Round ligament pain is a common symptom most women begin to feel in their second trimester. Your round ligaments are at the bottom of your groin and connect the hips to the abs.1 When your baby and your uterus grow, the round ligaments begin to stretch to allow for more room in the body for this growth. While this is what they are meant to do, the stretching can often cause an uncomfortable and often painful sensation.
Women will remark that round ligament pain feels like a sharp jab on the lower side of the body. The pain is often attributed to a sudden movement, such as a sneeze or cough or when you turn to the side or get up too quickly. Round ligament pain is very common and while not all women will experience it, a vast majority will. Don’t fret though! The pain is likely to subside as you progress in your pregnancy.
If you are feeling pain from round ligament stretching, there are many natural things you can do to lessen the pain or avoid it altogether.
7 Natural Remedies for Round Ligament Pain
Heat is often a no-no remedy when it comes to being pregnant, but if you are experiencing round ligament pain, you are able to use heat to help relieve it. The best thing you can do is take a bath—not only will the hot water loosen tension in your muscles but relaxation is also a big way to stop the ligaments from hurting. You can even add Epsom salts for added benefit. If baths aren’t your thing, try to use a heating pad on the affected area for small intervals of time. Just be sure to not put it on the highest heat setting and to limit your use to 15 minutes.
Add Yoga and Stretching to Your Routine
Whether you have a full exercise routine or you can hardly muster a walk a day, consider adding a bit of stretching to your daily routine. If you can, attend a prenatal yoga class or do a video on YouTube a few times a week. At the very least, spend 5 minutes a day on the floor, stretching your legs, your arms and your body. This small addition to your routine will make a huge difference when it comes to round ligament pain and other symptoms down the line.
Lay on Your Left
Sometimes the best thing you can do for pregnancy-related pain is to rest. If you have the time, consider taking a nap or laying down for a bit. Put a pillow between your knees or break out that pregnancy pillow and lay on your left side. By doing this, you are putting the least amount of pressure on your hips and ligaments and helping to drain out the tightness. Falling asleep this way is great too, so try to train your body to stick to the left throughout the night!
Get a Massage
You will probably begin to feel round ligament pain in your second trimester, which is also a great time to treat yourself to a prenatal massage. Try to find a spa that specializes in pregnant massage therapy to ensure that it is done correctly. If you cannot swing a professional massage, massaging your ligaments on your own (or having your partner do it!) is just as effective. Lay down on your side and gently massage the areas that are causing you pain.
You probably already have a pair of maternity jeans or two, but did you know there are also maternity items that can help support your muscles and bones so you don’t experience intense pain? A maternity support belt or belly band may seem like it helps you wear your non-maternity jeans longer, but in fact, these items actually help lift your posture and prevent the baby from putting too much pressure on your lower extremities.
Do you sit at a desk all day? Are you spending your evenings laying on the couch? If so, pay attention to your posture. Slouching and not sitting upright can be a big factor in your level of pain. Make it a point to improve your posture now and you’ll see benefits last well beyond pregnancy.
Eat Healthy & Take Those Prenatal Vitamins!
Prenatal vitamins are great for many things—they give our babies the nutrients they need and they give us the energy and vitamins we need to remain healthy throughout pregnancy. In addition to that, prenatal vitamins can also help our bodies remain strong and reduce inflammation and pain. The best things for round ligament pain are B12, Vitamin C, B6, B2, and iron—if your prenatal does not have any of these, ask your doctor about supplementing with another vitamin. You can also get a lot of these vitamins through the food you eat, so try to stick to a healthy, balanced diet as well.
Round ligament pain is just another un-fun symptom of pregnancy, but know that when you do feel this pain, it often means that your baby is growing strong and healthy. If you have severe pain that doesn’t go away or is accompanied by bleeding, lower back pain, or a burning sensation, be sure to call your doctor right away as this can be a sign of something much more serious. Until the pain subsides, make that pregnancy pillow your best friend and use it as an excuse to get in that extra hour of sleep!