Round ligament pain is a common occurrence during pregnancy and can make normal activities a minefield of discomfort. Listed below are some round ligament pain stretches to relieve you.
What Does Round Ligament Pain Feel Like?
Round ligament pain most often feels like a cramping or pulling sensation in the lower abdomen on one or both sides, most often near the hip bones or groin area. The lower abdominal pain can range from uncomfortable to severe, and with sudden movement, your type of pain might feel sharp or stabbing.
What Causes Round Ligament Pain?
Your round ligaments are like two cords on each side of the uterus, about 10-12 centimeters long. Their main job is to connect the uterus to the pelvis.
Throughout the second trimester of pregnancy—around weeks 14 to 27—your body makes extra hormones to help your ligaments get loose and stretchy to accommodate your growing baby. Sometimes those ligaments stretch and contract too quickly, much like a rubber band, and *snap.* That’s what causes this pain during pregnancy.
How Long Does Round Ligament Pain Last?
Normal round ligament pain shouldn’t last more than a few seconds when it occurs, and it should completely resolve after pregnancy. If it’s more persistent, have a chat with your medical provider.
6 Round Ligament Pain Stretches
Round ligament pain can be a real bummer. But never fear! It’s a normal part of pregnancy and signals that your uterus is growing along with your little one. And the good news is that there’s plenty you can do to alleviate it!
Stretching is the best way to loosen things up and prevent round ligament pain. Here are our top round ligament pain stretches to get you started:
Start on your hands and knees, shoulders above wrists and hips above knees. Breathe in and drop your stomach down, arching your back and looking upward. Then, breathe out and round your upper back toward the ceiling, allowing your head to drop and face your stomach.
#2 Hip Flexor Stretch
In all fours position with your arm resting on a chair or birthing ball, bring the right leg forward while extending/straightening the left leg back until you feel a stretch in the front of the left thigh. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
#3 Side Lying Savasana
Lie on your left side in a fetal position, tuck your left arm beneath your head, and place a pillow between your legs to relieve pressure on your lower back. Flex your hips and remain in this position for several minutes. Inhale deeply as you stretch.
#4 The Pelvic Clock
Sit on a birthing ball or chair with your feet flat on the floor. Bring your hands to your hips so you can feel the movement in your pelvis as you stretch.
Now, imagine a clock resting on your pelvis—with your navel at 12 o’clock and pubic bone at 6 o’clock. Engage your abs and lengthen your spine. Inhale and tilt your pelvis toward a 3 o’clock position.
Continue on the inhale and move around the clock, creating a small arch in your lower back. Exhale and bring your pelvis to 9 o’clock. Continue your exhale until you reach a neutral 12 o’clock position.
This exercise can be a little tricky to imagine. That’s why I walk you step-by-step through this stretch inside the V-Hive Pregnancy Series! Start your free trial today.
#5 Butterfly Stretch
Sit upright on a firm surface. Place the soles of your feet together and pulse your legs up and down, like the wings of a butterfly. You should feel a stretch in your inner thighs. For an even deeper stretch, place your hands on your knees for resistance.
Other Ways to Relieve Round Ligament Pain
While round ligament pain stretches are the best way to reduce pain, there are a few other things you can try to alleviate the discomfort :
- A belly band to give your bump some extra support
- Hydration to improve circulation to your growing tissue
- Rest to allow your muscles to recover from any movement
- Massage to give that area some extra TLC
- Acetaminophen to get some medicated pain relief*
*Ask your doctor before starting any medications, just to be safe!
When to Call Your Doctor
Round ligament pain is usually nothing to worry about. But if it’s accompanied by other symptoms, you should check in with your doctor to make sure things are A-OK. Look out for:
- Persistent, severe pain
- Fever or chills
- Pain on urination
- Difficulty walking
- Unusual vaginal discharge
These could be signs of a serious pregnancy-related complication, like preterm labor, preeclampsia, or placental abruption.
We’re in this together.
You deserve an incredible pregnancy. And part of achieving that is taking care of your pelvic floor and core! Let’s do it together. Check out the Pregnancy Series, exclusively inside the V-Hive!