During my first pregnancy my daughter liked to nestle right up into my ribs using my liver as a dance floor.
I didn't expect anything less during this pregnancy, and this baby has not disappointed.
The difference between the two is, this baby doesn't use my liver as a dance floor, but likes to use my ribs as a trapeze in the middle of the night!
When I'm sleeping all of a sudden I'll feel the big push into my ribs, which causes a burning sensation in my muscles as they strain to stretch and withstand the force.
This is no way comfortable and really disrupts sleep....I'm sure many of you can relate!
During pregnancy one of the many body changes we experience is an expanding rib cage.
This is meant to give your organs and baby more space.
But in the process it can lead to tissue imbalances in your trunk resulting in pressurization changes and force inefficiency.
Combine that with baby making itself comfortable up and under your ribs and this is a recipe for nagging discomfort.
This can really be a pain, especially when you are trying to sleep.
So what can you do to provide baby with enough space while supporting your body?
What I mean by this is fill your lungs and ribs in all dimensions when you inhale.
Our lungs and ribs are meant to be able to expand 360˚ - front-back, side-side, top-bottom.
We tend to breath more to the front or just down.
This neglects a huge portion of our ribs and the muscles that make the ribs move with start to shorten and become tight.
Thus when your ribs need to expand to make more space, these muscles will be strained.
By focusing on allow your breath to fill your entire lungs stretches these muscles and tissues from the inside out.
You should also stretch these muscles from the outside in.
Doing simple rib openers like side bending, child's pose, seated twisting, can all really help your ribs release the tension and open up more.
These are great to do through out the day, especially after sitting for a while.
You may notice one side is tighter than another, for me it's my right side.
This is normal, since we tend to favor one side of our body for activities. Think about how your hold your bag/purse, hold your older child(ren), etc.
When your muscles become tight they become dehydrated and undernourished. This causes them to become more susceptible to injury and strain.
Doing simple fascia nourishing helps restore hydration and fluidity.
You can do this by gently poking around your ribs, looking for areas of discomfort.
Once you find a spot, you'd hold gentle pressure over this area while picturing a melting sensation and tissue release.
Getting to all areas can be really challenging and that's where having a partner, or professional help you out.
This is exactly what I do for myself, trying to stay ahead of growth spurts.
And remember that these tissue and muscle imbalances in the ribs affects the pressure system of your trunk, which in turn can lead to pelvic health issues like prolapse and incontinence.
So paying attention to your ribs can help you avoid pelvic issues, especially during postpartum recovery when your ribs start to find a less expanded position.
If you are or someone you know is experiencing rib pain during pregnancy, you can check out a quick video of a few rib openers on my Instragram or Facebook pages.
Or you can sign up for a free break through call to find out other ways I can help you find relief.