Leah – It sounds as though you are experiencing round ligament pain. Unfortunately, this is a normal part of pregnancy and can be very uncomfortable.
The round ligament supports the uterus and stretches during pregnancy. It connects the front portion of the uterus to the groin. These ligaments contract and relax like muscles, but much more slowly. Any movement (including going from a sitting position to standing position quickly, laughing, or coughing) that stretches these ligaments, by making the ligaments contract quickly, can cause you to experience pain but it should only last for a few seconds.
Rest really is one of the best ways to help with this kind of pain. Changing positions slowly allows the ligaments to stretch more gradually and can help alleviate any pain. If you are having consistent round ligament pain your health care provider may recommend daily stretching exercises. The most common exercise is placing your hands and knees on the floor, lowering your head to the floor, and keeping your bottom in the air.
It is important to talk to your health care provider about this. I hope it passes quickly for you!
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Ask Tori RN®, by registered nurse and resident author of The Joy of Pregnancy, is a helpful and reassuring resource for parents-to-be.
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