When you're pregnant, it can seem like every little thing is a cause for alarm. Especially when it comes to your baby bump. As tempting as it is to worry about each ache and pain — and there will probably be a lot of them — knowing the true pregnancy stomach red flags to watch out for will save you a lot of unnecessary worry in the long run as well as help you discern if there should ever be a true cause for alarm.
The majority of the time, your stomach problems won't be related to the baby at all and will merely be the result of your stomach having less and less room and your baby occupying more and more. But sometimes, there are abdominal pains and other problems that arise that indicate something more serious.
The line between harmless and harmful isn't always black and white, so knowing the difference between a typical pregnancy pain and a more severe one is crucial both for your sanity and for you and your baby's health. Differentiating between cramps, sharp pains, indigestion, itching and other issues can be tricky, but read on to know the major red flags when it comes to all related to your pregnancy abdomen.
1. You Suffer Severe Abdominal Pain
Although some cramping and stomach discomfort is normal during pregnancy, if you're experiencing sharp abdominal pain, particularly on the right side, the American Pregnancy Association (APA) recommended going to the hospital as severe abdominal pain is sometimes a sign of an ectopic pregnancy.
The APA also noted that cramping and sharp pain that is accompanied by chills or fever, won't let up when you rest, or causes you to be breathless is especially concerning as well.
2. You Feel Less Kick Counts During Third Trimester
It's recommended by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) that you begin counting kicks at around 28 weeks. The APA instructed mothers to see their doctor or midwife if they notice significant decrease in movement for a few consecutive days or if you've followed the directions for performing kick counts, waited an hour and tried again with no improvement.
3. You Experience Rapid Weight Gain
Although this will effect your entire body and not only your abdomen, it's worth pointing out that if you're gaining more than four pounds per week, What To Expect noted that you may be experiencing pre-eclampsia symptoms and should see your doctor.
4. Severe Itching
Although you're bound to feel some itching due to how much your skin is stretching, if you feel severe itching anywhere, not just your abdomen, it could be a warning sign of a very rare liver problem during pregnancy. Baby Center noted that the condition, called obstetric cholestasis, affects a small percentage of moms, and although not much is known about what causes it, it may cause early birth.