I feel like I can write these blogs from a place of experience – current experience. At nearly 31 weeks, I think I have experienced a lot of different pregnancy ailments but it always surprises me when I experience something new.
I am on my 5th pregnancy and never before have I experienced Round Ligament Pain. But this time, it got me. This pain started around 25 weeks for me. A sudden sharp stabbing in my lower belly/groin. What is going on here? This old uterus of mine needs to remember how it carried before, go ahead and relax ligament – We can’t deal with this pain for 15 more weeks.
The pain would strike me when I stretched too hard. Or it would start late in the day on days I have been on my feet too much. The most surprising to me was the sharp pain I would feel in the middle of the night when I was resting – like that sharp Charlie horse in the calf – except I couldn’t do anything to fix this pain.
What do you need to know about Round Ligament Pain?
First – there is no need to be alarmed with this pain. It is totally normal for those ligaments and muscles to start stretching and hurting to accommodate your growing uterus and baby. This usually starts to happen in the second trimester but can happen at any time during any pregnancy!
Second—Different things can contribute to Round Ligament Pain or strain; some that you can try to prevent and others are not preventable. Certain exercises may cause Round Ligament Pain. You may be able to pinpoint these movements or you may find that this pain is showing you that you need to slow down and rest your body more. Afterall, growing a tiny human is HARD WORK! Other things that can contribute to sudden Round Ligament pain is any sudden movement that might strain the ligament including changing positions quickly, sneezing, laughing or coughing.
Aside from avoiding the above, what else can you do if you are having problems with Round Ligament Pain?
- Even though avoiding some exercises cause Round Ligament Pain, some exercises help prevent it too! Check out prenatal yoga and hip flexes/tilts. Keeping your core strong is very important to your overall wellbeing.
- Wear a belly support band. It really does make a difference. If you don’t want everyone to see it, wear a long tank, belly band on top then shirt over it. The pain immediately stops when I put this band on and support that growing belly! This is the one I purchased from Amazon
- Go to a chiropractor or physical therapist and have them show you the proper way to support your belly with kinesio tape. Not only can they show you how to tape your belly, they can also show you exercises and movements to help prevent the pain from happening or help to release a tight Round Ligament.
- Get a wedge for sleeping to support your belly. These huge pillows are great as long as your belly is supported from underneath. Waking up in the middle of the night with Round Ligament Pain is the worst but it can be prevented with support while side sleeping. Here is a wedge I got from Amazon and it has helped tremendously! I preferred this much smaller version of the pregnancy pillow as it did not take up the entire king sized bed and I feel like it supported my back better keeping me on my side.
- Other remedies for achiness associated with Round Ligament Pain include applying heating pads directly to the location you feel the pain for short periods of time, taking hot baths and pain relievers such as Tylenol if your doctor approves.
As always – there are appropriate times to contact your doctor should you experience the symptoms of Round Ligament Pain – if the pain persists and is so severe you are not able to perform common day –to-day activities, if you also have symptoms of urinary infection (sudden and frequent urges to urinate or burning during urination) or a fever – please contact your doctor right away!
Written by: Melanie Binversie, Owner & Lead Doula of Stars and Stripes Doulas of Washington DC