Pain in the middle or upper abdominal area while pregnant can have several different causes. These include heartburn, indigestion, a stomach bug or food poisoning, according to BabyCenter.
If upper stomach pains are experienced in the latter part of a pregnancy, the cause could be preeclampsia, says BabyCenter. This is a serious condition that occurs in pregnant women, and it requires immediate medical attention. According to Tommy's, symptoms that may accompany preeclampsia are nausea, flashing lights, a bad headache, seeing spots or vomiting.
BabyCenter explains that although abdominal discomfort is not uncommon during pregnancy, if any symptoms last for more than a few minutes, a health professional should be contacted. Other common causes of abdominal pain during pregnancy include preterm labor, placental abruption, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and urinary tract infections.
Gallbladder disease is also a common cause of upper abdominal pain. Gallbladder disease is the result of gallstones, which are quite common in pregnant women. Pain, fever, nausea and vomiting may be signs of inflammation of the gallbladder, says WebMD. The pain accompanying gallstones starts in the upper abdominal area, eventually spreading out to the shoulder and upper back. It usually occurs after meals and can last anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours.