Ah, pregnancy. While it’s often touted as a magical journey full of joy and bliss, any seasoned mama will tell you that it can also be a bit of a pain — literally. Between hormonal changes that can wreak havoc on your emotional well-being to a stretching, itchy belly, sore breasts, and restless legs, pregnancy is not always a walk in the park!
That said, if you’re expecting a small bundle and constantly monitoring your progress weekly to get a better idea of what’s going on, you may have crossed paths with the term round ligament pain.
Round ligament pain is a common pregnancy symptom that affects up to 30 percent of all pregnant women. It is typically harmless, but that’s not to say it isn’t uncomfortable because trust us — it can be. Not to worry, though; there are several safe remedies that you can try to help find relief.
Read on to discover all you need to know about round ligament pain, including what it is and how to remedy it. Are you ready?
Let’s dive in!
What Exactly Is Round Ligament Pain?
Simply put, round ligament pain takes place when the pelvic ligaments stretch. These are the ligaments that support your expanding uterus, and the stretching can lead to a dull ache. This discomfort is caused by the tightening of these ligaments — which connect the front portion of the uterus to the groin — or irritation of nearby nerve endings.
Round ligament pain can flare when you change positions suddenly, laugh, cough, or sneeze but the pain typically goes away pretty quickly. Other than causing aches and pains, it’s not harmful to you or the health of your little one.
What Does Round Ligament Pain Feel Like?
More often than not, round ligament pain strikes during the end of the first trimester and second trimester, but, of course, no two pregnancies are exactly alike, so this can vary from person to person.
The severity of discomfort can also feel different for different people. The pain may feel crampy, achy, sharp, or stabbing. You might experience a throbbing pain or shooting spasms on one or both sides of your belly. It might radiate from your mid-abdomen down into your groin, or the pain may stay put around the right side of your pelvis.
While this common pregnancy symptom is usually no cause for concern, you should speak to your OBGYN or midwife if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Unbearable or severe pain
- Pain on urination
- Difficulty walking
- Persistent pain
- Changes in vaginal discharge
- Four or more contractions in an hour
What Are Some Tips To Relieve Discomfort?
Round ligament pain can put a major damper on just about anyone’s pregnancy. Thankfully, this less than favorable symptom usually resolves once you enter the third trimester. In the meantime, here are a few pregnancy-safe tips that may help alleviate some discomfort:
Tip #1: Change Positions
Like many other pregnancy discomforts, if you’re experiencing round ligament pain, your first course of action should be to change the position of your body until you’re comfortable. Try slowly moving around a bit and see if changing positions helps ease the pain.
Pro Tip: You may find relief by using pillows to support your belly. Catching Zzzs with a pillow between your legs may also help.
Tip #2: Kick up Your Feet
Taking it easy is always an excellent idea when there’s a bun in the oven, and you’ll probably want to get some R&R anyway — especially if you’ve got swollen feet and achy ankles! Getting your feet off the ground can also help relieve some of the pressure and pain on your round ligaments.
Pro Tip: For an extra boost of pain relief, we recommend 8 Sheep Organic’s Sleepy Body Lotion. Made from 100 percent organic ingredients like natural magnesium, this gentle pregnancy-safe formula works like a charm to prevent cramps, soothe pain, and induce a good night’s rest. What’s not to love?
Tip #3: Take a Warm Bath
When it comes to achy tissues and sore joints, there’s just about nothing better than a relaxing soak in the tub. Warm water (not hot) can do wonders to help alleviate some of the discomforts that come from round ligament pain.
Just be sure not to bump up the temperature since extreme heat can be dangerous to your growing tot. When in doubt, ask your healthcare provider if taking warm baths or using a heating pad on your lower abdomen is A-OK during your pregnancy.
Pro Tip: Toss in a few sprinkles of our Therapeutic Bath Salts for a relaxing and indulgent bath time experience. Handmade with a gentle blend of Epsom salts, natural sea salts, and plant-based essential oils, these naturally therapeutic bath salts are a dream and a must-have during pregnancy to help ease aches, pains, and tension.
Tip #4: Try Gentle Stretching Exercises
Dealing with a whole lot of round ligament pain? A bit of gentle stretching or some prenatal yoga poses may help this type of pain. Experiment with different movements that feel good to you. If anything hurts or exacerbates your pain, simply stop and try a different stretch or pose.
No need to get crazy with difficult poses — doing simple stretches like side bends and pelvic tilts can usually do the trick to soothe discomfort.
Pro Tip: Consider lighting an Aromatherapy Candle and doing a little meditation to help relax your mind and body before you stretch.
Tip #5: Wear a Maternity Belt
You probably already own a pair of maternity pants, but did you know that there are also maternity items that can support your muscles and ligaments, too? Yup, a maternity belt — or belly band — worn below your adorable baby bump may help to ease some of the pelvic pressure.
Pro Tip: Depending on how often you wear your maternity belt, you may find that it can sometimes cause irritation to your skin. So, to keep your delicate skin moisturized, healthy, and itch-free, we suggest using 8 Sheep Organics’ Helichrysum Belly Balm. Not only will this luscious formula help moisturize and soften your skin, but it can also help minimize the appearance of stretch marks!
A Final Word
Round ligament pain is a common pregnancy symptom, and there’s little you can do to prevent it from happening. (*sigh*) But once you start experiencing aches and pains, you can explore the tips we listed above to help ease discomfort.
If you’re unable to find relief or have any questions, thoughts, or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor.
Round Ligament Pain During Pregnancy | American Pregnancy Association
Abdominal Pain in Pregnancy | Algorithms for Obstetrics and Gynecology
Round Ligament Pain: What Does It Feel Like, Causes & Treatment | Cleveland Clinic
Growing pains during pregnancy are normal | Intermountain Healthcare