Why does my side cramp? What your round ligament may be telling you

Canva - Girl Crying on Woman's Lap.jpg

Do you feel it? Sharp and tender, on your side, near your hip. It may feel very deep.

Perhaps you wince or gasp. Or feel a dull ache in your belly after a stressful day.

Follow the top of your hip inwards toward your ovaries. Really get in there. Close your eyes and breathe into that space till you feel it. Those are your ligaments. The round ligaments are actually muscles attaching your uterus to your pelvis. Towards the end of pregnancy especially, your ligaments can become tight and tired from all the weight of your pregnant belly.

A woman’s nervous system is more in tune and connected down the spine. When we feel stress or anxiety, it travels down to our bottom, pelvic floor area, and lower abdomen and tells those muscles to tense up. It’s a protective mechanism for our most vulnerable parts. For certain women, especially who have experienced trauma, are in the midst of stressful life events, or who struggle with anxiety, the muscles of the pelvis, lower back, and abdomen can become especially tight and uncomfortable. Often, just an awareness of these muscles can bring us back to the present and help to release the tension. But it’s also nice to have a little help. Here are a few suggestions…

Canva - Dog Friend Massage.jpg

Schedule a prenatal massage.

You deserve it. Go to a massage therapist who is trained in prenatal massage so she can work on your round ligaments.

Canva - Photo of Pregnant Woman Walking on Pathway.jpg

Take deep breaths.

Walking helps because it requires deep abdominal breathing, which engages our central nervous system and deep abdominal muscles. Yoga and warm baths also help.

Canva - Women Standing Beside Each Other.jpg

Ask your partner, doula, or friend

to do the round ligament release for you at the end of pregnancy or in labor. It feels SOOO good!

Are there any things you have found especially helpful to soothe those muscles? We’d love to hear them in the comments!