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Bellies & Babies: Rib Pain During Pregnancy

By Dr. Olivia Avolio (she/her), Chiropractor

Let’s Talk About Rib Pain During Pregnancy

Very often, my pregnant mamas experience pain under their breasts (sometimes wrapping around the sides) after entering the second trimester. Causes of rib pain include the growing baby and uterus, baby’s movements and intrauterine position, increasing breast size, and hormonal changes. Mamas will report experiencing difficulty breathing, constant pressure on their ribs, a burning sensation, indigestion, and low back pain. Below are gentle stretches that you can do in the comfort of your own home to help with the pain!

1. Seated Side Stretch

Sit on a chair or yoga mat
Place one arm on the armrest, floor, or belly
Reach the opposite arm long overhead and inhale
On the exhale, reach further and bend, gently stretching
Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side
Perform this two times on each side

2. Thread the Needle

Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop pose
Gently slide one hand through the opening between the opposite hand and knee
Continue to slide the arm all the way out until your shoulder and head rest comfortably on the floor
From there, inhale & reach your hand toward the ceiling
Take 2-3 breaths, return to start position, and repeat

In addition to stretches, chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue therapy, gentle mobilizations, and breathing work help ease symptoms of rib pain. If you would like to ask me any questions or come in for an assessment, please do not hesitate to contact us. We have a lovely group of practitioners at West End Mamas ready to help!

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