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Is cramping normal in early pregnancy?

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As a first time mom, you won’t know exactly what to expect from pregnancy, or what the normal early symptoms are.

But, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

It’s important to note that you won’t experience too many tell-tale signs of pregnancy until after your first missed period or a positive pregnancy test, but there are a few early symptoms to look out for.

One such symptom is mild cramping.

Here’s what you need to know about early pregnancy cramps and what they really mean!

Woman lays on bed and cradles abdomen while experiencing early pregnancy cramps.

Why do you cramp in early pregnancy?

Your body is going through a lot of changes in a very short amount of time in early pregnancy. Your hormone levels will increase, you’ll start to increase in blood volume and your body will start making room for a growing baby.

Each of these elements can contribute to abdominal discomfort and cramping.

This is a normal phenomenon that is generally no cause for concern. Give yourself permission to take it easy during this time, remember to drink lots of water, and get plenty of sleep.

How do early pregnancy cramps feel?

Pregnancy cramps may be experienced differently from woman to woman, just like typical period pains, but here are some of the sensations you may feel:

  • Pressure in your abdomen or lower back
  • A stretching feeling or pulling
  • A dull ache
  • Mild stabs or pokes

The uterus is a muscle, so cramping is expected during early pregnancy and even throughout your pregnancy from time to time, when that muscle contracts.

These contractions can be brought on by constipation, gas, bloating or having a full bladder.

When should I be concerned?

If you experience severe cramping at any point during your pregnancy, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor to make sure everything is okay.

Severe cramping is anything that gets steadily worse in pain and/or lasts for hours at a time. It can be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy, which is a potentially life-threatening condition.

You should also contact your doctor if you ever experience bleeding with cramping as you may be having a miscarriage.

Most pregnancies that make it through the first trimester go to full term, so once you hit that mark you can breathe a little easier throughout the other stages of pregnancy.

What are other early pregnancy symptoms?

Other early signs of pregnancy are headaches and light implantation bleeding. The more “heavy duty” side effects come as your journey progresses.

To guard your health throughout the remaining months, be sure to learn everything you can about the pregnancy timeline and what’s considered normal.

Take some time to learn about how pregnancy makes you feel in each phase of pregnancy, which trimester is the hardest and what’s considered healthy pregnancy weight gain.

And check here for even more tips for the first time mama for pregnancy, postpartum and beyond!