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Abdominal Pain in Pregnancy


Abdominal pain during pregnancy is common. Some of the causes include heartburn, constipation, gas, false labor, and round ligament pain. Round ligament pain is caused by stretching of the ligaments that support your uterus. Abdominal pain may be caused by a health problem, such as a stomach virus or appendicitis (inflammation of the appendix). The pain may also be caused by a problem with your pregnancy, such as a threatened miscarriage or preterm labor.


Follow up with your obstetrician within 3 days:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.


  • Rest may help to relieve round ligament pain. Ask your healthcare provider about other ways to relieve this pain, such as a supportive belt or pregnancy exercises.
  • Use a heating pad set to the lowest setting or a hot compress to apply heat to your abdomen. Do this for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours for as many days as directed.
  • Avoid quick changes in position or movements that cause pain.
  • Do not lie flat in bed or bend over if you have heartburn. Ask your obstetrician if you should make any changes to the foods you eat. Ask if you can take any medicines for heartburn.
  • Eat more fiber and drink more liquids to relieve constipation. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods, such as whole-wheat bread and cereals. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.

Contact your obstetrician if:

  • You continue to have abdominal pain that cannot be relieved.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have sudden, severe pain or cramps that are so bad that you cannot walk or talk.
  • You have a fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, and you feel lightheaded or faint.
  • You have vaginal bleeding or discharge.
  • You have nausea, vomiting, fever, and severe pain on your right side.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.