Some pregnant women experience round ligament pain, especially during or after the second trimester. What is it, why does it happen, and how can you ease the pain?
What is it?
Round ligaments are ligaments (bands of tissue) that connect the front of your uterus to your groin. The pain itself can be an achy, crampy, or sharp and sudden feeling in your lower abdomen - sometimes even in your groin. Some women experience it on only one side, and others experience it on both.
Why does it happen?
Round ligaments stretch and tighten during pregnancy. The pain is caused when the ligaments quickly contract, so you might feel round ligament pain when you change positions too quickly, move suddenly, or even when you cough or sneeze. All of those sudden movements force the round ligaments to contract faster than normal, and that can make you feel very uncomfortable.
How can you ease the pain?
Thankfully, there are some quick and easy things you can do to help you work through round ligament pain. Gentle stretching and slowly changing positions are the most common ways to relieve the pain. Especially when you do things like get out of bed or stand up from the couch, move slowly to prevent the pain from occurring. If you have gotten approval from your doctor to continue exercising, be gentle with your body and careful with your movements. If you often experience round ligament pain while exercising, you should adjust your routine.
Tip: Many women feel relief after taking a warm bath. A bath can soothe and relax your body.