Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy

Abdominal pain is common during pregnancy and has many possible causes. Some causes are more serious than others, and sometimes the cause is not known.

Abdominal pain can be a sign that labor is starting. It can also be caused by normal growth of your baby causing stretching of muscles and ligaments during pregnancy. Always tell your health care provider if you have any abdominal pain.

Follow these instructions at home:

  • Do not have sex or put anything in your vagina until your pain goes away completely.

  • Get plenty of rest until your pain improves.

  • Drink enough fluid to keep your urine pale yellow.

  • Take over-the-counter and prescription medicines only as told by your health care provider.

  • Keep all follow-up visits. This is important.

Contact a health care provider if:

  • Your pain continues or gets worse after resting.

  • You have lower abdominal pain that:

    • Comes and goes at regular intervals.

    • Spreads to your back.

    • Is similar to menstrual cramps.

  • You have pain or burning when you urinate.

Get help right away if:

  • You have a fever, chills, or shortness of breath.

  • You have vaginal bleeding.

  • You are leaking fluid or passing tissue from your vagina.

  • You have vomiting or diarrhea that lasts for more than 24 hours.

  • Your baby is moving less than usual.

  • You feel very weak or faint.

  • You develop severe pain in your upper abdomen.


  • Abdominal pain is common during pregnancy and has many possible causes.

  • If you experience abdominal pain during pregnancy, tell your health care provider right away.

  • Follow your health care provider’s home care instructions and keep all follow-up visits as told.

This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.

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