Cramping During Pregnancy

Cramping During Pregnancy

Being pregnant can certainly keep you on your toes. Every little twinge can have your senses on high alert - especially if you are cramping. Rightfully so, as severe cramping could signal a problem. Thankfully, cramping is usually just another one of the many (normal) joys of pregnancy. Keep reading to learn more about cramping during pregnancy, including what to expect and when you should contact your care team. 

What symptoms should not be ignored during pregnancy?

Cramping can be a normal symptom during pregnancy due to implantation, a growing uterus, or round ligament pains. There is so much going on in your uterus during pregnancy, it’s no wonder that it may feel crampy from time to time. 

However, you should always let your doctor know about any persistent or painful cramping. There are other times you should make your doctor aware of pregnancy symptoms as well. According to the CDC, the following symptoms should not be ignored during pregnancy. 

  • Severe headaches: If you have “the worst headache ever,”  experience a headache that comes on very quickly, or one that won’t let up after rest and fluid intake, you should seek professional examination.
  • Fainting or extreme dizziness: Dizziness can be normal during pregnancy due to an increase in blood volume and cardiac activity, but it could also signal a problem. If you are ever so dizzy that you faint, have periods of time that you can’t remember, or persistent dizziness, it’s time to see your provider. 
  • Vision changes: Seeing spots, flashes, or doubles should never be ignored. 
  • Fever: Anything above a 100.4°F warrants a call to your care provider. 
  • Swelling: Swelling can often be considered normal during pregnancy, but extreme swelling should be monitored. Any swelling in your face, lips, or mouth should be checked out immediately. 
  • Difficulty breathing: Feeling short of breath and/or feeling like your chest is tightening warrants an immediate visit. 
  • Irregular heart beating: Palpitations, unexplained increase in heart rate, pain in your chest, or pain that travels to your neck, arm, or back can all be warning signs of cardiac distress. 
  • Pain in your belly: We’re talking severe, sudden, or stabbing pain. 
  • Changes in baby’s movement: Slowed, decreased, or a stop in movements warrants an immediate visit to labor and delivery. 
  • Leaking fluid or bleeding: Bleeding can occur for various reasons during pregnancy, but it’s always best to get checked out immediately. Loss of fluid could signal a leak in your amniotic sac. 
  • Swelling, pain, or redness in your arm or leg: Pregnant women are more prone to blood clots. Any pain, persistent tenderness, or redness (usually warm to the touch) should be monitored. 

This is not intended to be a complete list of troubling symptoms that may present during pregnancy. If your body’s check engine light comes on, it’s always best to clear it with your doctor.

How long should early pregnancy cramps last?

Cramping in very early pregnancy is more commonly associated with implantation. Later in the first trimester, cramps can be blamed on the rapid growth of your uterus. Normally, implantation cramping might last a day or two. It may last only a few minutes or a couple of hours. Cramps due to uterine growth can be a bit more persistent, but should only be mild. Many women compare early pregnancy cramps to menstrual cramps. 

Fun fact (hint, it’s not so fun): Gas, bloating, and constipation can also make you feel crampy in those same regions. Progesterone slows down digestion causing those pesky symptoms. 

When should you be concerned about cramps during pregnancy?

Typically, cramping is not cause for immediate concern. Here are some possible co-occurring symptoms that could mean that your cramping is not normal. 

  • Bleeding: Bleeding during pregnancy can have a benign cause (such as a sensitive cervix). In some cases though, bleeding and cramping can signal a miscarriage. Chromosomal abnormalities are the most common cause of miscarriages. Any cramping pain that occurs alongside a miscarriage is your uterus contracting in an effort to pass fetal tissue. Contact your medical provider if you suspect that you may be having a miscarriage. 
  • One sided pain: While ectopic pregnancy is rare, it can happen. Ectopic pregnancy occurs when your embryo implants outside of your uterine walls. This can occur with cramping on one side, bleeding, shoulder pain, and lightheadedness. 
  • Debilitating: If your cramps ever become debilitating, or severely painful, get seen as soon as possible to rule out any issues. 

What pregnancy pains are not normal?

Aside from the red flags listed above, there may be some other symptoms to keep an eye out for during pregnancy. 

  • Burning when you urinate: Urinary tract infections are very common among pregnant women. One of the most common symptoms is a burning sensation while you urinate or frequent urges to urinate (beyond what is normal during pregnancy). Your care provider may regularly collect urine to screen for these infections as they can potentially be harmful to the baby if left untreated. 
  • Unusual vaginal discharge: Bacterial vaginosis is also common during pregnancy. Common symptoms are unusual vaginal discharge, or vaginal itching and discomfort. 
  • Regular tightening or cramping before 37 weeks: Regularly timed contractions before 37 weeks warrants an urgent visit to labor and delivery. 

Any of the above symptoms should be checked out as soon as possible to ensure that your baby stays safe.

When should I go to the hospital for cramping during pregnancy?

Anytime you are concerned. Nobody at the hospital should judge you for wanting to double check that everything is okay, promise. Your OB-GYN or midwife should be one call away if you need some help deciding if your cramping warrants a hospital visit. Alternatively, just go and best case scenario you leave knowing that everything is okay.

What helps cramps during pregnancy?

Normal cramping during pregnancy may be eased by the following: 

  • Upping your water intake
  • Stretching
  • Good sleep hygiene
  • Lie down and elevate your legs
  • A gentle tummy massage 


Pregnancy is one of the most precious, and scary, times of a woman’s life. Once you hold your sweet baby in your arms, rest assured that every cramp (and nervous moment) was worth it. Speaking of rest, you can count on Dreamland Baby to help your baby get the sleep that they need to grow. When they sleep well, you can too!

Postpartum recovery requires sleep, as does your baby’s development. Shop Dreamland for baby sleep solutions proven to work!


How long should early pregnancy cramps last?

When should you be concerned about cramps during pregnancy?,may%20lessen%20with%20position%20changes.

What pregnancy pains are not normal?,or%20burning%20when%20you%20pee 

What helps cramps during pregnancy? 

← Older Post Newer Post →

Dreamland Baby Blog

Dreamland Spotlight - Meet the Hubbard Family

Dreamland Spotlight - Meet the Hubbard Family

Hello, Dreamers! Here at Dreamland Baby HQ, nothing makes us happier than to hear our customer’s feedback! That’s why we created our “spotlight” to introduce...

Read more
How To Keep Your Baby Warm At Night

How To Keep Your Baby Warm At Night

Infants are new  to the whole thermal regulation thing. Keeping a room too hot or too cold could be dangerous for their developing systems. Babies’...

Read more