What Causes Severe Stomach Pain After Eating During Pregnancy? Doctor Explains

If you experience stomach pain or cramps during pregnancy, you should read this article as doctor explains the possible reasons behind this.

Written by: Tavishi DograPublished at: Sep 15,2012
Updated at: Jun 16,2021

Stomach ache after eating during pregnancy: Many pregnant women experience heartburn and indigestion after drinking or eating something. This can be uncomfortable and painful in the stomach or upper abdomen region. Thankfully, there are ways to treat or even avoid this, especially if the pain is mild. If you are in the early stages of your pregnancy and are experiencing indigestion, the reason behind this can be the fluctuations in your hormone levels. During the second and third trimester, when the baby is pushed up against the stomach, indigestion gets more common. For more details, read this article.

Apart from the pain, here are a few signs that will help you identify this condition:

  • Burping
  • Heartburn (burning pain in the throat or chest that occurs when the stomach acid comes up the oesophagus and irritates the lining)
  • Feeling full, bloated, or heavy
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling sick
  • Regurgitation or reflux

If you are experiencing heartburn, indigestion, and stomach cramps as a pregnant woman, it might be caused by:

  • Eating high-fat foods
  • Eating a big meal
  • Eating peppermint or chocolate
  • Bending over
  • Drinking caffeinated beverages like tea, coffee, cola drinks, or fruit juice
  • Feeling anxious
  • Doing physical activity immediately after eating
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You must take note of all the drinks, food, or activities that are leading to stomach cramps during your pregnancy. If you have mild signs, you will be able to prevent this by making changes to your lifestyle or diet. Here is what you could try:

  • Eat smaller meals frequently
  • Avoid eating before going to bed
  • Not drinking coffee at the end of the day
  • Avoid drinks and foods that might give you stomach cramps and indigestion
  • Try sleeping on the left side
  • Stop smoking
  • Chew gum as it causes you to produce saliva that helps in neutralizing the acid
  • Sit up straight while eating
  • Don’t lay down immediately after the meal
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They will prescribe you some medications that will neutralize the stomach acid, stop acid from rising into the oesophagus, and reduce the amount of acid present in the stomach.

If you don’t get relief from medications as well, you need to see your doctor as it might be a sign of preeclampsia, a much serious condition. A pregnant woman who has preeclampsia has problems with kidneys and high blood pressure. This condition can have a severe impact on the liver, brain, and blood of the woman. Since this is dangerous for you as well as your baby, you must let your doctor know whether the medicine is working or not. Talk to your doctor if you are unwell, have sudden swelling in your feet, hands, or face, problems with your vision like seeing dots or flashing lights and blurring, muscular pain below the ribs, or a headache that is not relieved with simple painkillers. If you are confused or in doubt, seek treatment immediately. After all, it is better to be on the side of caution.

(With inputs from Dr Sadhna Kala, Gynaecology and Obstetrician, Apollo Cradle, Delhi)

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