A sore spot on your pregnant belly can be caused by a number of things, including a firm kick from your growing baby. Most pregnancy pain that moms experience is considered normal, but it’s nice to know exactly what is causing each specific pain.
Pregnancy is an exciting period in a mom’s life. It’s a time filled with anticipation spurred on by date watching, constant measuring, and weight checking.
In between all the excitement, some moms may experience unusual and sometimes painful sensations in certain areas of their growing belly. For example, noticing a tender spot on your belly that feels similar to touching a bruise will definitely set off warning bells.
You may only feel pain when you touch or bump the spot, but you’ll still feel sensitivity around the spot like your skin is stretched. Yet, when you apply a little heat to the sore spot, the pain subsides a little only to return later.
As a pregnant mom with my second child, I was concerned when I read about the many moms out there that have had sore spots and those who are going through it right now. So I decided to do some digging of my own, and this is what I came up with.
Your growing womb
A full-term pregnancy is 40 weeks or 280 days, and during this time, your body has to change to accommodate your growing baby. A pregnancy is divided up into three semesters, each three months long.
In the first semester, your baby will grow very little in size compared to the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, but there is a lot of development taking place. By the end of the first month (4 weeks), your baby is about as big as a small grain of rice.
A heartbeat can be detected at six weeks, and at 8 weeks, your baby is about an inch long. A month on or at 12 weeks, your baby is now about 4 inches long and weighs about one ounce.
Yes, a lot is going on in your tummy, but because this first stage of pregnancy is dedicated to developing all your baby’s organs and systems, your belly will not grow much during this first trimester.
The 2nd semester is all about growth, and by the end of the fourth month, your baby will be about 6 inches long and weigh about 4 ounces. One month later, your baby will be about 10 inches long and can weigh between ½ to 1 pound.
At 6 months pregnant, your baby will be 12 inches long and can weigh up to 2 pounds. The 7th month is the end of the 2nd trimester, and your baby will be about 14 inches long and weigh between 2 and 4 pounds.
As you can see from your baby’s size and weight gain in the 2nd semester, your body has to make room to allow your baby to grow. Your skin and muscles will stretch to accommodate your growing baby.
During this time, your baby will also be moving around and kicking from time to time which is an odd but beautiful sensation to experience.
At times you may sit or lie in a position for a long time, and a sudden shift in position will catch your already stretched muscles off-guard, and you will feel a bit of pain in the area that a stretched muscle or muscles were put under sudden strain.
This is all part of normal pregnancy pains, and your body is designed to cope with changes during pregnancy.
Your 3rd trimester may count you into the tenth month to reach 40 weeks, depending on the length of each month during your pregnancy.
By the end of the 8th month (32 weeks), your baby will be about 18 inches long and weigh about 5 pounds. During this month, your baby begins storing body fat reserves, and brain development is drastically increased. The only organ lagging is the lungs.
By the end of 40 weeks, your baby will be about 18 to 20 inches long and can weigh about 7 pounds. Because of space constraints, there will be little movement, but your baby will have already shifted position to get ready to meet the world.
From this pregnancy timeline, your second trimester is when your baby grows relatively fast and is most active. You have to grow with your baby and contend with all the movements, punches, and kicks.
At times your growing baby will kick and hurt you, which could explain that sensitive spot that many moms talk about.
Round ligament pain
Although round ligament pain doesn’t quite fit some of the descriptions of that sore spot that moms have described, it does lead to a possible cause and may provide a better understanding.
To begin, round ligament pain is a common pregnancy pain and usually occurs in the 2nd trimester, when your baby’s growth accelerates, as do their movements.
The round ligament is one ligament that grows with and supports your womb or uterus during pregnancy. It connects the front of your womb to your groin and pelvic area.
During your 2nd and 3rd trimesters, the round ligament is stretched and, as a result, will tighten and relax slowly. Any sudden movement may trigger a sharp pain which means that the round ligament was placed under strain.
Round ligament pain usually lasts for a few seconds and occurs on the right side of your belly but can also occur on both sides.
Any sudden strain on your round ligament-like trying to pick up a heavy object or simply standing up too quickly, may cause round ligament pain. Sneezing, coughing, or laughing may also trigger round ligament pain.
Initially, round ligament pain is sharp and short, but we can’t be sure if any damage was caused in the process. Unfortunately, medical doctors cannot give a general diagnosis on what exactly causes the sore spot without a thorough examination, and the results may differ from mom to mom.
The sore spot fits the characteristics of round ligament pain, but it’s best to get a professional medical diagnosis as there are many other possible causes.
Measures to reduce round ligament pain
It’s always a good idea to stay fit and get plenty of exercise. Exercising during pregnancy is not taboo but is encouraged as long as the movements are not too strenuous.
- Stretching, walking, and prenatal yoga will help you keep in shape. It’s good to keep your core stomach muscles strong to help cope with your growing belly.
- Avoid sudden movements by slowing your pace down and prepare for movements like standing up after sitting for a while.
- Before you sneeze, cough, or laugh, try and bend or flex your hips to prepare your roundhouse ligament for that sudden movement.
- Relaxation also helps. A warm bath or warm pad over your belly definitely helps but remember that too much heat can be bad for your baby.
Important: Preterm labor pains can sometimes be confused with round ligament pain. If you do experience stabbing pains, it’s best to contact your doctor.
Abdominal point tenderness is the pain you feel when pressure is placed on certain spots on your belly, which are in line with the sore spot moms talk about. The sore spot could be a sign of peritonitis which results from inflammation of the tissue that lines the abdominal cavity.
Peritonitis can be caused by an abscess, appendicitis, hernia, or a twisted fallopian tube. The most common cause of peritonitis in pregnant women is appendicitis; however, all these conditions will require immediate medical attention.
It’s best to contact your doctor for an appointment, especially if the sore spot persists and becomes more intense.
Can trapped wind cause a sore spot?
Yes, trapped wind can cause a sore spot but is usually harmless and is part of the “normal” pregnancy pains moms experience.
Nevertheless, you should monitor the spot and pain level, and if it persists or becomes more intense, it’s best to call your doctor.
Does round ligament pain go away on its own?
In most cases, round ligament pain will dissipate on its own and can be helped by slowly changing your sitting position or posture. This article talks about round ligament pain.
If I’m unsure about my pregnancy pains, should I call my doctor or midwife?
The short answer is yes. If you are in any doubt, don’t hesitate to seek professional help or advice. Trained professionals will be able to help and guide you in the right way. What you do also affect your unborn baby, and it’s always best to play it safe.
A sore spot on your pregnant belly can be caused by several things, including a firm kick from your growing baby. Most pregnancy pain that moms experience is considered normal, but it’s nice to know exactly what is causing each specific pain.
Through discussions with your doctor or midwife, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what is expected and what isn’t.
Medical professionals will teach you what signs and symptoms to look out for that pose a risk to your pregnancy, and you will probably have an open line to call whenever you’re in doubt. Use this line of communication to your benefit.
If you feel upset or stressed because you discovered a sore spot on your belly, it’s better to call your doctor for advice and a possible examination. When it comes to your little one, leave nothing to chance.