Your Pregnancy - - Q & A Month 2 - Dr Megan Hope Chi­ro­prac­tor

Q:Dur­ing my first preg­nancy I suf­fered from round lig­a­ment pain. I’m now eight weeks preg­nant. How can I avoid it this time?

A:Megan an­swers: Round lig­a­ment pain dur­ing preg­nancy is a com­mon com­plaint – it’s no won­der though as this lig­a­ment (which is about 5mm in di­am­e­ter and 12cm long in non-preg­nant woman) undergoes con­sid­er­able growth and in­creases ap­pre­cia­bly in both length and di­am­e­ter dur­ing preg­nancy. Un­der­stand­ing the biome­chan­ics of the pelvis dur­ing preg­nancy will help you grasp the func­tion of the round lig­a­ment. The uterus is sus­pended in the pelvic cav­ity by nu­mer­ous strong lig­a­ments that at­tach to the wall and floor of the pelvis. The round lig­a­ments at­tach from the outer parts of the uterus on both sides and in­sert onto the pu­bic bone, and this pre­vents the uterus from mov­ing back­wards. The round lig­a­ment com­prises of smooth mus­cle fi­bres, which give it the abil­ity to con­tract. Dur­ing preg­nancy these fi­bres are re­ally put to work, grow­ing in size as a re­sult of the ad­di­tional strain of the baby in the uterus. Due to this strain and in­creased work­load they of­ten hold ten­sion, as a nor­mal mus­cle would if it was made to work harder than it nor­mally does, which may pull on the uterus. Think of a bal­loon where one side is be­ing pulled: this is called in­trauter­ine con­straint. A com­pound­ing rea­son why these lig­a­ments may hold ten­sion is that your pelvis is out of align­ment or is not mov­ing cor­rectly. When your pelvic joints are re­stricted, it causes a “pull” on cer­tain lig­a­ments, which in­clude the round lig­a­ment, that at­tach to the pelvis. This in turn cre­ates tor­sion on the uterus. This may in­hibit your baby from mov­ing into the cor­rect po­si­tion for birth, as well as lim­it­ing the amount of space al­lowed for them to de­velop and grow. It is im­por­tant that you find a chi­ro­prac­tor with a spe­cial in­ter­est in peri­na­tal care that is Web­ster-cer­ti­fied and reg­is­tered with the In­ter­na­tional Chi­ro­prac­tic Pae­di­atric As­so­ci­a­tion, to en­sure that you cre­ate an op­ti­mal con­di­tion for your baby to grow and de­velop, and that you are free from dis­com­fort and pain. Creat­ing a bal­ance in the joints, mus­cles and lig­a­ments in the mother’s pelvic cav­ity will not only al­low for an eas­ier de­liv­ery, but it will also al­low the baby room to de­velop with­out re­stric­tions to its form­ing cra­nium, spine and other skele­tal struc­tures. I of­ten ad­vise my preg­nant moms to re­lease the lig­a­ments from ten­sion them­selves by work­ing them on both sides while they are in the shower. To find the lig­a­ment is quite easy – use your one hand to draw an imag­i­nary line from your belly but­ton down­ward and out­ward at a 45 de­gree an­gle from the hor­i­zon­tal. Us­ing your other hand, draw an imag­i­nary line from your hip bone (the bony promi­nence you feel on the front of your hip) down­wards and in­wards at a 45 de­gree an­gle from the hor­i­zon­tal. Where these two lines in­ter­sect is where you will find the round lig­a­ment. Use your fin­gers to work the lig­a­ment while ap­ply­ing a gen­tle pres­sure in an up­ward and in­ward di­rec­tion to­wards your op­po­site shoul­der. Keep in mind the po­si­tion­ing of the lig­a­ment, and that it at­taches to the pu­bic bone, work the round lig­a­ment all the way along feel­ing for any dif­fer­ence be­tween the two sides with re­gards to pain, tight­ness and dis­com­fort for about two to three min­utes daily. Round lig­a­ment pain with as­so­ci­ated nau­sea, di­ar­rhoea, fever, bleed­ing, cramp­ing or con­trac­tions re­quires the at­ten­tion of your health­care provider.

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