Abdominal pain

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Bd de la Cluse 30
1205 Genève
Switzerland

Begoña Martinez de Tejada Weber
Professor
Begoña Martinez de Tejada Weber
Médecin-cheffe de service

Acidity, burning or heartburn, acid reflux, etc.

However they are referred to, abdominal pain is common during pregnancy.

Benign in itself, it can be truly debilitating in everyday life and can spoil your pregnancy.

Abdominal pain during pregnancy: The most frequent causes? You have stomach cramps, feel like your esophagus is burning and your throat is "on fire", especially after meals but also when changing position (when getting up or leaning forward). Meals become a source of apprehension and sometimes nights are ruined by acid reflux. These stomach ailments are common in late pregnancy, but may appear in the first trimester and get worse until term. Another type of pain can also arise during pregnancy: flatulence. You feel bloated and are prone to unpleasant "releases".

Sometimes, especially at around 17-20 weeks of amenorrhea, you may feel pain on both sides of the groin. This pain is caused by stretching of the ligaments that hold the expanding uterus. This pain should not worry you.

Advice: Start by applying some lifestyle and dietary rules, namely:

  • divide up meals (eat more often but in smaller quantities) - give preference to "anti acidic" foods: milk, eggs, mashed potato, almonds, whole grains 
  • cut out acidic foods, and food that is heavy to digest or that leads to fermentation: tea, coffee, citrus fruits, spicy foods, fatty dishes, fried food, fizzy drinks, cauliflower, cabbage, etc. 
  • avoid going to bed immediately after dinner -
  • to sleep well when pregnant, keep the back raised with one or two pillows  
  • avoid tight clothing

If pain persists and is bothering you, do not hesitate to talk to your physician, who may prescribe protective agents that coat the gastrointestinal lining, an anti-reflux and/or an antacid.

Warning: if you experience contractions or if the pain worries you, do not hesitate to consult your physician.

Last update : 29/01/2019