Pregnancy may be the best and hardest nine months of your life! While filled with so many joyful seconds, minutes, and days, sometimes it seems as though the pains of pregnancy can be overwhelming and long lasting. Keeping in mind that your sweet baby will be joining you in just a few months, I would like to discuss round ligament pain and how to deal with it!
If you have ever experienced lower abdominal pain during pregnancy that occurs most often on the right side when you cough, move up or down, sneeze, laugh, roll over in bed and have googled said pain, you may have come to the conclusion that you have round ligament pain. The American Pregnancy Association states that “round ligament supports the uterus and stretches during pregnancy…it connects the front portion of the uterus to the groin”. The more the uterus grows, the more the round ligaments stretch and thin to accommodate for the uterus. Any movement that stretches the ligament and makes it contract quickly can cause pain for mama that feels like a deep, sharp stabbing or stretching sensation. While it should only last seconds, it can be very painful, especially in the second and third trimester.
Now that you know how round ligament pain is caused, what can you do to help alleviate the pain? Round ligament pain is common in 10-30% of pregnancies and simple things such as putting your feet up, rising and sitting slowly, bending and flexing your hips while coughing or sneezing, and even wearing a belly band, such as one of my favorites, the Upsie Belly from the Belly Bandit, can help relieve the pain. Additionally, a warm bath may also help reduce the pain by causing relaxation of the aching ligaments and muscles.
If you have more severe pain that is not relieved by some simple measures as listed above, it might be time to seek more help. First, speak with your doctor who may recommend stretches or exercises to help relieve the round ligament pain. They can also evaluate your signs and symptoms for other complications of pregnancy. Second, research physical therapists who specialize in prenatal care. They can provide specific stretches, teach you how to use and apply kinesiology tape correctly to correct pain, and evaluate the pain more precisely. This may be prescribed by your doctor as well.
It is so important to take care of your ever-changing body, mama, and to know that while round ligament pain can be frustrating and very uncomfortable, it should not be so painful as to cause serious limitations in your movement. Seek help and love your body that is growing your beautiful baby. Remember that here at the Mama Coach we provide prenatal care and strive to make motherhood easier! You deserve it!