The changes a woman’s body goes through during pregnancy are nothing short of astounding. After all, you are growing a human inside you.
As your body adapts to accommodate a growing baby, you will experience a range of sensations that are new to you. Some are amazing. But unfortunately, some will be less than pleasant!
Round ligament pain is one of the most common unpleasant sensations. It affects up to 30 percent of pregnant women. It usually begins in the second trimester, around the 14-week mark.
While it can range from uncomfortable to excruciating, it is actually nothing to be concerned about. However, knowledge is power, and understanding the changes to your body can help you better manage your pregnancy.
So, let’s get empowered by exploring round ligament pain! What it is, why it happens, and how to reduce it…
What is the Round Ligament?
You may not know that you had a round ligament in your body until it starts to cause you pain during pregnancy!
Well surprise, you actually have two!
Round ligaments are rope-like cords of connective tissue. Their job is to support the uterus and hold it in the correct position. They originate at the uterine horns (where the uterus meets the fallopian tubes) and end in the groin/pelvic area.
What Causes Round Ligament Pain?
Before pregnancy, the round ligaments are short and thick. However, as your baby and your uterus grows, these ligaments begin to stretch, becoming long and tight.
Typically, any contraction or stretching happens gradually. But when the ligaments are already stretched, these movements can occur very suddenly. This causes a spasm or pulls on the nerve endings, resulting in sharp pain.
The most common trigger for the pain is sudden movement or exercise. You may find it hits when you move from lying or sitting to standing too quickly – or vice versa. It can accompany a sneeze, cough, laugh, walk, or even strike when you are rolling over in bed.
What Does The Pain Feel Like?
Usually, you will experience a sharp, stabbing pain deep within your lower abdomen or pelvis. This is often focused on the right, but can occur on both sides.
It may also feel like a painful stretching sensation. The pain is short and sharp, subsiding after a few seconds, or lasting no longer than one or two minutes.
While the pain can be severe and take your breath away, it should disappear quickly. If it doesn’t, or is accompanied by other symptoms (such as bleeding or fever), you should definitely consult your LMC or doctor.
What Is The Treatment?
There are a number of things you can do to minimise the chances of the pain striking…
- Try to be aware of your movements and avoid changing position too rapidly. Move slowly and consciously.
- Stretching exercises and prenatal yoga can help reduce the occurrence and pain.
- Gentle exercises focused on strengthening your core strength can assist. But be sure to check with your LMC or doctor to make sure they are appropriate.
- A warm bath or heat pad can help ease the unpleasantness. Just be careful not to apply too much heat, as this can be harmful to your baby.
- Our number one tip is to wear a pregnancy support belt to help carry your baby bump and relieve the pressure on your back and ligaments. Smileybelt, when worn with the wide part at the front supports the growing uterus and works in sync with the round ligament. All of this results in a much desired easing of the pain!
Not only does Smileybelt help with round ligament pain, there are a number of ways it can support you during pregnancy and after your baby is born. Make your pregnancy a great deal more comfortable – learn more about Smileybelt for pregnancy.