying to make it as easy as possible for the baby to pass through the birth canal. At the same time, contractions intensify and more abundant vaginal discharge appears. A pregnant woman needs to listen more to her body this week and carefully monitor it. With pulling pain in the lower abdomen, as well as pain in the lower back, attention should be paid to its duration and frequency. If you have all the indicators, you should immediately contact a gynecologist: premature birth this week is not uncommon, so it is important to respond to body signals in time. Mom should be very careful: do not make sudden movements, control posture, moderate walks and sitting time. During this period, sleep is disturbed, so the body is also preparing for the night feeding of the baby. This week, mom can fully feel what puffiness is. It is necessary to control edema, which can cause disruption of the organs.
Pregnant women experience hormonal changes that can exacerbate chronic diseases or introduce new diseases. The digestive system is also being rebuilt. Therefore, many complain that the stomach hurts during pregnancy, although there was no such symptom before. In order not to miss a serious pathology and start treatment on time, you can learn to distinguish between different painful conditions and eliminate their causes.
How to understand that it is the stomach that hurts
If you put three fingers in the midline on the area just below the xiphoid process, which connects the right and left halves of the ribs, you can find the approximate position of the stomach. This is a hollow muscular organ, which is usually located almost vertically. Its glands produce hydrochloric acid and mucus, which does not allow the walls of the organ to be digested and prevents damage.
If the mucous membrane becomes inflamed, pain occurs. It can be sharp, cutting, burning, aching and is localized in the intercostal region, slightly below and to the left of the xiphoid process of the sternum. Hungry pains during pregnancy are not uncommon, sometimes they are accompanied by nausea, belching, appear at night in a dream. In some diseases, pain increases after eating.
But gastric pathology is not characterized by girdle pain, a feeling of fullness in the right hypochondrium, bitterness in the mouth, cramps in the lower abdomen. These are signs of diseases of the pancreas, liver or intestines.
Causes of pain in the stomach in pregnant women
After pregnancy, progesterone is intensively synthesized in the ovaries, and from the 12th week it is produced by the placenta. One of the functions of this hormone is to reduce the tone of the smooth muscles of the internal organs so that the uterus does not contract and reject the embryo. But at the same time, the muscles of the digestive tract also fall under the influence of progesterone. Therefore, in pregnant women, peristalsis slows down, the muscular sphincter located between the stomach and esophagus relaxes.
As the gestation period increases, the uterus grows and displaces the organs. Therefore, the stomach moves from a vertical position to a horizontal one. At the same time, intra-abdominal pressure increases, gastric juice during the digestion of food can be thrown into the esophagus and burn the mucous membrane. This process is more pronounced after thirty weeks, but the first signs may appear early.
The nature of pain during exacerbation of gastritis
Causes of severe pain in the abdomen may be associated with acute gastritis or exacerbation of chronic. Various factors lead to it:
malnutrition - lack of protein, iron or vitamins;
irritant effect of drugs - antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;
infections - more often the presence of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori;
the influence of harmful substances - alcohol abuse, smoking, as well as work in hazardous industries.
The disease can be exacerbated by stress, lack of diet or gout, chronic kidney pathologies.
In case of exacerbation of gastritis, the stomach begins to hurt after eating, the sensations increase when overeating due to stretching of the walls of the stomach. Often the symptoms are associated with the use of spicy, fried, fatty foods or carbonated drinks. The pregnant woman feels that she has pain in the right hypochondrium, under the pit of the stomach. She is sick, there is an eructation sour, sometimes vomiting. Protracted gastritis disrupts the digestion of food, so there is flatulence, rumbling in the abdomen and a violation of the stool.
If the secretion of hydrochloric acid is reduced in chronic inflammation of the stomach, then the symptoms of the disease are less pronounced.
Features of pain in gastric ulcer or mucosal erosion
In most pregnant women, the symptoms of peptic ulcer disappear due to a decrease in acidity and an increase in mucus production. But in 1 out of 4,000 women, the pathology worsens. This occurs in the autumn-spring period in the 1st or 3rd trimester.
An ulcer is characterized by severe hunger pains that bother between meals or at night. A woman is often sick, sometimes vomiting appears, which alleviates the condition. Additional symptoms are heartburn, sour belching, constipation.
If the ulcer is left untreated, anemia develops and, in severe cases, gastrointestinal bleeding. In the latter case, the pregnant woman will vomit clotted blood that resembles coffee grounds, the pain in the abdomen will become severe, blood pressure will drop, and the skin will turn pale.
Sometimes, after overeating or physical exertion, the ulcer perforates and a through hole is formed in the wall of the stomach. At the same time, the stomach hurts very badly and unbearably sharply, sticky sweat appears on the skin, dry mouth, and thirst intensifies. Vomiting with perforation of the ulcer is rare. Then flatulence appears and after two hours the condition improves, but this is the appearance of well-being. Later, the pregnant woman develops peritonitis.
Bleeding and perforation of the ulcer are dangerous for the pregnant woman and the fetus. When the first symptoms appear, you need to call an ambulance. Otherwise, the likelihood of death from complications is high.
Other causes of stomach pain
In the later stages, stomach pain is more common and is not always associated with gastritis or ulcers. Sometimes other diseases or lifestyle habits are to blame:
eating stale food;
irritant effect of spicy, salty, sour or fatty foods;
stress or nervous strain;
long break between meals;
concomitant diseases of the liver, gallbladder or intestines;
acute infections, including food poisoning.
Sometimes inflammation of the duodenum, or duodenitis, is masked behind gastric pain. Pathology often occurs in the 1st trimester or 4-5 weeks before delivery. For duodenitis, nocturnal hungry pains are characteristic, which decrease after eating. Pregnant women have reduced appetite, nausea, vomiting, a feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen.
Pain in the stomach in early pregnancy
According to statistics, from 21 to 80% of women experience a pathology of the digestive tract for the first time during pregnancy, and symptoms appear already at an early stage of gestation. They may be associated with toxicosis. Why it develops is not exactly known, but it is associated with a violation of the hormonal and nervous regulation of metabolism in the body. This leads to nausea, vomiting, salivation, gradual dehydration and deterioration. In severe cases, the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates is disturbed in a pregnant woman, body weight decreases.
If a woman is often sick and vomits, the lining of the esophagus becomes irritated and inflamed. Therefore, from the first weeks there is pain in the stomach.
Due to toxicosis, a pregnant woman develops an aversion to certain types of food or smells, and her appetite decreases. Irregular eating can increase pain in the stomach, and later lead to gastritis.
Treatment of stomach pain during pregnancy
Caution must be exercised when choosing a method of treatment in pregnant women. Many drugs are dangerous for the fetus, so the therapist should select the therapy regimen. He will also conduct an examination to distinguish early toxicosis from exacerbation of gastritis, peptic ulcer or other pathology.
A pregnant woman is prescribed a diet. All spicy, irritating foods are excluded from the diet. You can not drink coffee, strong tea, carbonated drinks, chocolate, fatty and fried foods that relax the esophageal sphincter. Recommend food in small portions, but at least 5 times a day.
Coating preparations are used to reduce pain. They are not absorbed into the bloodstream, so they will not harm the fetus, but they protect the gastric mucosa and alleviate the condition. In addition to them, doctors recommend drinking tea from chamomile flowers or alder seedlings, which has astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.
Pregnant women with exacerbation of chronic gastritis or ulcers are additionally prescribed antispasmodics based on drotaverine or papaverine to relieve pain. Drugs that increase intestinal tone, which include metoclopramide, also help.
How can I reduce or prevent stomach pain?
In order not to get sick during pregnancy or to prevent digestive problems, you need to eat right. For this, dishes are boiled, stewed, baked, cooked from vegetables, cereals, dairy products and lean meat. Spicy seasonings, fried and fatty foods, other heavy foods during pregnancy should be excluded.
To relieve the condition, do not overeat during the day, it is better to eat 5 times, but in small portions. Sleeping on an empty stomach is bad, but late dinner is also harmful. Therefore, it can be replaced with a glass of unsweetened yogurt or kefir.
Doctors do not recommend lying down immediately after eating, as there is a higher risk of stomach contents entering the esophagus and heartburn.