Pain in the upper abdomen and ribs is normal for this stage of pregnancy.


If it feels like your rib cage is getting larger, you're right: It's expanding to make room for your lungs, which need extra oxygen, and for your baby, who may decide to stretch out and push his feet up under your ribs. Some women will feel pain in the upper right corner of their abdomen over the last few ribs. This may be caused by inflammation of cartilage attached to the ribs.

Shifting positions may lessen your discomfort because it may cause your baby to move into a new position too. During the day, sit in a straight-back chair with a pillow behind your lower back to help relieve the pressure and make breathing easier. A warm bath or a heating pad may also help.

There is some relief in sight: Your ribs may feel less stretched during the last few weeks of pregnancy, when your baby moves down into position for birth.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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