The first trimester has ended! For a majority of women, this means no more nausea, vomiting, heartburn, insomnia, and all the other fun pregnancy symptoms that everyone just loves. You feel like you're in the clear when suddenly you start to feel a sharp pain around your groin. It's sharp, but it goes away within minutes. What in the world was that? Is my baby okay? Will it happen again? What can I do to help it go away? What can I do to make sure it doesn't come back?
Sometimes it takes certain aches and pains for us to realize the various different muscles or ligaments that are in our body that we were never aware of before. The groin is definitely one of those places. We pay no attention to it when it works, but the minute something hurts, it becomes the forefront of our mind.
In the female body, we have two ligaments that connect the uterus to the groin. These ligaments help support the uterus and are typically short and thick, but during pregnancy, they slowly loosen, just as everything else does. They should loosen slowly over the course of the pregnancy, but sometimes sudden movements can cause them to pull more than they have loosened to, causing them to stretch further than they are able to, pulling the ligament. This can cause a short burst of pain, which we feel and know as round ligament pain.
Is My Baby Okay?
Yes, your baby is perfectly okay when this happens. Eventually, the ligaments will stretch out to where they need to be in order to continue to support the ever-growing uterus.
If the pain continues, and does not go away when trying different remedies or is accompanied by fever, chills, bleeding, or lightheadedness, call your doctor. This may be something other than round ligament pain.
Will These Pains Keep Happening?
Depending on your body, they could continue throughout the second and third trimester as your body continues growing.
What Can I Do for the Pain?
There are a few things that you can do to help relieve the pain/help to prevent it from happening more often.
Stretching will help strengthen the muscles. Some great poses to try are
Here is a great resource for reference for these stretches.
Use A Belly Band:
Belly bands are a great resource for moms in the second and third trimester to help not only with round ligament pain but also with back pain. The belly band will help to take some of the weight of your growing belly off of your back and ligaments. Make sure you find a good one that is highly rated to be most effective.
Avoid Sudden or Jerky Movements
You may have already started to notice this pain flaring up most often when you turn suddenly, get up from sitting down very quickly, or even turn over in bed quickly. Take your time doing these motions, and don't worry about making others wait for you!
Heat will help to relax ligaments that have tightened up and are causing pain. A nice warm bath will help the pain, but also your entire body to relax, and never was there a mom who said they had been too relaxed too often. Just make sure that your body temperature stays below 101 degrees!
Over the Counter Pain Medicine.
If all else fails or the pain is just too much to manage, you can take over the counter pain medicine to help with the bursts of pain. Always remember to check with your doctor on what medications you are allowed to take during pregnancy. And remember, if the pain is lasting constantly and won't go away, call your doctor to go get checked out!