There are a number of reasons for rib pain during pregnancy, including your baby kicking your insides - it’s out of love, we’re sure!

But the main reason for the pain is usually because the uterus expands around your growing baby, adding pressure and pushing other organs under the ribs.

The ribs are prepared for this and expand to make room for everything, but in doing so there’s added strain on the surrounding muscles, which causes the discomfort and pain.

Rib pain during pregnancy mainly occurs during the third trimester, but some women experience it much earlier.

There are a few things you can try to relieve the discomfort:

  • Good posture - it’s important to create space by keeping length in your torso. Slouching or hunching over will restrict the space and put more pressure on those poor intercostal muscles. Make sure you aren’t sitting down for too long and get up to walk around every couple of hours.
  • Hot or cold compress - a hot water bottle or heat pack on the sore area can give great pain relief.
  • Comfy clothing - make yourself as comfortable as possible by wearing loose clothing.
  • Extra support - Use pillows to support yourself when lying down.
  • Massage - regular massage will relieve and relax the muscles that are under strain. Massage around the hips and gluteal muscles is also beneficial, as it will create space and allow the baby to drop down into a good position, moving away from those ribs.

Take comfort in the fact that this pesky pain won’t last forever, as, after 36 weeks, bub drops down in preparation for birth - providing your ribs with some sweet relief!

You can find out more about pregnancy massage, or book in for a session with Qi Rhythm here. For everyone who isn’t in Victoria, there’s more information on healthdirect.

Epworth Maternity

The baby guide all parents-to-be need!

We’ve brought decades of knowledge and practical tips into one place, with the creation of Bump, Birth & Bub, by Epworth Maternity. This fresh take on pregnancy, birth and those precious newborn weeks is easy to read and we hope it becomes your go-to maternity book.

Request your free copy.

24 July 2018


We use cookies to provide you with a customised experience which may include marketing purposes. More details can be found at our Privacy Policy.