Cramping in Early Pregnancy

Pregnancy cramping
Pregnancy cramping

Cramping in Early Pregnancy

"Understanding the difference between 'normal cramping' and 'abnormal cramping' is important."

So many changes are taking place in your body. Cramping in early pregnancy is a common discomfort many people experience as the uterus grows.  It often feels like pulling or pressure in the lower abdomen or lower back and tends to come and go. The uterus is expanding and its muscle is contracting as it accommodates your changing pregnancy. It can often feel like your typical menstrual cramping and is usually considered normal.

Uterine cramping can also be caused by urinary tract or yeast infection, constipation, exercise, and sexual intercourse. As long as the symptoms are mild and temporary, it’s probably not a cause for concern. Here are some ideas to soothe mild symptoms:

      • sit, lie down or change positions
      • soak in a warm bath
      • relaxation exercises
      • place a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel on the ache
      • drink plenty of fluids

Understanding the difference between “normal cramping” and “abnormal cramping” is important.  Here are some signs to be concerned about:

      • the pain becomes very intense
      • pain is focused on one side of the abdomen/pelvis
      • is accompanied by bleeding or other unusual vaginal discharge
      • is no longer intermittent (is not going away)
      • you experience dizziness or lightheadedness
      • you have diarrhea or burning on urination

These symptoms should be evaluated by a Health Care Provider to rule out a possible miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or infection.

If you’re experiencing “normal cramping” in early pregnancy, but are unsure about whether you want to continue your pregnancy, Alcove Health can help by providing medical services and an abortion consultation.  Alcove Health offers confidential consults with an Advocate, a Registered Nurse, Pregnancy Testing, STD Testing, Ultrasounds, and Physician Referral Resources- all at no charge.

Make Alcove Health in Newport News your first contact! You’ll keep all your options. You’ll pay nothing and you’ll gain everything you need to make a decision that’s right for you. Call us today to make your appointment!

By Meg, RN, BSN

September 22, 2021

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Four Tips for Telling Your Parents You’re Pregnant

four tips for telling your parents you're pregnant
four tips for telling your parents you're pregnant

Four Tips for Telling Your Parents You're Pregnant

or anyone that played a role in raising you, a grandmother, auntie, step-parents, single parents...

They’ve known you all your life.  They are your biggest fans and, at times, your worst critics (at least that’s the way it may feel sometimes).  But through it all you know how much they love you.  You know that no matter what life throws at you, they’ve got your back.  But now that belief is going to be put to the test with an unplanned pregnancy.

In fact, just the thought of telling your parents you’re pregnant may be causing you more anxiety than the positive result from the free pregnancy test you just took.  You know you need their advice and, maybe you even need their help.  So it’s time to face the music. It’s time to muster the courage to have an incredibly awkward and difficult conversation.  Take a deep breath and consider these four tips.

First, choose the right time. Decide in advance how you will tell them.  Will it be in person?  In a handwritten note?  It goes without saying, a text might not be the best form of communication. Will you be alone?  Will someone be with you?  Will you be at home or somewhere else?  Will it be in the morning or evening?  Think through all of these details in advance. Choose a time and a place where you will have the chance to sit down and talk without any interruptions.  You want to be sure to provide space for them to process what you’ve said.

Second, choose the right words.  In sharing hard news, it’s sometimes tempting to try to play down your words (“It’s no big deal) or try to shift blame (“It really isn’t my fault”).  Resist the temptation to do either.  Instead, be real.  If you are feeling scared or overwhelmed, tell them.  They need to know how you are thinking and feeling so they can best help you.

Third, choose the right response.  Decide beforehand that you will remain calm and not allow the conversation to become a shouting match.  They may be upset and may yell.  They may yell a lot.  Remember that this is just their initial response.  Once they’ve had time to process, they will likely calm down and be ready to help you figure out what to do next.

Finally, choose to believe the best.  Your world is not coming to an end because of an unplanned pregnancy.  You have options.  At Alcove Health Women’s Clinic in Newport News, we provide a safe space for you to process your options, along with the medically accurate information you need to make an informed decision.  Call us today at 757-591-8141 or click here to schedule your free appointment.

By Sheri, Client Advocate

May 7, 2021

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Is My Baby A Person?

Is my baby a person?
Is my baby a person?

Is My Baby A Person?

"how you think about your options"

Hard question for someone facing an unplanned pregnancy.  How you answer the question will make a huge difference in how you think about your options.  Some women will bring their religious beliefs into the equation. They might consult the Bible, the Quran, or some other religious text to bring understanding. Others might simply search their memories to recall how they were raised or what they’ve always believed about the issue. Still, others will take their cue from our current culture. What does their favorite Instagrammer say about this subject?  

Consider this: In this country, at this present time, it is illegal for someone to take the life of an unborn child if the woman carrying the child wants to keep it. On the other hand, it is perfectly legal for someone to end the life of that child if the pregnant woman gives him or her permission. In the first scenario, if the woman and her unborn child are murdered, it is a double homicide. In the second, the abortion doctor is not only free of any crime but he is paid for his services by the woman.  So, in a real sense the question, “Is My Baby a Person?” really must be faced first and foremost by the woman with the unplanned pregnancy – and an abortion consultation can help her work through the question and find her answer.

It’s a heavy responsibility. We know it’s not easy. We know it requires some deep soul searching. If you find yourself with an unplanned pregnancy, it is important to take the time you need to think through all of the options before you. At Alcove Health Women’s Clinic in Newport News, we provide a safe space for you to do just that, along with the medically accurate information you need to make an informed decision. 

Facing an unplanned pregnancy? Click here to make a no-cost appointment today. 

By Sheri, Client Advocate

April 8, 2021

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I’m Pregnant and I Don’t Know What To Do in York County Virginia

Facing an unplanned pregnancy in York County and don't know what to do
Facing an unplanned pregnancy in York County and don't know what to do

I'm Pregnant & I Don't Know What to Do . . .

. . . in York County, Virginia

York County has a lot to offer. While fun times and entertainment get a lot of attention, sometimes we need something different. Sometimes something unexpected happens – like an unplanned pregnancy. Each year, close to 100 York County women experiences an unplanned pregnancy. Life can be complicated, right?

In times like this, you want a place that can give you what you need – from people who will treat you right. You deserve that. 

So, facing an unplanned pregnancy, where do you find that kind of help and those kinds of people? 

Turn to Alcove Health Women’s Clinic – they provide that kind of help and they are those kinds of people. What’s more, they are centrally located in Newport News, just minutes outside of York County.

Alcove Health Women’s Clinic will give you the help you need – like a free pregnancy test, a free ultrasound, and a safe space to discuss your options, all just a short drive from York County.

Alcove Health Women’s Clinic is the perfect answer to a stressful, “What do I do next?” question.

And, since all of our services are FREE, money is never a stressor. That’s right, all of the services we provide are free and CONFIDENTIAL. No tricks or gimmicks.

There’s an added value in going to a clinic in your local area. The staff in the clinic are well aware of different services in the area – like food and clothing assistance,  transitional housing, and additional free medical services – all located in or near York County. 

At a time like this, it’s important for you to get all the help you need. While the pregnancy may be the most urgent, why not get help with your pregnancy decision AND help with any additional services you need?

It’s the beauty of a local clinic. We live here. We know the area. We can help. Call us today for judgment-free assistance so you can make the best decision for your reproductive health and other areas in your life.

Always free. Every time. CALL for your appointment today or click HERE to schedule.

By Sherri, Client Advocate

March 30, 2021

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Morning Sickness

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I’m afraid I’m pregnant, do I need an STI test?

Morning Sickness

What to Eat, Drink, Avoid and . . . Healthy Habits

If you are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, you are in good company! According to medical experts, more than half of pregnant women experience some type of nausea or vomiting during pregnancy. Morning sickness is a normal part of early pregnancy – it may even start shortly after you receive your free pregnancy test! So let’s consider the following remedies to manage your nausea and find RELIEF!

EAT

    • Small, bland, and frequent meals- morning sickness is often worse on a very full or very empty stomach.
    • Plenty of protein and carbs-not heavy or greasy.
    • Crackers before you get out of bed in the morning.
    • Simple to prepare foods like oatmeal, a fruit smoothie, or a sandwich without processed meat.

DRINK

    • Sip ginger tea or chew on ginger candies.
    • Peppermint tea or diffuse peppermint essential oil. 
    • Small sips throughout the day – stay hydrated!
    • Lemonade, suck a lemon, or sniff some lemon juice.

AVOID

    • Strong smells whenever possible.
    • Getting overheated.

CONTINUE HEALTHY HABITS

    • Walking in the fresh air, prenatal stretching, or swimming.
    • Get extra rest when possible. 

If you find that home remedies aren’t helping to keep your morning sickness to a tolerable level, a prescription for a Vitamin B-6 supplement or an anti-nausea medication that’s safe to take during pregnancy may be what is necessary.  

If you have recently taken a positive pregnancy test at home and want to talk through your options with a trained client advocate, go over any concerns with an R.N. and connect with community resources, please call 757-591-8141.

Click HERE to make your appointment at Alcove Health a Women’s Clinic in Newport News, our services are provided at no cost to you and totally confidential.

By Stephanie, Client Advocate

February 25, 2021

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Period or Pregnancy?

A young woman not feeling well, wondering if her symptoms are related to her period or possible pregnancy.
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PERIOD OR PREGNANCY?

Implantation bleeding can be an early sign of pregnancy

It can be hard to tell the difference between implantation bleeding and your period since implantation usually happens around the same time your period should start.

So how can you tell the difference? 

Most women can’t but there are some things to consider such as color, amount, consistency, and length of time bleeding lasts.  Most implantation bleeding is either pink or dark rust-colored, it is typically much lighter than a woman’s normal flow, does not contain clots, and can last a few hours or up to 3 days.

What causes implantation bleeding, I hear you ask?  It typically occurs more in women who are pregnant for the first time.  It is caused by the fertilized egg burrowing into the wall of the uterus; it can break some of the blood vessels – which causing bleeding.  If you experience this type of bleeding, you don’t need to go to the emergency room!  However, if you have heavy bleeding, clots, or significant abdominal pain these symptoms are not typical of implantation bleeding and may require medical attention.

So if you have questions about whether light bleeding is your period or pregnancy, reach out to Alcove Health Women’s Clinic today to schedule an appointment for your free pregnancy test.  You deserve medically accurate information so you can make the best decision for your reproductive health. Make your free and confidential appointment by clicking HERE or by calling 757-591-8141 today.

By Kinta, RN, BSN, Nurse Manager

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Early Signs of Pregnancy

Missed Period, Fatigue and Other Symptoms

Guess what…

ANY time you have sex, there is a chance you could get pregnant. No contraception is 100%, none! The signs of pregnancy may differ for every woman. Each pregnancy could be unique from one to the next. One of the most common signs is a delayed or missed period. Other early signs include fatigue, headaches, tender breasts, nausea, spotting/cramping, and lower backaches. Some women even notice frequent urination and constipation.  Mood swings are often reported due to changes in hormones.

Sometimes women come to our clinic and are experiencing some of these early pregnancy signs before we’ve even administered their free pregnancy test!

One thing to consider is that these symptoms are not unique to pregnancy. It is possible to be pregnant even if you don’t notice any of them.  If you are experiencing any of these signs, it is important to take a pregnancy test.  Before you make your decision about what to do with the pregnancy, call us first.  Alcove Health is a safe space to process and learn all your options.  You deserve medically-evidenced information to make the best decision for your reproductive health.   That’s why we provide abortion consultations, lab-quality pregnancy tests, and ultrasounds.  All for FREE with total confidentiality.

Make your free appointment, and schedule to meet with your own Client Advocate by clicking HERE. 

By Stephanie, Client Advocate

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EARLY SIGNS OF PREGNANCY

Signs and Symptoms

The early signs and symptoms of pregnancy can be confusing and easily mistaken for those same symptoms you experience just before getting your period.   If you have menstrual cycles that are as regular as clockwork, a missed period is usually one of your first signs.  Here are some other very early signs and symptoms of pregnancy to help you figure out what’s going on with your body. 

    1. Tender breasts
    2. Fatigue
    3. Frequent urination
    4. Bloating
    5. Nausea, without vomiting
    6. Smell sensitivity/ Food aversions
    7. Mood Swings
    8. Cramping/ Light spotting        

These symptoms can begin to appear as early as 6 days after conception and are often the result of hormone changes.  Estrogen and Progesterone are the major hormones working to maintain a pregnancy, and their effect throughout your whole body is noticeable.

If you’re experiencing early signs of pregnancy, contact us for a free pregnancy test (lab-grade). Click here to schedule an appointment.

Most urine pregnancy tests will show positive results as early as one day after your expected missed period (assuming you have regular menstrual cycles).  The drugstore varieties are usually inexpensive and reliable.  Take the test with your first bathroom visit in the morning, when your hormone levels are high and not diluted.  The test results could be life-changing—share your news with someone you love and trust!

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and are uncertain if you are ready to parent – schedule your FREE pregnancy test and limited OB ultrasounds by clicking HERE.

By Meg, RN, BSN, Nurse Manager

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