If you have been pregnant you have probably experienced round ligament pain.
It can be a mild ache to a sharp stabbing pain.
What is the round ligament?
It is a cylindrical ligament that attaches from the uterus to the pelvis. It keeps the uterus from twisting or shifting too far out of place.
During pregnancy the round ligament needs to stretch as the uterus expands.
However, depending on how fast it stretches or how tight it is, it may cause pain.
Pain is usually felt in the lower half of the abdomen, near the hip.
It may only occur when you transition from sitting to standing, as the tissues in the front of the hip stretch.
Or it may last all day, lingering.
Even though your round ligament needs to stretch during pregnancy, it doesn't need to be painful.
Remember, just because you are pregnant doesn't mean you have to experience the common aches and pains associated with pregnancy.
So what can you do about round ligament pain?
Here are a few tips to ease the pain you may be experiencing as your uterus expands and stretches.
Using a warm heating pad or taking a warm bath can sooth the achey tissues. If you use a heating pad, avoid electric ones, just in case you fall asleep you don't want to burn yourself.
Doing simple stretches like pelvic tilts, side bends and and lunge stretch can help length the tissues around the uterus that may be inhibiting the round ligament.
As always when you stretch during pregnancy, avoid extreme positions, modify as necessary and use props!
Being mindful of your posture during pregnancy is not only good practice for overall health, but will put less strain on the round ligament as it supports the uterus.
4. Be core aware
Using your core muscles properly and doing simple core exercises improve your support of the uterus. This reduces the amount of work the round ligament needs to do, so it can stretch with less forces on it.
5. Where a maternity brace
If you are unable to provide enough muscular support, wearing a maternity brace that helps lift your tummy the way your abs are meant to can help relieve some discomfort.
6. When all else fails see a specialist
If you are experiencing severe round ligament pain that is really inhibiting your way of life, seeing a specialist may be your best bet. A pelvic floor PT who specializes in maternal health can perform manual therapy to release tight tissues and ease discomfort, help you find good posture, give you stretches most appropriate for you, and guide your through strengthening exercises.
Don't let round ligament pain get you down. Head over to Expecting Pelvic Fitness to try out my signature program for FREE to learn good posture during pregnancy, safe exercises and more.