Strange Feelings in the Stomach: What to Know in the First Trimester of Pregnancy

By Amanda Lawrence |
|5 min read

There are few moments as nail-bitingly tense as that first glance at a pregnancy test. For many women, conceiving a child comes with mixed emotions of joy and fear. If you are trying to get pregnant, then every gurgle, every twinge, and every prickle feels like it might be an embryo burrowing into your uterine wall. If you haven't planned a baby, you might dismiss strange feelings in the stomach during the first trimester of pregnancy. What counts as an early sign of pregnancy?

Strange Feelings in the Stomach as Early Signs of Pregnancy

1. Cramping

Abdominal pain can be experienced before the missed period, the most tell-tale sign of pregnancy. Cramping is generally indistinguishable from period pain but isn't accompanied by menstrual blood. If it begins to feel like contractions, the pain is severe, or it's accompanied by heavy bleeding, then rush to see a doctor. You may be experiencing a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy.

2. Abdominal pressure

This too can be a very early sign of pregnancy but is often missed since it's so unobtrusive. You may experience some slight pressure increase in your lower belly. This may be the result of blood and tissue buildup in the uterus, or even the efforts of the Fallopian tubes to push the embryo into the uterus. Scientists aren't sure about the exact cause.

3. Bloating

Feeling gassy and bloated might mean you are pregnant. Hormones not only make space for the baby's growth and nourishment but also force the body to compromise on processes that take up too much energy. The repressed digestive system may result in bloating, an increased tendency to pass wind and even constipation.

Other Common Symptoms During the First Trimester of Pregnancy

1. Missed Period

This is how most women realize they are pregnant. Normally, the uterus prepares for conception every month by thickening the lining with blood and tissue. Menstruation occurs when the cycle is over, the egg hasn't been fertilized and hormone levels drop, causing the uterus to shed its lining. Pregnancy leads embryo implanting in the uterine wall, meaning you'll have no periods until the birth giving.

2. Nausea

This is one of the well-known weird symptoms during the first trimester of pregnancy. In popular media, depictions of nausea and vomiting are used to signal that a woman is pregnant. In fact, nausea rarely occurs before a missed period and often gets worse four to six weeks after conception. Then it's known as 'morning sickness'.

3. Breast tenderness

Breasts begin to enlarge and feel tender quite quickly after fertilization in preparation for feeding the baby. Some women report that they first realized they might be pregnant when their breasts started to feel sore.

4. Spotting

Implantation bleeding occurs when the embryo latches onto the uterine wall and some blood is released through the vagina. Implantation bleeding looks a lot like period starts but does not get as heavy or last as long. Many women mistake the spotting for a light period. Such spotting also doesn't occur in all cases of pregnancy.

5. Sensory alterations

Your sense of smell is often highly sharpened within days of conception. You may also experience changed preferences. Many women feel averse to tobacco smoke and caffeine even before they know they're pregnant. If you're particularly unfortunate, you might suffer from dysgeusia – a metallic taste in the mouth.

6. Fatigue and dizziness

While feeling tired after a long jog is normal, you might suddenly find your arm turning to lead simply from making your bed in the morning. Dizziness can be associated with fatigue but is more often a result of low blood pressure. This is because the amount of blood in circulation is being increased in preparation for the pregnancy, and it takes a while for the blood pressure to stabilize.

What Can I Do about These Symptoms?

Most weird pregnancy symptoms are unavoidable and no cause for concern. These benign symptoms can be made more tolerable in a number of ways.

  • In response to bloating, it's a good idea to adopt small, simple meals while avoiding fried or fatty foods and gas-inducing foods like cabbage, beans, and onions.

  • In the case of cramps, a warm bath is your friend. Avoid ibuprofen, since there is some evidence that ibuprofen may increase chances of miscarriage in the first month of pregnancy.

  • Nausea can be alleviated by taking many small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals, eating a good breakfast as soon as you wake up, and going for brisk walks after meals to settle the stomach.

It's important to take as much rest as possible. Also make sure to visit a doctor regularly for check-ups, and always consult them about medication, severe pain, or any vaginal bleeding. Fainting spells and physical trauma in the region around the uterus also warrant medical attention.

In case you are receiving negative results on pregnancy tests but are experiencing several of the described symptoms persistently, go to a doctor at once to diagnose the underlying problem.

Take Home Message

Pregnancy is one of the most exciting and terrifying times in a woman's life. If you're sexually active and not using protection, be aware of your body and keep track of your menstrual cycle, so you can recognize pregnancy. At the same time, try not to obsess over small details, like some strange feelings in your stomach – a lot of the above symptoms could be associated with a number of causes. The most important thing is to always be healthy, prepared, and stress-free.



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