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Why does your abdomen ache when you are pregnant? I know it's normal, but I don't understand why.

By April 27, 2009 - 4:58pm
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Before I was pregnant, I always thought pregnant people rubbed their tiny tummies to bond with their babies. Now I know it is more of a massaging motion for the aches rather than bonding.

I have talked to many people (including my doctor), and I know the slight ache is normal. I just don't understand why it aches. Anyone know that answer to that one?

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Dear tcgil12, Alysiak gave you great explanation to your question. I think it is nice that through an abdomen massage we can also "bond" with the baby, the energy exchange has medical evidence. But of course you also know that pregnancy is a form of "trauma" for the body as it has to go through so many changes (hormonal, emotional, mental, physiological, etc) during the whole gestation process. Muscles are stretching, skin is stretching and abdominal cavity is reshaping to accommodate the size of the baby. This additional body in the woumb is also pushing and pressing nerve ending and the spine. Most discomfort or pain could be just reflective pain to another area of the body as well. Belly button soreness if very common. It may sound like a frivolous pregnancy complaint but it can actually be quite painful. Women automatically will want to relieve this pain by rubbing the area. Belly button pain is caused by the pressure of the expanding uterus on the belly button. It becomes more annoying at around the 20th week of pregnancy. After that, the tenderness starts to subside as the body is already adjusted to the changes. The pelvic bone also starts to separate and the gap is widen between both ends (to give room for the baby to pass the birth canal) will also cause pain or discomfort.

April 27, 2009 - 9:42pm

Hi, tcgil12:

There is something very natural about rubbing the "preggie bump." Early on, there's something magical about it, even to other people who want to touch your belly (from strangers, that can be rather annoying). It's not until the weight starts becoming heavy that you might consider it more of a massaging motion.

Your body aches from the stress caused by the stretching of your womb and surrounding muscles as your baby develops. Think how it feels to stretch a leg muscle that hasn't been very flexible since childhood. Were you ever able to do the splits when you were young? Do you know how tight your legs would feel if you tried to do the splits as an adult, if you didn't maintain your flexibility? That's the closest thing to what your diaphragm muscles experience, stretching to accommodate - and support - your baby.

The downside is trying to tighten up those muscles again AFTER the birth! Staying in good physical condition during your pregnancy will help you deal with the aches before and the recovery after delivery.

JMHO and speaking as a mom of 3.

Hope this helps. Besides the little aches, how are you feeling? When are you due?

April 27, 2009 - 7:41pm
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