1st Trimester

First Trimester Pregnancy Cramps



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First trimester cramps are a normal part of pregnancy and the changes a woman's body must go through to nourish and birth a baby. While some of the causes are treatable, others are not. Each type of cramps will be different and require different types of attention for prevention or pain reduction.

"Growing pains"
The main cause of first trimester cramps is the changing shape of the uterus as it expands to accommodate the growing fetus. As it stretches, the uterus will cramp moderately to severely. Since the uterus is the large muscle that will eventually push the baby into the world, it will cramp under this new type of activity.

Proper hydration and nutrition is effective relief against more severe uterine cramps. Just as a mother would stay hydrated and well nourished to build other muscles, extraordinary care should be taken to care for the building on the uterus.

Prenatal vitamins will help alleviate the symptoms of growing pains to a degree. Keegal exercises, prescribed to help the uterus return to its normal shape and place after birth, are effective at relieving some of the uterine cramps associated with the changes in the uterus.

"Making room"
When the uterus pushes against the bladder and the intestine, both organs will cramp slightly. These sharp, short-lived cramps can be calmed by stretching the abdominal muscles by arching the lower back and by bending over at the waist.

Occasionally, women will experience sharp cramps of the muscles surrounding the kidneys. Sharp cramping pain will be brief, but can be intense. Lying on the belly and pushing the torso up with the arms increases blood flow to the cramping muscles which grants relief.

The swelling of the belly will tax all muscles in the abdominal region, including those in the lower back. Women whose abdominal muscles are tightest will experience these cramps with more frequency than women with more supple abdominals.

Working to stretch the muscles, in combination with a vitamin regimen designed for prenatal care and muscle lubrication, will help these cramps disappear. Prevention of these cramps comes in the form of yoga-type, low impact stretching exercise, proper hydration and excellent nutrition.

"Fatigue"
The last form of first trimester cramps are the result of simple fatigue. Occurring in the abdominals, lower back and legs, fatigue cramps are both treatable and avoidable.

As the body shifts from taking care only of itself to taking care of a fetus, the mother must take care of herself. The basic building blocks of care are proper rest, including naps as needed, proper hydration to produce excess blood and nutrients for the fetus and care for the muscles.

Pregnancy is taxing on the body. These cramps can be alleviated, or avoided altogether, by proper rest and nutrition. Prenatal vitamins will help. If they do not, consult an obstetrician concerning potassium and iron levels.

Healthy bodies fare best during the first trimester. Before considering pregnancy, contact an obstetrician to discuss pre-pregnancy nutrition, conditioning and care. Following medical advice on proper hydration, exercise and nutrition will minimize the pain of first trimester cramps.

 

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