Round Ligament Pain During Pregnancy: Survival Tips.

I first noticed the pain around 20 weeks gestation during my first pregnancy.

I was waking up from a good nights rest. My alarm was going off, and I quickly rolled from my right to my left to silence it before it woke up my husband. Big mistake. Suddenly I felt excruciating pain in my upper left thigh adjacent to my public bone. I grabbed my phone and shut the alarm off, and laid on my back for a moment to see if the pain stopped. It did for the moment. However when I got up to get ready for the day, the rolling over movement produced that terrible pain once again, and I found it occurred whenever I did similar movements.

As the weeks went on, the pain got worse. I found it difficult to put on pants. The act of lifting one leg into the pants at a time was painful. I had to sit to do the simplest tasks like putting on boots. Climbing in and out of my SUV became strenuous and would trigger the pain as well. Getting up from a seated position on the ground became a challenge. I eventually began documenting when I was feeling the pain, and what the triggers were so I could bring it up to my OB. She concluded that it was likely round ligament pain, and unfortunately it wouldn’t go away until after delivery. She gave me a prescription for a physiotherapist, and sent me on my way.

I began physiotherapy shortly after that. I would go into the room with the physiotherapist who would give me different exercises and stretches to try. We would do basic workouts to try and stretch out the muscle. Nothing worked. She did give me some helpful tips to curb the escalation of pain during the day which did actually help.

She said:

  • Put my knees together when entering and exiting a vehicle. Sit on the seat with your legs facing outward, and swing them into position once you’re seated to minimize the separation of the ligament.
  • Move very slowly when getting up from a seated position or laying down position, and move your legs together to minimize separation.
  • Try not to lift anything heavy that would trigger a flare up.
  • Sit down to put on pants, shoes or socks. This will give your leg a rest and not put any additional weight or pressure on it.
  • Massage the inner thigh if it’s sore. Just a light massage.

Some of these things are easier said than done. I worked in an infant program, so I was constantly lifting children and sitting on floors. The more my pregnancy progressed, the worse my pain was. I ended up being removed from my workplace environment around 34 weeks because my pain was so bad and my doctor thought it may stress out my body (I have high risk pregnancies).

The only solution to my pain was delivery. Once I delivered my daughter, the pressure was released off of the ligament and my body was free to resume its normal position. This time around, the pain began again around 22 weeks. The more I grow, the worse the pain is becoming. I have reverted back to those tips I learned in Physio because they do help, but I know the only solution is delivery.

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