Abdominal pain when pregnant is very common.  The round ligament attaches from the vulva up to the uterus (see our picture below) and commonly gives a shooting pain on either side of the the lower abdomen or pubic area when moving too quickly.

The pain felt will be short-lived, and sharp, and is often when quickly turning to the side, standing up or reaching up.  It should only be connected with movement and not persist afterwards.  This ligament becomes lengthened and thickened when pregnant, functioning to support the position of the growing uterus.

There are some important things to know about Round Ligament Pain – here are our Four Top Tips to help if you are experiencing abdominal pain during pregnancy:

Tip 1: If you are getting several abdominal pains, make sure they are not a sign of labour.  Round ligament pain will not be regular, eg happening every 5 minutes, nor will they be present once you stop moving.   Likewise, if you are getting severe persistent pain in the abdominal region, it is best to contact your medical healthcare provider or the hospital immediately.

Tip 2: Remember that round ligament pain is completely normal in pregnancy and many experience it at some stage.  It is a good sign that the ligament is growing longer and thicker to accommodate the uterus.

Tip 3: Minimise sudden movements.  It can be useful to make a diary of particularly aggravating movements to avoid.

Tip 4: If pain persists, it can be really useful to see a women’s health physio to determine if you are in fact experiencing round ligament pain.  We can fit you with a support brace and teach you specific stretches to help reduce round ligament pain.

If you are looking for more information on how physio can help during pregnancy, click here to watch a short video, or call our practice on 6056 6616 to make an appointment.