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Having pregnancy cramping at 19 weeks? We can help you deal with it

With pregnancy comes exhaustion, cravings for random food, mood swings, and a bulky belly. Sometimes, you may even experience pregnancy pain. One thing you may not be expecting, however, are cramps. You probably thought those would be over at least until you had the baby.

But cramping around 19 weeks pregnant is completely common, though it can get quite uncomfortable. If you weren’t expecting to have this pregnancy symptom, here are some explanations as to why you’re cramping, and what you can do to relieve some of the pain and discomfort.

A pregnant woman lying on the couch holding her stomach.

Why are you cramping?

As your baby develops, your body goes through a number of gradual changes, causing you to feel pain, start to swell, and get hit with cramps as your peanut gets bigger. The main cause of cramping around the 19-week mark is the stretching of muscles and ligaments in the uterus. Your uterus begins to expand more and more around this time.

While that feeling of tugging on both sides of your lower abdomen can be uncomfortable, it also means that your child is developing and growing. The main ligament of the uterus is the round ligament, and it is typically the cause of any painful cramping. As this round ligament stretches, it can create either an aching pain or a sharp, tight pain on your sides. The pain can happen every once in a while, but not consistently. If it is constant and consistent, you should consult with your doctor.

There can be other common causes of your cramping such as:

  • Being bloated
  • Excess gas
  • Constipation
  • Extra blood flow to the uterus
  • Braxton Hicks contractions, which happen around 20 weeks and are very short, contraction-like pains.
A pregnant woman having pains and holding her back.

What are some ways to reduce or get rid of cramping?

Depending on the cause of your cramps, there can be a number of ways to reduce the discomfort or get rid of it for the time being. Whether you have severe gas pain, post-sex cramping, or a stretching ligament in your uterus, you can be on your way to a more enjoyable and more comfortable pregnancy with these tips.

Some recommended ways to reduce or remove cramping include:

  • Gas medicine can quickly and easily reduce cramping caused from being bloated or constipated. Ensure you get any medications approved by your doctor before taking.
  • Changing up the position that you’re sitting or lying in can be an effective way to ease cramping. It will take the pressure off of the painful area and hopefully relieve it.
  • A warm bath can relieve cramping and help you relax while you’re at it.
  • Drinking more water may help get rid of those annoying pains since dehydration is often the cause of them. Ensure you are drinking enough water each day.
  • Don’t move too suddenly or abruptly. This can cause cramping as the ligaments in your uterus stretch. By changing positions slowly, you’ll give the ligaments more time to catch up, which will reduce the chances of hurting yourself.
  • Put a warm rag or hot water bottle on the places that hurt. Just like when you have period cramps or leg cramps, a warm compress will be a welcome help.
A pregnant woman sitting on the couch hlding her back and her head.

When are cramps concerning?

While most pregnancy cramps should not be a cause for concern, it is important to see your doctor whenever you feel a mix of certain symptoms. If you experience these symptoms on top of cramping, something more serious may be happening, so see your doctor right away.

Some of these serious symptoms include:

  • Intense pain in the lower abdominal region that lasts for an extended period of time
  • Spotting that comes with painful cramping
  • Fever or chills
  • Sudden severe headache, swelling, and vision changes
  • Painful urination and cramping
  • Intense cramping that does not go away
  • Heavy bleeding accompanied by intense cramps
  • Dizziness

These symptoms belong to a variety of conditions and issues that may arise during pregnancy. They are oftentimes accompanied by cramping, so it is important not to dismiss a cramp when coupled with other symptoms. Although most cramps are not harmful or life-threatening, it is important to be aware of your body at all times.

Some causes of cramping that require immediate medical attention include:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Miscarriage
  • Placental abruption
  • Preeclampsia
  • Ectopic pregnancy

If you experience any sudden or unusual changes during pregnancy, your best bet is to see your doctor just to be safe. They’ll get you set up with the answers and solutions to address any issues or relieve any pain. Always trust your gut and get checked out if you feel like you should.

But regular cramps during pregnancy are just another uncomfortable change that an expectant mother will endure. They are also an important and healthy part of your baby’s development. These half-way-there cramps are one more thing a pregnant mother gets to experience before they meet their precious peanut. Have a warm compress handy, get those feet up in a comfortable position, and tell yourself the cramps will be worth it once you are holding that little bundle of gorgeousness.

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