4 Ways to Eliminate Round Ligament Pain

Here is an example of the round ligament stretching during pregnancy. 

Here is an example of the round ligament stretching during pregnancy. 

Are you pregnant and suffering from sudden sharp pains in your lower abdomen? These sudden pains occur from the round ligaments and can radiate into the groin. This is a common issue that flares up during the second and third trimester. 

Before pregnancy the round ligaments are ~ 2 inches long and stretch from the groin to the uterus on both the right and left sides. During pregnancy as the baby grows, the uterus expands causing the round ligaments to stretch over 8 inches! 

You may feel this sharp, uncomfortable pain while sneezing, coughing, going from sitting to standing, and any other quick movements. This is because the sudden movements can cause the ligament to snap, much like a rubber band. 


Four ways to prevent, reduce, and eliminate this pain 

Dr. Heppe, at 20 weeks pregnant, stretching her right round ligament (with help from her son). 

Dr. Heppe, at 20 weeks pregnant, stretching her right round ligament (with help from her son). 

1. Stretch the Ligament
-Lay down on a bed
- On the side you feel most pain bring that leg off the bed
- Grab hold of your ankle and gently pull it towards your shoulder
- Hold for 5-10 deep breathes and relax

*As your belly grows you can place a pillow under your upper back to prevent the baby from pressing down on your aorta* 

 

 
Dr. Heppe demonstrating  pelvic tilts . 

Dr. Heppe demonstrating pelvic tilts

2. Pelvic Tilts
- Do this exercise on your hands & knees, place something soft under your knees
- Curl your lower back- like you are dropping your belly button to the floor
- Next lift your lower back towards the ceiling & exhale through the motion
- Rhythmically move back and forth between these two motions for a couple minutes each day

**Bonus: This also helps improve the fetus' position for an easier labor & has been researched**
 

 

 

 

 
Dr. Heppe performing knee lifts at 20 weeks of pregnancy. 

Dr. Heppe performing knee lifts at 20 weeks of pregnancy. 

3. Knee Lifts
- Hold onto a wall or chair for support
- Lift the leg from the hip on the side of the pain
- This relieves tension on the ligament
- Hold the leg in the air for 30 seconds
- Repeat up to 5 times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Dr. Heppe illustrating a self massaging to her right round ligament. 

Dr. Heppe illustrating a self massaging to her right round ligament. 

4. Self Massage
- Put one finger on your belly button & another finger at the very top of your hip bone
- Move your fingers towards each other at a 45 degree angle
- You may feel a thin tight band that reproduces the sharp pain
- Gentle massage the ligaments in a circular motion