Rib Pain During Pregnancy – The Relationship

Pregnancy is a time of bliss; however, it does take a toll on you. The growing baby stretches almost every part of your body to the max, reaching the rib cage. This is the main reason why some women have to bear rib pain during pregnancy. Here’s much deeper explanation of this.

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    5+ Causes of Rib Pain During Pregnancy

    Some of the common reasons why your ribs might be in discomfort:

    1. Heartburn
      Your body starts preparing itself for birth in the latter stages of gestation by releasing a hormone called relaxin. It helps some of the muscles and ligaments to ease for childbirth. Relaxin may also contribute to the skeletal pain that women feel during this time. The pain in the pelvis and ribs is actually your baby making room for itself.
      Moreover, this hormone also relaxes part of the esophagus, which serves as the reason for acid flow – heartburn. In some women, this feeling of heartburn manifests as rib pain.
    2. Hormones
      The same pregnancy hormones that loosen the joints also expand the ribs.
    3. Musculoskeletal changes
      As you grow, the change in movement range inside your body may be the reason why you feel pain in the rib during pregnancy.
    4. Inflammation
      As mentioned earlier, the cartilage in your ribs may loosen up and expand when you are pregnant, causing inflammation.
    5. Increased Uterus Pressure
      As your uterus continues to expand — and your breasts keep getting bigger — your rib cage may be, quite literally, under some pressure.
    6. Kicks From The Baby
      Your baby, although enclosed in the uterus, still can kick and move around (in the limited space), which may be the reason for your pain.

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    Does Rib Pain Deviate During Pregnancy?

    The good news is that during the initial phases of your pregnancy, you might not feel any rib pain at all. It is when your baby starts growing, putting pressure, the discomfort increases.

    • During The First Trimester, your body is well adapted to expand, particularly the uterus, which keeps increasing to accommodate your baby. However, during the first trimester, this growth is not enough to create issues for you.
    • Second trimester: As your baby grows, slight pain in the ribs and shortness of breath may be vivid since your growing uterus pushes against the diaphragm, compressing your lungs.
    • Third trimester: Rib pain stays till the latter period of pregnancy. It is when your uterus is at its maximum capacity that pressure increases on the ribs, causing pain.

    Managing Pain During Pregnancy

    To alleviate rib pain during pregnancy, you can consider the following tips:

    • Stretches
    • Wearing loose-fitting clothes
    • Use an exercise ball
    • Good posture
    • Hot or cold compress
    • Massage

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    Closing Note

    You can get in touch with our expert, Dr. Munira Dudhbhai, MD, FACOG, certified with the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, at Lewisville Women’s Care in case of queries or confusion of any sort. We always prioritize open communication, so consider us just a call away to help you with your blessed journey. Call us at (972) 956-8008 to schedule an appointment today.

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