How to get rid of round ligament pain
Round ligament pain is a common problem among pregnant women. The pain is usually a sharp or throbbing feeling that can be felt in the lower part of the belly or groin area on both sides. The pain usually starts in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy once the uterus expands. The round ligaments that supports the expanding uterus becomes stretched, thin and stiff similar to a rubber band. Sometimes, the ligaments contract or spasm that will cause moderate to severe pain.
Symptoms of round ligament pain
- A sharp and sudden spasm in the belly, usually affecting the right side but can happen in both sides.
- Performing exercises triggers pain
- Performing rapid movements such as coughing, sneezing, rolling over in bed, laughing and standing up very fast produces pain in the belly.
- Get plenty of rest to lessen the pain caused by the stretching of the round ligaments.
- Apply heat on the affected area by taking a warm bath to relax and ease the pain. Avoid placing a heating pad on the belly when pregnant which is not good for the baby. Apply a warm compress on the sides of the pelvis where there is pain to minimize the pain and discomfort. Another alternative is soaking in a bathtub filled with warm water can also alleviate the pain by making the load inside the belly light because the water gives buoyancy. Avoid soaking in hot tubs and Jacuzzis since they can raise the temperature of the body which becomes unsafe for the baby.
- Seek the help of a prenatal massage therapist to provide relief to the common discomfort of pregnancy such as round ligament pain.
- When lying down in bed, place a pillow between the knees and under the belly to lessen the pressure from the ligaments and add comfort.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medication that is safe for pregnancy such as acetaminophen to lessen pain. Avoid taking medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen which are not advisable for use during the first two trimesters and unsafe during the third trimester of pregnancy.
- Drink plenty of fluids to keep the body well hydrated. Being hydrated prevents unwanted problems such as infections of the bladder and constipation.
- Use pelvic support aids such as maternity belts or abdominal supports which are used below the clothing. Wearing maternity support belts help lift the uterus, hips and ligaments as well as give support to the back.
If round ligament pain occurs along with vaginal discharge or bleeding, low back pain, faintness, chills, nausea and vomiting beyond the first trimester, seek medical help immediately.
Avoid sitting or standing for long hours without taking a break since it gives plenty of pressure on the growing and stretching ligaments.
If possible, take a break by sitting in a chair and avoid crossing the legs while sitting. It is recommended to use a pillow or cushion to provide support to the lower back and maintain good posture.