Stomach pain during pregnancy.
May 10, 2012 6:30 PM   Subscribe

Chronic stomach pain during pregnancy. Prescribed medicine isn't helping. What worked for you?

I'm about 9 weeks pregnant and have had constant stomach pain for the last 4 weeks. Yesterday I was prescribed Promethazine, which is for nausea and vomiting, but it's not helping the pain at all. I'm going to call my doctor tomorrow and ask for something different, but before doing so I would like to get some input from you guys. Did you experience stomach aches while pregnant? What medication worked for you?

Because you're probably wondering why I don't just go straight to my doctor, I don't trust them to give the best advice and will be switching after my $400 deposit has been used up.
posted by Circumstands to Health & Fitness (11 answers total)
Is the pain like heartburn? Is it affected all by when/what you eat?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:36 PM on May 10, 2012

IANAW, but I'm a father of four who was pregnant-adjacent through 8 pregnancies, and I can tell you that, in our case at least, medicine did very little.

For my wife, it was a trial and error for nearly each pregnancy how her digestion was going to react to specific foods and diets. In general, the easiest for her to keep down and settle her stomach were non-acidic whole foods like oatmeal and bananas.

In general, she had to tolerate the pain and vomiting for at least the first 4 months, and then things began to settle in as her body adjusted to all the new stuff going on.
posted by thanotopsis at 6:37 PM on May 10, 2012

Where is the pain located, and what type of pain is it? There's a pretty broad range of things that can cause pain in pregnancy, from no-big-deal round ligament pain to very-big-deal ectopic pregnancy hemorrhage.

Does your insurance company have a nurse line you can call at no cost?
posted by scarykarrey at 6:38 PM on May 10, 2012

Response by poster: scarykarrey: Right now we're paying out of pocket, so no insurance nurse lines or anything like that.

The pain feels like a normal stomach ache, a dull steady pain in the stomach (right now it feels like it's at the top of the stomach, directly under the rib cage). It doesn't feel like indigestion/heartburn. I usually feel the pain all day every day, but it lets up a bit when I lay down. When I start to get hungry I get severe hunger pains almost immediately and I'll begin throwing up if I don't eat. Right now I'm eating every 2 hours, night or day, to keep the pain to a minimum.

Hope than answers your questions!
posted by Circumstands at 6:55 PM on May 10, 2012

Best answer: IANYD. Generally, Tylenol is the first pain medication that is used during pregnancy, and usually the only one, unless you really have severe pain. Promethazine wouldn't be expected to help with pain (except migraines, it can relieve those). Of course Tylenol would just treat the symptoms, not the underlying cause. I agree with thanatopsis that if you can find ways to change your diet or behavior that help with the pain (or do things like heating pads), that would be better than using a pain medicine, since most pain medicines are category C in pregnancy at best.

I also think with the additional information you gave that you shouldn't rule out reflux. It can feel like upper abdominal or chest pain, doesn't always have that acid taste in the back of your throat.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 7:17 PM on May 10, 2012

Definitely do not rule out heartburn - that's exactly how several people I know have described theirs. My stepmom used to take a plain old ordinary heartburn tablet - Tums or something - though I suspect you want better sources than me for strategies.
posted by SMPA at 8:51 PM on May 10, 2012

I had stomach pain a few times while pregnant. Before calling the doctor, I took Tylenol, which made the pain go away. YMMV
posted by CrazyLemonade at 9:44 PM on May 10, 2012

Could it be your gall bladder acting up/gall stones?? Pregnancy can cause problems with your gall bladder. Pain will be in your upper right quadrant of your stomach (right under your right ribcage).

Hope you get a doctor's opinion soon - it doesn't sound pleasant at all.
posted by Cattaby at 11:43 PM on May 10, 2012

I also suggest that it might be heartburn, especially if it gets worse when you don't eat. Mine doesn't burn, it just hurts.
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:57 AM on May 11, 2012

And if it is heartburn, I found that keeping a tiny bit of food in my stomach all the time really helped resolve it. Like one Cheez-It cracker every 10-15 minutes, softened in my mouth before swallowing.
posted by CathyG at 12:57 PM on May 11, 2012

Response by poster: Sorry for such a late response, I was stuck in bed for a few days but I'm feeling much better now. I tried all the suggestions here and none of them were working until I tried the heating pad. Holy crap that thing is a miracle! It completely took away the stomach pain and I'm still feeling great a day later. Thanks everyone for your suggestions, you've all been a great help!
posted by Circumstands at 11:02 AM on May 13, 2012

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