During pregnancy, major body changes occur which are inevitable and having heavier feeling in the lower belly is one of them. This heavy feeling is also considered as one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. This sign can be confusing as well as worrisome to some expecting mothers as it may seem as an unusual symptom.
The lower abdominal area is actually the place where the growing baby gains its nutrition from the mother. You should expect such changes to occur in the abdominal region although it would definitely be a new experience to first time moms. You shouldn’t necessarily be concerned about this heavy feeling as it doesn’t harm you or your little one. The following article would explain some reasons for such heavy feeling.
What is this heavy feeling?
Feeling heaviness in the lower belly is actually a common pregnancy symptom and can vary woman to woman. Every body is different and so, every pregnancy is different and the heaviness can vary accordingly. You can look for other signs and symptoms of pregnancy as well if you feel any heaviness.
One of these signs and symptoms is the larger size of the belly which can feel like its bigger for your own body and can be quite uncomfortable. Your breasts also start to get tender with some disturbed sleep patterns which usually occur in the third trimester of the pregnancy.
The heavy feeling that occurs during the early pregnancy stage is at 10 weeks of pregnancy. The foetal movements can cause some organ shifting which would be uncomfortable to the mother but the good news is that it is a sign of healthy pregnancy.
How does it feel like?
It can feel like you’re carrying a bowling ball in your belly or some would call the experience as a froggy feeling. Bloating may also be experienced usually 2-3 weeks post conception. Now what is bloating? It occurs when the stomach is filled with gas causing it to protrude outward due to the production of progesterone hormone which slows down digestion. You should try to relax and lie down for a while since at times, the symptom can be helped with by some breathing exercises.
Possible causes of the heavy feeling in lower abdominal area during pregnancy:
The heaviness that you feel can be due to various reasons, it could be due to the blood flow to the uterus or it could be simply due to fluid build up. Other possibilities also include enlarged uterus which can cause pressure over your other organs making breathing difficult for you. Some of the common causes of feeling heavy in the lower abdominal area are given below:
Feeling nauseated and vomiting can cause pain in the stomach as well as heaviness in the lower abdomen. Nausea can be triggered due to the production of the pregnancy hormones or simply due to an empty stomach. Mostly it occurs during early pregnancy and goes away on its own however, try and have some light snacks to avoid having your stomach empty.
When the inner lining of the uterus also called as the endometrium gets thinner and becomes a non-viable tissue, the condition is then called as endometrial decidualization. The condition could occur due to usage of some drugs or it could be the result of some hormonal changes during the early pregnancy.
Usually, it does not interfere with the baby’s growth or cause any harm but if the condition occurs as early as the 12th week of pregnancy, it could cause cramping, bloating and heaviness in the lower abdominal region.
Increased blood pressure:
High blood pressure is considered as one of the most common reasons for feeling heaviness in the lower abdomen. Having high blood pressure is the culprit to many health problems including stroke and heart diseases and this can possibly cause heavy feeling in the lower abdominal area during the early stages of pregnancy.
Having high blood pressure can cause strain over other organs such as the kidneys and liver and it ultimately results in you having difficulty in digesting food causing stomach pains and abdominal discomfort. In case you have high blood pressure, you should talk to your healthcare provider for better diet plans to help you cope it which would also help you in reducing such complications.
Gas and bloating:
Digestion can be slowed down due to the release of pregnancy hormones causing fluid build up or gas build up in the digestive tract causing pressure over the stomach and intestines. In such case, you can experience heavy feeling in the lower abdomen as well as lower abdominal pain.
Note that sharp pain can also be felt due to the gas built up. During the first trimester, bloating is quite common and shouldn’t really be a problem as it goes away after only a few weeks into pregnancy. In case you still experience severe bloating during the last two trimesters, you could possibly have gestational diabetes so you must consult your healthcare provider regarding that.
Constipation is also one of the main causes of feeling heaviness in the stomach during the early pregnancy. Constipation is due to the deficiency of fibre in your diet and passing the waste material out of your body becomes difficult. This can cause you to feel fuller which may be uncomfortable. You should have more fibres in your diet so it is easier to break down the foods and passing of waste materials become easier.
Braxton Hicks contractions:
The small contractions that occur after about every 3-6 weeks during pregnancy are referred as Braxton Hicks contractions. These are usually mistaken for menstrual cramps or periods and are usually associated with uterine contractions. Don’t worry as they don’t cause any harm and bleeding does not occur either. These in fact make it easier for you to pass stools.
If you don’t have a good control over your blood sugar level, it can possibly lead to gestational diabetes which can cause multiple symptoms. These symptoms could be increased hunger, poor appetite, tiredness and weight gain.
You could only have a small amount of food and already feel full not aware that it may be due to gestational diabetes. You should take care of your diet and try not to consume too much of sugary foods. Talk to your healthcare provider regarding your symptoms. The condition usually disappears right after delivery.
When to consult your doctor regarding heaviness in the lower abdominal area:
Although feeling heaviness in the lower abdominal area is common even in the early stages of pregnancy, you should still consult your doctor if the condition exceeds more than 4 weeks or it causes some sort of discomfort and pain.
There are a number of reasons for feeling the heaviness and some of them could be a sign of trouble. Your doctor may examine your abdomen to decide whether you should be kept in check or would need any further examinations. If anything unusual is noticed, your doctor may refer you to a specialist if you’re diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your doctor may suggest you a diet plan or management tips that would help you cope up with it.
You can find it difficult to carry the pregnancy full time so you you already feel heaviness in the lower abdomen, you shouldn’t hesitate talking to your doctor about it.
Your body experiences various changes during pregnancy, from the very first moment to the very last. Every body is different, every pregnancy is different and so every body’s reaction is different. Feeling heavy in the lower abdominal area is common during pregnancy and could be due to a number of reasons but it can also be due to some serious health problems such as gestational diabetes.
You should look for other signs and symptoms and let your healthcare provider know about them all. You should also bring about healthy changes in your diet and lifestyle, go for healthier options and keep your body active. Have less sugary and have more fibre rich diet which would help you carry an easier and healthier pregnancy.