Congratulations on your pregnancy! Babies are precious little beings that will make your heart warm and fuzzy.
You might have already heard many of the beautiful things that come along with raising these cute creatures.
But, for sure, you have also heard about the not-so-good tales, for example, them causing bodily injuries such as broken ribs.
So, can a baby break your ribs for real? Find out the answer by reading this article.
Continue reading to find out how to determine if your rib is indeed broken and what you can do to alleviate the discomfort if you’re pregnant and suspect your unborn child may have fractured one of your ribs.
Can a Baby Break Your Ribs? The Answer
The short answer to the question: can a baby break your ribs is yes.
It’s possible for babies to break your rib. But, the likelihood of that happening is very rare.
If it does happen, you might have bone issues such as osteoporosis that make your bone brittle, hence why babies can break it.
Another reason why babies can break your ribs is also probably because they are very big and your waist is shorter than normal.
Other than that, the worst thing that babies can do to your ribs is to bruise it.
However, a lot of women experience rib pain, especially in the late stages of their pregnancy.
This is often the result of babies stretching out under your ribs or kicking it directly.
The pain is just because the babies are moving near your rib area in some cases.
The intensity of the pain depends on the baby’s movement and which part of the rib they are hitting.
Aside from the babies’ movement, there can also be other causes of rib pain that you’re experiencing during pregnancy.
These causes include:
Pregnant women have a higher risk for gallstones.
The main reason for this is that they have higher estrogen levels, resulting in a slower emptying process of the biliary duct and gallbladder, which causes gallstone formation.
2. Musculoskeletal Changes
Your body goes through a lot of changes during your pregnancy. These changes can cause rib pain.
For instance, your range of motion will be limited when you are pregnant because your body is literally expanding.
As a result, it would be difficult for you to bend forward or backward, which are limitations that can instigate rib pain.
Relaxin, a type of hormone, is produced during pregnancy.
This helps the ligaments and muscles to feel more relaxed, allowing the body to prepare for the birthing process.
However, this hormone can also be the culprit for several skeletal pains experienced during pregnancy.
This includes the rib area since your body is making room for the baby.
At the same time, this hormone also relaxes part of your esophagus, causing you to be more prone to heartburn during your pregnancy.
In some cases, heartburn can also manifest as rib pain.
4. Other Complications
Experiencing rib pain or bruised ribs is more common than you think.
Many women just regard it as part of pregnancy’s discomfort, which is true in most cases.
Unfortunately, there are some instances when rib pain is a symptom of a pregnancy complication.
Some examples of pregnancy complications that have rib pain as a symptom include preeclampsia and liver disease.
However, when experiencing any of these complications, you might also have other accompanying symptoms.
This makes it easy for you to assess whether it’s a life-threatening complication or just an ordinary occurrence of the rib pain.
Also read: How to Keep Toddler in Room at Night
Frequently Asked Questions
What Can I do to relieve rib pain during pregnancy?
You can do several things to ease the rib pain you are experiencing during your pregnancy.
During the first few months of your pregnancy, it is highly recommended for you to gently and regularly exercise, more specifically, do stretching routines.
This will prevent your body from expanding, minimizing potential rib pain.
You might also want to consider going to a chiropractor. Just make sure that you go to someone who specializes in pregnancy.
They can help lessen the pressure on your rib to relieve your pain.
How common is rib pain during pregnancy?
Rib pain is very common, especially during the third trimester when the baby is almost fully grown and ready to go out.
But, you can feel the pain during your early stages of pregnancy since the muscles around them might start stretching to give room for your baby to grow.
How to know if your rib pain is a symptom of preeclampsia?
The rib pain, which is a symptom of preeclampsia, is often concentrated on the upper right quadrant of your rib.
You might also feel similar sensations to when you are having indigestion.
Take note that preeclampsia is a serious life-threatening condition.
If you feel like you’re experiencing this, it is best to immediately get a doctor’s opinion. It is better for you to be safe instead of sorry.
How long does rib pain last during your pregnancy?
Rib pay can last up to your last trimester.
In many cases, it will feel most painful when your baby starts moving in your stomach since there’s a higher chance of them being able to kick your ribs physically.
This might sound dreadful, but you might feel a bit of relief when you reach your 36th-week mark.
This is because, during this period, the babies will slowly start descending into your pelvis, so the pressure on your ribs will be lesser as well.
So, can a baby break your ribs?
Yes, but the chances of that happening is very slim, which is why rib pain is often regarded as just a common side effect of pregnancy.
You could say that it’s part of the experience, especially when you have a very active child inside you.
Rib pain is commonly caused by babies moving inside the belly or them kicking your ribs directly.
Aside from that, it can also be caused by gallstones, musculoskeletal changes, or heartburn.
But, there are also instances where rib pain during pregnancy is caused by the mother’s underlying condition, such as preeclampsia.
This is why it should not be disregarded, even if it’s not a broken rib.
Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She’s an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.