Round ligament pain in pregnancy

Round ligament pain is a sharp, jabbing sensation on one or both sides of your lower abdomen. It's usually on your right side. This pain is not harmful to you or your baby.

The round ligament connects your womb to your pelvis. As your baby grows, these ligaments stretch allowing the womb to get bigger. This happens during the 2nd trimester (from 13 weeks) or 3rd trimester (from 28 weeks).

Causes of round ligament pain

Sudden movements can cause the ligament to pull suddenly and this results in pains.

These sudden movements include:

  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • rolling in bed
  • standing up quickly

Reducing round ligament pain

Things you can do to reduce round ligament pain:

  1. Don't arch your back too much when sitting or standing - bad posture can stretch the ligament
  2. Support your bump with your deep tummy muscle. Pull in the lower part of the tummy, bringing your bump in closer to your spine.
  3. Squeeze your deep tummy muscle. Draw your bump in close to you when standing up from a sitting position and when you're rolling in bed.
  4. Bend your hips up before you cough, sneeze or laugh.

Non-urgent advice: Contact your GP, consultant or midwife if you have:

  • severe abdominal pain
  • chills
  • fever
  • pain when peeing

Page last reviewed: 19 June 2019
Next review due: 19 June 2022

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.