Understanding Round Ligament Pain During Pregnancy

Pregnancy comes with all sorts of joys and surprises, but it can also bring aches, pains, and discomforts you may not have been expecting. Round ligament pain is one of those symptoms that many pregnant women experience. It can cause sharp or dull discomfort around the lower abdomen throughout pregnancy. If you've ever felt this kind of pain, you know how distressing it can be when little else offers relief. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at round ligament pain during pregnancy — what causes it and how to treat it — so that you feel informed and equipped to handle any bouts as they arise.

What Does Round Ligament Pain Feel Like?

Pregnancy is a beautiful journey, but sometimes the toll on your body can be painful. One of the common discomforts that pregnant women experience is round ligament pain. This condition usually causes sharp, sudden pain on the sides of the lower belly, groin area or hips. However, it is essential to note that physical activity can also trigger a dull, achy feeling in the lower belly. As you grow closer to welcoming your little bundle of joy, it's normal to experience short, sharp pains that feel like a Charley horse in the groin, hips, or lower belly. Remember to take it easy and be kind to yourself as your body goes through these changes.

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When Will Round Ligament Pain Happen?

As your baby grows, your round ligaments can become more strained, leading to round ligament pain. Although every woman's pregnancy is unique, first-time mothers typically start to show between 16 and 20 weeks of gestation – while women who have had a baby before may notice their bump showing sooner. It's during the second trimester that your uterus outgrows your pelvis and pushes up into the abdomen, creating more tension on your round ligaments. Situations that may aggravate this type of pain are being sedentary all day or struggling with good posture or a weaker core. You may feel more comfortable doing some light exercises or pelvic tilts to ease the tension.

This type of pain usually occurs during the second trimester but can also continue throughout the third trimester. The pain is usually brief, lasting only a few seconds, but can leave you feeling achy and uncomfortable for hours when ligaments are overworked. It's important to remember that this pain is a natural part of pregnancy and is not usually a cause for concern. However, if you experience severe or prolonged pain, consult your healthcare provider to rule out any potential complications.

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Lady in pain

Symptoms of Round Ligament Pain

Symptoms of this type of pain include a sharp, shooting pain when you quickly change positions, such as rolling over in bed or standing up quickly, as well as pain in the lower abdomen or pelvis. It is important to note that round ligament pain is a normal part of pregnancy and typically does not indicate anything more serious. However, if you are experiencing severe pain or are concerned, it is always best to speak with your healthcare provider. Remember, it's all worth it for that precious baby growing inside you!

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Things That Help with Round Ligament Pain

Go Slow

A straightforward way to find relief is to move more slowly, taking your time when getting up from a sitting or lying down. This can help to minimize sudden movements that can aggravate the ligaments and lead to discomfort. With a bit of patience and self-care, you can take steps to manage round ligament pain and enjoy a more comfortable pregnancy.

Go Easy on Yourself

To find relief, it's essential to take it easy and avoid any activities or exercises that can strain the muscles in that area. If you notice that your round ligament pain is triggered or worsened by exercise, try switching to a gentler workout routine that won't put undue pressure on your body. Talking to your healthcare provider about appropriate pregnancy exercises can also be helpful. Remember that taking care of yourself during pregnancy is essential for both you and your baby, and seeking treatment for any discomfort or pain is always a good idea.

Do Stretches

Like pelvic tilts and rocks, gentle stretches can help ease the pain, as can prenatal yoga. It's essential to be diligent about these exercises, but be careful not to overdo it. Taking breaks and stretching in moderation can help you avoid causing further discomfort. After all, keeping the baby and mama comfortable is a top priority!

Use a Belly Belt

One potential solution is wearing a belly belt. These belts are designed to support the growing belly and reduce pressure on the hips, which can help ease round ligament pain. 

Pregnant woman uncomfortable

Take a Bath

One helpful practice is taking a warm bath. This can help soothe your aching muscles and provide much-needed calm and relaxation. It's essential to ensure that the water is warm, not hot, as hot water can harm your baby's health. By practicing regular self-care and exploring different round ligament pain relief methods, you can enjoy a more comfortable and stress-free pregnancy.

Talk to Your Doctor

If you experience persistent or severe pain, you must talk to your OB-GYN for proper evaluation and accurate treatment. Your doctor can rule out any other underlying conditions causing pain and recommend safe methods for round ligament pain relief, such as gentle stretching, warm compresses, or low-impact exercises.

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Take Pain Relievers

If you struggle with the pain, one option for relief is taking a pain reliever such as Tylenol. Of course, it's always important to check with your healthcare provider before taking any medication, but if they give you the okay, a little pain relief can go a long way in helping you stay comfortable as you prepare for the arrival of your precious little one.

Everything you Need to Know About Round Ligament Pain

It is safe to say that round ligament pain can be challenging during pregnancy; however, some simple solutions exist. An excellent way to start is to speak with your doctor about any pain-reducing medications you may take, as well as which exercises and stretching techniques might benefit you. Additionally, it helps to look into different sleeping positions and ensure you’re giving yourself plenty of time for rest throughout the day. While it may feel challenging initially, finding ways to manage round ligament pain can help restore balance and comfort during this delicate period. Lastly, don't forget to drink plenty of water, eat nutrient-rich foods when possible, and remember that taking care of yourself is essential to caring for your growing family.

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