How To Reduce Rib Pain During Pregnancy


Pregnancy brings a great deal of happiness for most women, but it can also bring some discomfort as well, especially as the baby gets bigger during the last three months of gestation. A frequent complaint from many mothers-to-be is rib pain during pregnancy. This symptom is usually present during the final months, but one may start to feel the strain in the last part of the second trimester. Fortunately, there are ways to ease this uncomfortable side effect of pregnancy rib pain. One such way to relieve common pain associated with pregnancy and is “all the craze” now is pregnancy yoga; which even offers classes online. Although yoga can be quite a commitment and sometimes all you want is to simply feel better right now! Something we came across recently is the amazing relief provided by a simple pregnancy message; something Alicia found amazingly successful.

Usually the pain and tenderness is persistent, and it can range from a mild irritation to extreme soreness. Some women report that they feel “bruised” or torn in that area, even though there is no discoloration or swelling detected externally. It is the result of pressure created from the baby growing larger and pressing up against the ribs. The spot right under the ribcage is normally affected, but since nerves travel in a path, one may experience pain in the shoulder as well. It is also possible to feel short of breath during this period because the mother’s internal organs are being squeezed to allow the fetus room. This is when acid reflux starts to be a problem as well, due to the compression of the mother’s stomach.

Other physical changes are occurring during that last stretch of gestation that contributes to the uncomfortable aches and pains. Natural hormonal production makes joints and connective tissue looser to prepare a mom’s body for delivery.  Specifically, the pelvic cradle will need to widen for birth, but all of the body is affected. At the same time, the woman’s breasts begin to get bigger, and the extra weight begins to pull at the chest and upper back. The combination of stretchy tissues and added weight brings a sensation of stretching and tearing, and this can become very painful as the due date approaches causing sore ribs during pregnancy.

The good news is that there are ways to reduce this pain and relieve rib pain during pregnancy. Since it can be worse in a sitting position, one should be aware of posture while seated.  Slouching or hunching compresses the middle of the body and makes the pain worse. Sitting up straight will lessen some of the pressure. One should pull the shoulders back at the same time, which will open up the torso. Using good support bras to lift the breasts also relieves the excess pressure in the chest. Many pregnant women buy nursing bras by the time the third trimester rolls around, so it may be the right time to start wearing them as well. One should look for extra support when buying bras and avoid under-wires, which will dig into the tender area and exacerbate the pain.

Along with proper posture and supportive bras, one can get relief from rib pain during pregnancy by performing stretching exercises or numerous message techniques. There are even online yoga programs structured just for expectant moms that are designed to provide relief from common discomforts. Attending local classes can be a great way to relieve stress and meet other moms in the area. If ground classes are not available or impractical, there are numerous DVDs that feature prenatal workouts and yoga programs. One can also benefit from breathing exercises to relax and unwind because stress contributes to muscle tension and awkward posture as well.

Unfortunately, the glow and excitement of becoming an expectant mom can often be offset with some uncomfortable side effects like a real pain in ribs during pregnancy. The new life growing in a mother’s womb can cause some aches and pains as the woman’s body makes room for her offspring. With proper rest, comfortable clothing, good posture, and stretches one can ease discomfort, such as rib pain during pregnancy second trimester, making the experience even more joyful.