Should I be worried?


Q: I'm 37 weeks and and having strong menstrual like cramping, nausea, dizziness, and lower back pain. Also when the cramps hit I feel like I need to use the restroom and there is a lot of pelvic pressure as well. Is this something I should be worried about?

Symptoms:  Strong menstrual cramping, dizziness, nausea and frequent bowel movements the past 2 days

A:   As the time of labor approaches, one experiences contractions known as Braxton-Hicks contractions.These contractions are warm-ups for the real contractions during child birth. They are usually weaker than the true labor pains and come and go on and off in the third trimester. True labor contractions last longer, stronger and over a period of time are more frequent.
If you're having contractions that are very painful or regular, it is best you contact your obstetric health care provider.
The pelvic pressure that you are experiencing is because of the descend of the fetal presenting part into your bony pelvis signalling that labor is not far away. The back aches in the last trimester are again a common symptom that result because of the laxity in the ligaments caused by the pregnancy hormones. Application of hot or cold compresses, using adequate support while sitting or standing, wearing flat shoes etc. are certain measures that can help reduce the backaches
If any of the above symptoms are associated with other signs of onset of labor such as blood stained mucus discharge, waters breaking, painful frequent contractions, etc. contact your doctor or midwife immediately. He/she may suggest you to visit the clinic or emergency room for an evaluation to know whether labor has begun. I understand that the last few weeks before the baby arrives are the most difficult but hold on, you are almost there. All the best.

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