Upper Stomach Pain During Pregnancy: Causes And Home Remedies

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Pregnancy is a beautiful and exciting phase of a woman’s life, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. It can also be a time of discomfort and pain, especially in the upper stomach area. Upper stomach pain during pregnancy can be caused by various factors, some of which are harmless and others that may require medical attention. If you’re experiencing upper stomach pain during your pregnancy, don’t worry; there are several home remedies that can help you ease the discomfort. In this article, we will look at some of the causes of upper stomach pain and some remedies you can try at home to ease the pain. 

upper stomach pain during pregnancy

In This Article:

Causes of Upper Stomach Pain During Pregnancy

Indigestion and Heartburn

Indigestion and heartburn are common causes of upper stomach pain during pregnancy. This is because the growing uterus puts pressure on the stomach, causing acid to flow back up into the esophagus. The pain may be felt in the upper abdomen and can be severe. To reduce the symptoms of indigestion and heartburn, pregnant women should avoid spicy, acidic, and fatty foods. They should also eat smaller meals more frequently and avoid lying down immediately after eating.

Constipation

Constipation is another common cause of upper stomach pain during pregnancy. The hormonal changes during pregnancy can slow down the digestive system, leading to constipation. This can cause pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen. Pregnant women should increase their fibre intake and drink plenty of water to prevent constipation.

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Gallstones

Gallstones are another possible cause of upper stomach pain during pregnancy. This is a condition where small stones form in the gallbladder and cause pain in the upper right abdomen. The pain may be severe and can also radiate to the back or right shoulder. If you experience these symptoms, seek medical help immediately.

Pre-eclampsia

Pre-eclampsia is a quite serious condition that affects some pregnant women. It is characterised by high blood pressure and protein in the urine. Upper stomach pain is one of the symptoms of pre-eclampsia, along with swelling, headaches, and vision changes. If you experience these symptoms, contact your health professional immediately.

Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy is a rare but serious condition where the fertilised egg implants outside the uterus. It can cause severe pain in the upper abdomen, along with vaginal bleeding and shoulder pain. If you experience these symptoms, seek medical help from your doctor immediately.

Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is a condition in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. It can cause upper stomach pain, along with nausea and vomiting. Pregnant women who experience these symptoms should immediately contact your health provider.

HELLP Syndrome

HELLP syndrome is a rare but serious condition that can occur during pregnancy. It is characterised by a low platelet count, liver dysfunction, and hemolysis (the breakdown of red blood cells). Upper stomach pain is one of the symptoms of HELLP syndrome, along with nausea, vomiting, and headaches. Pregnant women who experience these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.

Home Remedies for Upper Stomach Pain During Pregnancy

Stay Hydrated

One of the most common causes of upper stomach pain during pregnancy is dehydration. Make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated. Dehydration can also cause constipation, which can exacerbate stomach pain.

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Eat Smaller Meals

Instead of eating three large meals a day, try to eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. This can help prevent stomach pain caused by indigestion and acid reflux. Eating a fibre-rich diet can help ease pain caused by gas and constipation. 

Avoid trigger Foods 

Certain foods can trigger stomach pain and heartburn during pregnancy. Some common trigger foods include spicy foods, citrus fruits, chocolate, and caffeine. Avoiding these foods can help alleviate upper stomach pain.

Use a Heating Pad

A heating pad can help ease stomach pain by relaxing the muscles in your abdomen. Place a heating pad on your upper stomach for 15-20 minutes at a time to help soothe the pain.

Take a Warm Bath

Taking a warm bath can also help relax the muscles in your abdomen and ease upper stomach pain. Add some Epsom salt to your bathwater to help soothe sore muscles. Also, using a warm compress on your stomach can help soothe and ease muscle tension. 

Try Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been shown to help alleviate stomach pain during pregnancy. This ancient Chinese practice involves inserting tiny needles into certain points on the body to help relieve pain and promote relaxation.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Stress and anxiety can exacerbate stomach pain during pregnancy. Practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help ease stress and promote relaxation.

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Conclusion

Upper stomach pain during pregnancy can be caused by various factors. While some causes are harmless, others can be serious and require medical attention. Pregnant women who experience upper stomach pain should pay attention to other symptoms they may be experiencing and seek medical attention if necessary. Upper stomach pain during pregnancy can be uncomfortable and even frightening; however, there are several home remedies that can help ease the discomfort. Staying hydrated, eating smaller meals, avoiding trigger foods, using a heating pad, taking a warm bath, trying acupuncture, and practicing relaxation techniques can all help alleviate upper stomach pain. If your stomach pain is severe or accompanied by other symptoms like fever or vomiting, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider. 

Sources:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324736

2. https://www.carehospitals.com/blog-detail/abdominal-pain-during-pregnancy/

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