The Pains of Pregnancy

pregnancy_painPregnancy can be a wonderful experience but along with it can come many unusual and sometimes uncomfortable sensations. LiveMD has the answers to your most common questions about pregnancy pains.

Will I Experience Gas Pain?

It is extremely common for pregnant women to experience pain due to an increase in intestinal gas. Due to certain hormonal changes, food takes longer to digest when pregnant and therefore more gasses build up, causing cramping and pain. This discomfort can be in the abdomen or can even move to the chest, back or shoulders.

Will I become constipated when I am pregnant?

Constipation is a very common complaint among pregnant women. It can cause discomfort, dull cramping or sharp pains usually in the lower abdomen. Constipation can be prevented by eating a diet that is rich in fibre and drinking plenty of water. If it does occur, a doctor should be able to recommend an over-the-counter treatment.

Will it be painful as my stomach expands?

There are two ligaments in the groin area that help to support the uterus. As the baby grows and the womb expands, these muscles must stretch which can sometimes be uncomfortable. The sensation may be a dull ache or a sharp pain and may be felt in the groin, abdomen or hips. It may also be felt when standing up, sitting down, coughing or sneezing.

Will my back hurt when I am pregnant?

Almost all women will experience back pain to some degree when they are expecting a child. Due to the additional weight that you are carrying as the baby grows and the usual posture that you stand and sleep in it is difficult to avoid back pain completely. By managing your weight, wearing supportive shoes, getting lots of rest and elevating your feet, you may be able to reduce your discomfort.

What are Braxton hicks?

Usually about midway through pregnancy, the body begins to prepare itself for the upcoming labour and delivery of the baby. One of the ways that it does this is to flex and contract the muscles of the uterus in an attempt to strengthen them for the big day. They are usually sporadic and infrequent and only last a few seconds, unlike real labour contractions which come in regular intervals and last much longer. Braxton hicks contractions are usually painless and feel more like a tightening sensation that spreads downwards and can cause your abdomen to feel tight and hard. These contractions are very weak and are not strong enough to be able to push the baby out.

When should I contact the doctor?

If at any time during your pregnancy you are concerned, have any questions or are in pain, it is recommended that you contact a doctor. A good obstetrician or gynecologist will be able to give you advice and treatment options to make your pregnancy as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

LiveMD has a qualified staff of doctors including gynecologists that are waiting to help you with any issues that you may be experiencing while expecting. Visit to talk to our doctors by phone, video, or text.

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February 8th, 2016 by