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Cramping During Pregnancy

Cramping can be a normal part of pregnancy. However, it is always concerning to a pregnant woman and she often wonders if it's a concern or just "normal."

The following list outlines the types of cramping and causes:

1. Implantation cramping: Occurs 8-10 days after ovulation (This is normal and should not be worrisome)

2. Stretching of uterus: This is normal and should not be worrisome

3. Miscarriage: Usually accompanied by spotting or bleeding. Seek medical attention if bleeding starts

4. Ectopic pregnancy: Cramps and abdominal pain (particularly on one side) accompanied by spotting and/or bleeding. Seek immediate medical attention

5. Constipation or gas pains: Treat as directed by your doctor or certified nurse midwife. This should not be worrisome unless it is left untreated.  

Causes of Cramping in the Second and Third Trimester:

1. Round ligament pain: This is normal as uterus stretches

2. Preterm labor: This is regular patterned cramping and may be accompanied by pressure or back pain. If it lasts more than six hours, contact your doctor or certified nurse midwife

3. Braxton Hicks contractions: This normally starts during third trimester and is more common if the baby is not the mother's first baby. As long as the contractions are not persistent or have a pattern, they shouldn't be worrisome

4. Labor: Discuss with your doctor or certified nurse midwife when you should come to hospital

If you have any questions about cramping and the health of your baby, please call your health care provider.