Round Ligament Pain During Pregnancy - How to deal with it?
A great deal of changes occurs in one’s body over the span of pregnancy. While some of these changes will take you through amazing experiences, some changes can disturb you. Whereas, there are some changes which can create pain and agony that is very hard to cope with. Round ligament pain belongs to this group.
What is Round ligament?
Numerous thick ligaments encircle and hold the uterus as it grows during pregnancy. One of them is called the round ligament. The round ligaments are a pair of muscle that attaches the front part of the womb to the area where the legs attach to the pelvis (groin). It will stretch and thickens eventually in compliance with the growth of the uterus, thereby, holding the enlarging uterus in the correct position.
What is round ligament pain?
Round ligament pain is one of the most common complaints during pregnancy and is considered a normal part of pregnancy. It is most often starts during the second trimester. This happens due to the increased force applied to the ligament by the expanding uterus.
As the baby and womb grow, the round ligament starts to stretch. The round ligament usually tightens and relaxes little by little. However, sudden movements of the baby inside the uterus can result in the quick tightening of the ligament, similar to a rubber band snapping. This causes a sharp, momentary shooting pain more often on the right side or both sides of the abdomen.
What triggers round ligament pain?
Any sudden movement, voluntary or involuntary, can trigger round ligament pain. Coughing or sneezing, laughing, turning over in the bed, standing up too fast, etc are the most common triggers.
How to deal with the round ligament pain during the pregnancy?
There are several measures that you can take to minimize the round ligament pain and discomfort during your pregnancy.
Changing the position helps to alleviate the pain. If the pain begins while you are standing, try to sit down slowly. Similarly, if it begins when you are sitting, get up slowly and walk. Bending over, stretching, and lying down are other positions you can opt while changing your position to stop the round ligament pain. If you opt to lie down, lie down on the opposite side of the pain.
Strengthen the ligament with exercise:
Practicing Yoga and stretching exercises will help to bring down the chances of ligament pain. However, seek advice and direction from your doctor before planning an exercise strategy.
Practice Good posture:
Good posture helps you to keep away from round ligament pain. Avoid locking your knees.Avoid movements that make the ligament pain worse, such as reaching or stretching too far. avoid the postures that make the arch in your lower back increase noticeably. Sitting on an exercise ball is found highly beneficial to get rid of round ligament pain.
Slow down the movements:
When it comes to ligament pain, slower movements can be highly beneficial. Change positions slowly. This will help to prevent the previously stretched ligament from cramping or going into a contraction, causing the pain.
Prepare yourself before you sneeze or cough:
Once you feel like you are about to sneeze, cough, or even laugh, bend and flex your hips. This posture helps to avoid pulling on the ligaments that can trigger the pain.
Excessive heat is not healthy for your baby. However, applying some heat can help to relax the round ligament and relieve the pain. A heating pad, warm compress, or warm bath may be helpful to alleviate the ligament pain.
Laying down and massaging the ligament area (concentrating on the sides of the uterus) can help to relax and soothe the ligament tension. Massage gently with the fingertips. Prenatal massage also can bring relief to round ligament pain.
Use maternity belt:
Wearing a maternity belt relieves not only the round ligament pain it also will help to bring down the low back pain, and pelvic pressure by providing gentle but firm support for the growing belly. It also helps to lift the uterus, hips, and ligaments, and offer support for the back. A maternity belt or girdle has a cutout section so you can wear it without worrying about the pressure it may put on your baby bump. It is so convenient that you can wear it under your dress while going out.
Diet for the ligament:
Ligaments are mainly made up of collagen. There are several nutrients that are required for collagen synthesis in the body. Make sure your food and supplements include Zinc, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamins B6, and B2 that helps in the collagen synthesis.
Avoid sitting or standing for a long time:
Sitting or standing for a long time continuously can put additional pressure on the growing and stretching ligaments. Try to avoid crossing the legs while sitting and always support the lower back.