Thursday, January 4, 2007

Pregnant with Pain in Upper Abdominal Area

Lately, several people have found my site searching for information on the pain they are experiencing during pregnancy. I am interested to know what kind of pain you are having, and what your doctor is telling you about it.

My pain started in my back between my shoulder blades, around 22 weeks. It still exists in my back, but about 2 weeks later, migrated to my upper abdominal area and has progressively gotten worse.

It feels like a burning sensation - all the time - right under my rib cage and down the center of my stomach. It is concentrated just right of center, but radiates all across the top of my abdomen. At its worst, it localizes to a point and feels like a knife stabbing me. This has just started in the last few days, and happens whenever I move, change positions, walk, etc.

I have had blood work and a sonogram done on my gall bladder to check for infection and stones. According to both, I have neither. I have tried stretching, which only makes the pain worse. I have taken extra-strength Tylenol, which does not touch it. The back massager helps alleviate the back pain, and reduces the abdominal pain temporarily, but not for long. My doctor - who is at a loss for what is causing the pain - prescribed me Prevacid, in case it is a stomach/acid reflux issue, which only made the acid reflux worse. I have stopped taking it. I've also received a referral to a physical therapist in case it is musculo-skeletal, but since the pain is continually increasing with every movement, I have put that on hold. I am scheduled to see a GI specialist next week, who I expect will do little to nothing since most tests require anesthesia or something else harmful to the baby.

It is getting difficult to get comfortable when I sleep. The only position in which I am really semi-comfortable is on my back, and being 28 weeks along, I am supposed to avoid sleeping in that position. Sleeping on my side (either side) feels like something (gravity?!) is pulling/stretching my insides to the floor, and sends the stabbing pain feelings shooting through my rib cage.

I know I am not supposed to be comfortable in my 3rd trimester. But! This pain started in the 2nd, and anyone to whom I explain it looks at me as if there is something very not right about the location of my pains. Of course, my doctors look at me as if I am the only person on the planet with this kind of problem, and are thoroughly perplexed at what could be the problem.

I find this extremely annoying and aggravating. Finally, after going to my doctor for the 3rd time complaining about this, they have prescribed me Tylenol 3, which is allowing me to sleep and is taking the edge off the pain. But it is neither alleviating it altogether, nor does it identify what the freaking problem is. Plus, I really don't want to be feeding my baby T3's on a regular basis.

Regarding the baby, he seems to be fine. His heartbeat is clear, he looks perfect on the ultrasounds, all signs point to this is not affecting him. THANK GOD!

So, please, if you are having similar issues during your pregnancy (or know someone who is), please share them with me, and let me know what your doctor is telling you about it. What tests have they done? Have they reached any conclusions? Do they seem as dumbfounded as mine do?! How do you feel? Is the pain similar, different, similar but different? I would definitely like to know.

All the best...

Edited 2/2/2007 to add:
I went for a consultation with a chiropractor today. They do work with many pregnant women, but usually because of the lower back pain experienced during pregnancy. I made sure they understood that what I am feeling is "not normal pregnancy pain".

Of course, they cannot do x-rays, but he felt my spine and noticed a definite curve in the middle section of my back, which is putting pressure on the opposite side and causing the extreme pain. He put me on a table that has a break-away section for my pregger-belly. He mashed around, particularly in the sensitive areas, which were really hurting today. Within a few minutes, my back had popped several times. He said that's all he wanted to do today, and was actually surprised that my back popped like it did given that it had been locked up for the past four months.

Ladies, I stood up and IMMEDIATELY felt relief in my abdomen. The burning sensation was not there at all. It's the first time I've not felt it in months! It was almost strange.

He told me that it would not be a permanent relief, and that it would probably take a few adjustments for it to last. He also said that my back will probably get sore again because it's so used to being in that cramped position, and will tend to draw back up. I am scheduled to see him again on Monday, as well as have a pre-natal massage at the same clinic.

The relief in my abdomen is enough to make me do cartwheels! Doc was very understanding to my pain, and could immediately tell that something was not right. He also said that many times, our posture has so much to do with the intensity of pain we feel, and that although not super bad, I could improve upon that as well. Course, being pregnant, we're prone to poor posture.

It's been almost an hour, and my abdomen still does not hurt, burn, feel numb or have stabbing pain. My mid-back/shoulder blade is hurting again, which I expected. I will keep everyone posted on the progress.


Michael Manning said...

HI and Happy Belated New Year! I haven't been by in a while and had no idea all this was happening with the pain. But I have you in my best wishes and hope you are pain free and doing well ASAP.

Stef said...

Hi, I found your site like you said searching for pregnant women with similar problems like mine. I am only 15 wks pregnant with my second pregnancy. I lost my first at 33wks so I am pretty intuitive myself. I know how you feel about the doctors not knowing what your talking about and just ignoring the issue because they've never heard of anything like that before. I may worry alot but the things that happen to me that I feel are real. I have been feeling a quick, kick-like feeling that really actually scares me. It scares me because it's so hard and sharp and because I know I am not feeling the baby do that because first of all it's too early and secondly somtimes it's in the upper abdomen, right side or left. I have searched high and low on the web and tried to search with out the word pregnancy incase it may be something thats not related to this. I have come up with some possibilities, hernia during pregnancy or something far fetched and more serious like aortic aneurysm. Those have similar symptoms but I have no clue this happens occassionally. Not constant. Has been happening since maybe 11wks or so. At first I associated it with when I would move, like turning suddenly ,thats usually when I noticed it. But now I notice it when I am sitting still watching tv or doing a crossword.Then it has happend often enough for me to notice that when it does happen to me while I am just sitting my bladder is usually extremly full. Maybe it is just stomach muscles stretching or intestines moving but, it scares me cause it would be more often noticed in other pregnant women and doctors would be able to know exactly what I am describing if it was normal stretching or whatever. And like you said all pregnancies are diffrent. My doctors have no clue and think I am crazy. I feel crazy, this bothers me not knowing what is going on with my body.My next visit is the 19th when I am 16wks. I will talk to my nurse again about this and ask her about what I suspect it could be and ask that they do whatever to look for it, which would be a U/S of the abdomen. Nothing difficult. Well I was wondering how things are going with you now? Oh and so I don't leave anything out I forgot to say that I also notice if I relax my stoach almost kindof stick it out push it out like when I breath in and fill it or maybe its my diaphragm I am filling up with air that that same pain stretch like feeling occurs but of course its not as quick or sharp , not sure why this is either.I had one other suspection that I may just be having some kind of Phatom kicking from the loss of the other but that is totally insane. But I saw something on tv where a guy had an axtra foot on one leg and they removed it and he later had feelings that it was still there and could feel it moving and they called it some type of phantom limb thing. I don't know. Confused, worried, scraed, Pregnant. Woo Hoo. Good Luck! Keep me posted.

Tia said...

Hey. I am 33 weeks pregnant with my second child and have been feeling pretty similar to how you are feeling. My pain started 3 days ago and it is just below my ribs on my left side and it wraps around to my back. I feel a stabbing pain quite often in the very front just to the left of the center of my rib cage and I also feel it bad in my back behind that same area. It hurts more when I do dishes, cook, bend over, lay down...move and/or just standing there. Went to the doctors today and they say its probably a muscular-skeletal problem and that tylenol wont help. Just rest, and since I have a 2 year old that wont happen, so he said it should go away when I have the baby. Lucky me. If you hear anything let me know. Very strange feeling to be hurting this bad and nobody understands why...or just thinks your a baby. Hope you feel better. Tia

the Intuitive Woman said...

Dear Stef and Tia,

Thank you for your comments and sharing your similar experiences with me. I feel your pain, and know how frustrating it is for the doctors to have no answers.

Stef, I'm so sorry to hear about your first loss. That must have been so traumatic to lose a child at 33 weeks. I had similar shooting pains earlier in my pregnancy, but they were down lower. They went as fast as they came, but I have not had them in a while.

Tia, in the research I had done trying to figure out what was going on, I did learn that pain on the right is "typically" associated with the gall bladder, pain on the left typically associated w/ the pancreas. Not sure if that helps you, but you may ask your docs about checking your pancreas, if they can via sonogram. Plus, if you have an extra sonogram, they'll usually let you see the baby, which I absolutely love and wish I could have an u/s once a month!

I guess we should take solice in knowing we are not alone, and we should reassure ourselves that we are not crazy! Docs don't know everything, and despite all the progress made for women over the past few decades, I'm inclined to believe many docs (particularly male) tend to think of us still as delusional beings and that our pain is all in our head.

Hang in there, and if the pain becomes unbearable, go to the ER. Hopefully, it will go away when we give birth, but it sure is hell in the meantime. My thoughts are with you both...IW

Kate said...

Hello --
I, too, found your site doing a searching for a similar ailment. I am currently 37 weeks and have been having a burning sensation under my right breast and rib cage for about 3-4 weeks. At my last appointment I mentioned something to my doctor, but she said this was completely "normal". Like you, it bristled that she could shake this off so easily when it hurts and I don't see anything in any of these pregnancy books about this particular sensation. I, too, had "unusual" or what I thought was unusual pain in my back, right under my shoulder blades. This didn't start for me until later in my second trimester, probably around 25 weeks or so. Everything else is going normally with my pregnancy, so I'm not extremely worried, but it is annoying and painful. I have found something else at another site which indicated that it might be a nerve problem - I also have bands of numbness right under my breast on the right side - so a pinched nerve pathway seems like it might be a possibility. Its frustrating though to not know for sure!
Good luck with your pregnancy!

Stef said...

Thanks for the response. Hope you guys may have found out the problem. I forgot to talk with my nurse this past Doctor visit because it doesn't happen every day. So tomorrow I will be calling the nurse to ask about it. It happend to me again today and I pinpointed exactlly where the pain was coming from by putting my finger right where it occurred and the lifting my shirt up and drawing a mark and then I noticed it is right side under the rib in the abdominal muscle area. I pushed on the same spot and the feeling happend the same. It literally jumped back at me like a spasm or something. I really feel it may be a type of hernia but I am no Doctor. It scares me. After I have been touching that area and it feels as if that part of my muscle is torn. I am just so unsure as to what this is and it really worries me. I pray it's nothing serios. I feel like the bigger my stomach stretches the worse it gets. Sometimes after I eat getting to full makes my stomach weak in that area. I poked around my whole stomach to see if I had this feeling anywhere else and it is mostly all that right side from just below the ribs down just below the belly button lined up with the hip bone dead center. Also just under the ribs on left side as well but no where else. I will keep you guys updated. cALLING THE DOCTORS OFFICE TOMOORW. Still worried,

the Intuitive Woman said...

Stef, keep us updated as to what the doctors tell you. I agree that you are too early in your pregnancy to be feeling the baby kick, although I have heard that it happens sooner the second time around. It sounds to me like this is not the same thing though. I hope your doc can identify it while you're pregnant. It's amazing to me how, in this day and age, doctors are so limited in their ability to diagnose anything while a woman is with child. Course, it's better than doing anything that would possibly harm him/her - better safe than sorry - but still, the kid gloves and crazy looks really make me question their abilities.

Best of luck to you, and please, keep me posted.

Melanie said...

Hi, I too found this site after searching for answers. I'm feeling exactly the same pain as the first post. I'll be 33 weeks on January 27th. When I try to explain the pain to my doctor, I compare it to a stabbing/burning/tearing sensation just right of center in my upper abdomen. It began very early on when I was in about my second month of pregnancy. The pain radiates from my abdomen with a direct line to my back underneath my shoulder blade. Sometimes I get a pulsating sensation in front and back. Sometimes the pain is debilitating, other times it just feels like a fiber glass/itchy feeling. I often feel numb in the abdominal area that's affected. Tonight, I made a slight move during a nap, and the pulling sensation was excruciating for a matter of minutes... so bad I thought I may have disrupted the placenta. But the baby seems to be just as active as ever. I've noticed in recent days that many times when I feel the pain, I also feel the baby pressing in that particular area. My dr. sent me for an abdominal u/s for my gall bladder based on my description, which checked out ok. He says it's probably ligaments stretching. In search of relief, I had a very gentle pre-natal massage, which gave some minor relief for a few hours, especially under the shoulder blade. I also began acupunture, which has helped another problem (lower lumbar pain) but the acupunturist didn't want to put any needles in the abdominal area for fear she'd get too close to the baby. My cousin said she experienced the same thing during pregnancy and that her dr. told her it was common. A friend with the same symptoms said she wore a velcro belt. There's been times where I tied a pair of sweats around my abdomen out of desperation to alleviate the pain, because it gets worse after I eat (forcing me to eat much smaller portions) and it also hurts whenever I flex the abdominal muscles. I do find that if I gently push the abdominal area, it mildly relieves the pain in both my front and back, and if I press on the spot on my back, it relieves the pain in the front, which makes me believe it's
got to be nerve related. My acupuncturist agrees. She says since I'm carrying low, she thinks the nerves are getting tugged. Others with the same pain, whom I've mentioned, also carried low and compactly, like myself. For now, I live in the bath tub and on a heating pad. Luckily, I've been able to take time off work. It's just unfortunate we can't get relief. I can't sleep, it feels like my rib cage is smooshing together when I lay on my side. Driving can be very difficult when the pain kicks in... I just want to make it to my location safely. And, going about my normal routine gets cut short, as I find myself needing to lie down constantly for any bit of relief. I too am a back sleeper, since this tends to be the only position I can tolerate. The only consolation I have, is that those I've spoken with who had the same complaints say the pain did go away after delivery. I still wonder though if it's a herniated muscle. If I hear more, or have any advice I will post again. But it's good to know others understand what we're all going through.

here4theinfo said...

Hi, I am 22 wekks pregnant with my fourth child. This past Friday, my son, who rides dirt bikes, took a terrible spill. I jumped out of my lifted truck, onto soft sand, slipped, do not remember if I hit anything, and continued to run to him. He was okay, but since then, I have had a continious sharp pain on my left side underneath my rib cage that radiates around to my back. It's Sunday now and it seems worse than ever. I'm having a hard time breathing, standing or even raising my left arm. I have plenty of medical problems allready, disk degenerative disease, bladder cysitis, and GI problems. My doctor allready had me on prescribed pain medication and says my baby will be fine, but this is a new weird pain. Im worried that I might have bruised a rib, or somethings poking my lung. I'm going to call my doctor tomorrow if the pain persists, because it hasn't gone away, even while sleeping. I'll post his diagnoisis, if he has one. To all you pregnant woman, keep your heads high, it's only a short 40 weeks, and your body will go back to normal, and you'll have a beautiful gift for all the hard work you've been through. thanks for the ear and any suggestions.

Jennifer said...

Kate and Melanie, I have the Exact same symptoms you have, I think. Pain just beneath and under the ribs on the right side that is worse after eating, though not exclusive to eating. Generally mine aches and I press the area often for some comfort. It radiates to the back just under the right shoulder blade. Sometimes it's Much more severe, but only for a few minutes at a time usually. My posture has dramatically improved as I sit straighter and straighter in an effort to relieve pressure on the area.

I also have itching and numbness in the area of skin just below the front pain focal point, an area of about 2x3 inches.

I thought at first the the baby had her foot under my rib and was bruising me, but I read in a pregnancy book that that exact sensation could be gallstones induced by pregnancy, apparently this happens in 2-3% of pregnancies. I had a ultrasound scheduled for the baby a few days later and asked the guy to check my gall bladder also. At first he found nothing, but he had me roll onto my left side and looked some more; finding a not very dense gall stone that had been hidden from the other angle. It's been a rough month, I feel I'm turning into such a whiner.... But the itching and numbness are freaking me out, so I'm seeing my primary care physician, who happens to be an internist, tomorrow.

I feel I need to understand better about diet and anything else that will help ease the pain. I also think that perhaps a blood panel of liver enzymes might be in order. I am alpha-1 antitrypsin deficient which makes me susceptible to lung and liver disorders. I've been reading about cholestasis and I'd like that ruled out too. I have no skin eruptions, but I wonder if the itching could be due to a buildup of bile salts in that area, like they're ...leaking? I also have had periods of itcing palms and soles in this pregnancy, which could be attributed to the same thing. I'm curious about the idea of a pinched nerve, that certainly would explain the numbness....

Hopefully I'll be lucky and get a definitive answer tomorrow.

Good luck to all of us....

Stef said...

The Intuitive Woman, Melanie, here4theinfo, and Jennifer,

I told my nurse about it the next day and she still said she had never heard of such a thing and that I should contact a GI doctor. This to me wasn't very helpful. Since there isn't much any doctor can do because we are with child, there isn't much he will be able to test for. So needless to say I didn't find out the answer and I didn't get to see a GI.

But a friend of mine works for a Chiropractor and she had heard of my situation and asked me to see the Dr. she works for. Well I went in and they did this heat pressure scan on the spine, very simple and it just shows where all the spine may have subluxation which just may mean out of place or just nerve problems some form of pressure on the spine where the heat in the body shows up on the computer scan and where ever the heat shows up there are problems and it shows it in percentage of how bad in each area. Mine was very sever all over.

But what I am getting at is the Dr. explained to me that each cervical bone is connected to a nerve and those nerves control or help in the health of each organ in the body and if there is something wrong it can affect those organs that they help control. Each area where I had pain and heat controlled an area where I am having problems elsewhere. Such as, The digestive system,upper abdominal area and more. Even poor posture will cause all these problems in the spine. But all this can be corrected by the Chiropractor with adjustments and treatment they provide and the best thing is it can be done during pregnancy.

My friend who works for this Doc. told me she was adjusted through her entire pregnancy and it was so helpful. I thought I will give this a try. If the spine is aligned correctly it will help with all aspects of your bodly health. The only thing they can't do is x-rays of course but if you have anything resent they can go by that until after birth but until then they will just go with the physical exam and stay away from whatever they know what to do and what not to do during pregnancy. I go to my first appointment today!

Good luck all. I will find out the sex of my baby this Fri. and I will also be having an u/s for measurements of the baby. While they do this I will see if they are able to see of any problems they may detect if any , like herniation.

Sorry if my message is alittle scattered sounding. Nothing in any order.I just type what I am thinking so hopefully I have not repeated myself or sounded unclear. If you have any questions feel free to write back.

My honest opinion about this whole thing is that we woman are very intuitive as you have shown in the first title. We feel everything and wonder what it may be. Hopefully and most likely it's nothing serious or life threatening since these doctors see people like us all the time and blow it off. Some woman do feel more because they are so intuitive but we also may not know the exact way to describe it and may describe it alittle differently than another woman who is experiencing the same pain. But if there are so many other women who are feeling this same thing and having perfectly healthy baby's and delivery and pregnancy goes well other than that pain then I guess maybe it is just this ligament pain or stretching or gas or nerve pain, (some say the baby is maybe on a nerve which may cause numbness or other sensations)but we each feel these things differently and experience different levels of pain, we have different tolerance levels. It's crazy and maybe we will never know exactly what it is. But if you find something that works that relieves the pain do it! Wether its, acupuncture or Chiropractic, or massage,hot bath, heating pad, all these things are to relax your body and ease pain. So Maybe we should just take it easier than other woman. I notice the pain when I am more active. Maybe it happens even when I am not active in that moment but through out that day I was active. If I stay home and relax take it very easy I notice it doesn't happen.If I eat to much to fast it may heppen which makes me think it has alot to do with the digestive tract (maybe gas or spastic colon). It could be a number of things but as long as we know what may help ease it and know that it's not life threatening. We will be fine. Take it easy ladys and if by chance some Doctor takes the time to really dig deep and finds something, some diagnosis, let us know.

I will keep you all informed on the Chiro therapy and how effective it may be.

the Intuitive Woman said...


Thank you so much for your update. I will be excited to hear how your Chiro appointment went. I plan to make one myself as soon as possible. Any relief would be great, as the bigger baby gets the more intense the pain is becoming.

I wish you and everyone all the best in this journey, and will continue to update on my progress as well.

Jennifer said...

Hey there. I've seen my regular dr and the surgical specialist she referred me to as well now. I've also finally had a chance to speak with my midwife, she'd been on vacation.

My dr wanted me to take Zantac and see how I reacted because she thought it might just be heartburn with an odd presentation. Nope. So on the followup visit she had referred me to a specialist who could give me more info and, if the worse case scenario happens, perform the surgery. He was absolutely conclusive after palpating my abdomen and talking with me, and looking at the sonogram of my gall bladder. I only have the one gallstone, but it's about 4mm in diameter and my body keeps trying to pass it, which hurts like hell. Both drs' response to my itchy numb area was along the lines of, "huh! that's weird." no satisfaction There. So, the worse case scenario is if I try to pass the stone again before 36 weeks and it gets stuck blocking either only the gall bladder and it gets infected, OR, blocking the pancreatic duct as well as the gall bladder and the outflow from the liver. Then it all goes to hell and it's immediate surgery to prevent organ failure. I'm making an appt with an OBGYN because if they have to do it before 36 weeks it's likely to trigger labor and he'd need to be on hand in the hospital, not the midwife. Second worse case scenario isn't Quite as scary. Basically it's identical other than it's After 36 weeks. Apparently then the preferred tx is to induce labor, get the baby clear and Then perform the emergency surgery. I think, and the dr hopes that neither scenario will occur, but I have to see the obgyn just in case. It's entirely possible that I can have the baby and then without the stimulus of high estrogen levels the stone will slowly dissolve and pass without surgery Ever being necessary. That's my vote.

My midwife is german and has gallstones. She has a german publication that recommends peppermint tea every 2-3 hours through the day and since she began doing that she's never had another crisis. (crisis is when you have severe pain from trying to pass the stone) She assures me that peppermint tea is entirely safe while pregnant, so I guess I'll be brewing up some and drinking it instead of water.

I'm to completely avoid fats, to the best of my ability. I'd read online that I needed to avoid Saturated fats, and it didn't seem to be making That much difference. It's ALL fat. If I avoid fat completely I have much less pain. Good thing I have some fat of my own for the baby to use.... In the last week I lost 2#s... I'm a bit concerned about that, but she's wiggly and healthy seeming, so I'm trying not to fret. I don't think She's shrinking. I've gained under 15# and thought I'd be gaining a bit more now, but I'd be more concerned if I hadn't started this pregnancy a little overweight. At this rate I'll probably weigh around 190 at delivery instead of over 200...

So, I'm wondering what the outcome has been for you other's with the same or similar symptoms to mine. Was it a pinched nerve? Do you all have gallstones too?

I'm hurting less that when I posted before, so I'm loads more cheery. :)

I hope you all are feeling better too,


ps, Tia, you have the same name as my older daughter. :)

Candice said...

Hello I am 24 weeks pregnant with my 2nd lil girl. and I know you pain all to well. Its so odd how i finally found some people that experience this. I had this same thing with my last pregnancy and they ran all kinds of test and finally came to the conclusion that is was just a nerve that is being aggrivated by the baby being in there . I thought with this one maybe i wouldnt get this pain because it showed up 2 weeks later than it did with the last one .... i guess im not that lucky .. Well to make everyone feel better i had a very healthy baby so guess we just have to deal with it .

mommy2blake said...

Hello everyone, I have done quite a bit of research today and I found this site in search of answers. I too have been having these strange pains in my upper abdomen for about three days now. It started while I was sleeping...all I did was move from my back to my side and I felt this odd pulling sensation. The next day I woke up and was in pain from then on. There seems to be no break from is 24/7. The pain seems to be localized under the breastbone and to the right (under my ribcage). It is also extremely tender to the touch and feels like someone is holding a match on it!! Went to the OB/GYN yesterday and he said it was my uterus pushing its way up and that I probably pulled a muscle. But as you all know after Googling for answers we make it worse for ourselves and then anxiety sets in (too much info is not good!!). So, my Dr. ran blood work yesterday for liver and I go for an U/S tomorrow to rule out Gallstones. I just hope it is not Pre-Eclampsia or HELLP.

nshelton said...

I've been having these pains throughout my entire pregnancy. I am 30 weeks along and it's been a nightmare.

I had my gall bladder removed when I was about 7 mos along with my first pregnancy. The gall bladder attacks were so severe that I would literally lie in bed hoping for death for days. They kept me on demerol for almost 2 mos before they finally decided they couldn't wait until after my pregnancy to remove my gall bladder.

After the surgery I did go into labor but they were able to stop it with a few injections of Terbutaline and everything seemed to go fine for about a week or so afterwards as long as I took the Terbutaline. When I would get the contractions and labor pains I would just take my prescription and it would seem to calm it down.

This was my first pregnancy so I didn't really know what labor felt like and after a few weeks after surgery I started getting these horrible pains in my abdomen and lower back just like I did with the gall bladder so I would rush to the hospital everytime it wouldn't stop after a few hours. They kept telling me it couldn't be the same pain because I didn't have a gall bladder and they did a ton of ultrasounds and they couldn't see any blockage. My only other conclusion was maybe it was pre-term labor because the pain was in my abdomen and lower back and the pain seemed to become more intense on regular intervals.

The nurses and everyone thought I was insane the entire last 3 mos of my surgery. They would hook me up to all the monitors while I was in pain and then tell me I wasn't having contractions and basically it was all in my head. After several hours in the hospital every other day they would send me home.

Finally I made it to my due date and they induced labor and my son was born without any complications. (1.5 hours after induction he was born in one push heh)

After I gave birth I didn't have anymore pain or attacks for about a 15 mos period and then all of sudden I started getting those pains again. I went to the doctor to find out what was going on and they told me again, I had my gall bladder out so there was no reason I should be having these pains and they sent me home. Then about 2 weeks later I found out I was pregnant again. With some reasonable deduction I realized the pre-term labor pains I was having with my first son wasn't pre-term labor, it was the same type of attacks I had when I was having gall bladder issues. I didn't understand why I was getting them without having a gall bladder but it is definitely the same type of pain and I feel like such an idiot now thinking back at all the time I spent in the hospital thinking it was pre-term labor during my last pregnancy. I can't get my OB doctor to listen to me about it because his answer is, "You don't have a gall bladder so you can't be having these types of pain attacks." and none of my other doctors will talk to me while I'm pregnant.

I've done a lot of research on my own on the internet and I've since found out that you CAN still have gall bladder type pain attacks after you have surgery and in my case it has something to do with me being pregnant because I didn't have them when I wasn't pregnant.

The pain is so intense and the further along I get in my pregnancy the worse it gets. I've been in bed for the last week because the attacks are so bad I can barely move but since I can't get any help from the doctors I don't know what else to do.

I finally went to the ER Thursday because I couldn't take the pain anymore and of course they did more tests and ultrasounds and found nothing except an extreme gas build up but they can't see what is causing it. They gave me 3 doses of pain medicine before the pain finally went away and told me to make an appt with my OB this week to discuss pain management for the rest of my pregnancy.

It's extremely frustrating because I am in such terrible pain but I can't get any answers. I've looked all over the internet trying to find answers and this is actually the first site I've come across that at least has women with the same or similar problems but still no real answers of what is causing the problem.

the intutive woman said...

Jennifer: I'm so glad they were able to diagnose your pain. I too hope that you are either able to pass it without any problems, or it will dissolve post-delivery without having to have any surgery. Good luck to you and let us know how it goes...

Candice: Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It's interesting that you've experienced the pain with both pregnancies, and I wonder how common that is. If I ever have a second, I'll let everyone know! :)

Mommy2Blake: Welcome. I'm sorry you are dealing with this pain too. I do find it somewhat comforting to know that we are not alone, despite the fact that none of us really have any true answers as to the cause of it. I've said before how frustrating I find it to be told something that sounds like an attempt to be brushed off (i.e. "it's probably your uterus pushing up resulting in a pulled muscle"). If this were true, OB's would know this and not sound like they are guessing, also many more women would be complaining of such pain and we would not be made to feel like we're insane! At any rate, I hope your u/s and tests show something definitive and that you are able to find something to manage your pain. I know how much it hurts.

nshelton: Welcome to you, too. What a wild story you have shared with us! Thank you for your experience and input. I find it very unfortunate that there is nothing that can be done to determine what is causing such excruciating pain -with all the advances in medicine and technology, you would think there would be something out there that took into account diagnosing pain while pregnant. Anyway, that's my soapbox for the day! Best of luck to you in your final weeks.

By the way, has anyone else tried a Chiropractor?

I'm just curious if you have and were able to get any relief. I have seen one twice a week for about 3 weeks now, and although the relief is not permanent, it does subside considerably after he cracks my back in a few places. He believes it could be a pinched nerve as well - from all the organs shifting and being pushed up (again, no way to say for sure, it's as good as what the OB is telling me, but at least the service he provides gives relief and is not in the form of a pill! Dangit! There I go again with the soapbox!!). I do find it pretty wild that adjusting my spine directly affects the pain in my abdomen. If you have insurance that covers it, and are not completely opposed to the idea, it may be worth a shot.

Again, thanks so much to all who share their stories on here, and provide some comfort to those of us going through similar pain and discomfort. I know pregnancy is not supposed to be easy, but I don't think it's supposed to be this painful either - at least not until labor hits!

Stay strong, ladies! All the best...

Carly said...

This sounds similar to what I've been feeling. I've been having a pulling, stretching sensation, that is sometimes quite sharp, in the abdominal area, beginning near my bikini line and going to just a few inches below my belly button area. My doctor said it was round ligament pain, which usually begins early in the 2nd trimester, and can sometimes be quite painful.

However, I've always heard that you should notify your doctor about any abdominal pain just to be on the safe side. Hope this info is useful to any of you ladies.

You might also try doing a google search for "round ligament pain" to see if all the symptoms match yours. Then verify with your doctor.

Another suggestion: You might check to see if your insurance company or even the hospital with which your doctor is affiliated has a 24/7 hour nurse hotline. They can usually answer some of these questions until you next see your doctor.

My insurance company has something called the healthy pregnancy program, which you can enroll in for free. My provider is United Healthcare, but I'd bet if you ask your insurance company, they probably have something similar.

I once called and asked several questions, such as whether I could drink herbal tea, drink soy milk or take a warm bath. The nurse told me no question was too trivial. Also they really helped when I came down with a bad sinus infection. I was worried about the pressure on my abdominal area from coughing and sneezing, and also about the risk of passing the infection to my baby. This beats waiting for your doctor to call you back if it's not an emergency.

I'm pretty anxious about any unfamilar sensation, since I previously had a miscarriage. This is my second pregnancy, and God willing everything goes well, this will be our first child - due one month shy of my 41st birthday. I'm currently a little over 15 weeks. We are both quite anxious and yet so very thrilled.

Warmest wishes and the best of luck to all of you concerned Mamas.

nshelton said...

The pain that I have starts out like a mild throbbing in my mid-abdomen area and then increases to an extreme burning, stabbing, ripping pain that spreads to my upper abdomen and then radiates around to my lower back area. The pain just keeps intensifying until I can relieve the gas build up somehow (usually by burping a lot but as I get further along in my pregnancy it seems to only calm down if I take a pain killer).

Just an update on my last visit to my OB, I took my husband with me this time and the OB was going to blow me off like he usually does until he saw how ticked off my husband was and then I was prescribed with Protonix and he gave me a refill on my vicodin just in case the Protonix doesn't work.

I'm a little afraid to take the Protonix after reading up on it yesterday though. I found out it's really a acid reflux medicine (which I don't have) and the side effects can be extreme abdominal pain and gas (which is what I'm trying to get rid of here). I'll try it tonight so I have the weekend with my husband home just in case something goes wrong. I'll let you guys know how it goes.

nshelton said...

The pain that I have starts out like a mild throbbing in my mid-abdomen area and then increases to an extreme burning, stabbing, ripping pain that spreads to my upper abdomen and then radiates around to my lower back area. The pain just keeps intensifying until I can relieve the gas build up somehow (usually by burping a lot but as I get further along in my pregnancy it seems to only calm down if I take a pain killer).

Just an update on my last visit to my OB, I took my husband with me this time and the OB was going to blow me off like he usually does until he saw how ticked off my husband was and then I was prescribed with Protonix and he gave me a refill on my vicodin just in case the Protonix doesn't work.

I'm a little afraid to take the Protonix after reading up on it yesterday though. I found out it's really a acid reflux medicine (which I don't have) and the side effects can be extreme abdominal pain and gas (which is what I'm trying to get rid of here). I'll try it tonight so I have the weekend with my husband home just in case something goes wrong. I'll let you guys know how it goes.

nshelton said...

The pain that I have starts out like a mild throbbing in my mid-abdomen area and then increases to an extreme burning, stabbing, ripping pain that spreads to my upper abdomen and then radiates around to my lower back area. The pain just keeps intensifying until I can relieve the gas build up somehow (usually by burping a lot but as I get further along in my pregnancy it seems to only calm down if I take a pain killer).

Just an update on my last visit to my OB, I took my husband with me this time and the OB was going to blow me off like he usually does until he saw how ticked off my husband was and then I was prescribed with Protonix and he gave me a refill on my vicodin just in case the Protonix doesn't work.

I'm a little afraid to take the Protonix after reading up on it yesterday though. I found out it's really a acid reflux medicine (which I don't have) and the side effects can be extreme abdominal pain and gas (which is what I'm trying to get rid of here). I'll try it tonight so I have the weekend with my husband home just in case something goes wrong. I'll let you guys know how it goes.

nshelton said...

Sorry for the multiple posts, I was having problems with my internet explorer and I hit the button too many times... :(

mommy2blake said...

Hey all,

Just wanted to let you know that I went back to the Dr. last week and all my blood work and ultrasound came back normal and I was told that the Dr. who ordered the tests ordered the "million dollar work-up". My u/s showed no signs of gall stones or kidney stones. The Dr. then examined me again and as she was pushing on my right lower rib bones, that is when I felt the pain. She explained to me that the pain was Musculoskeletal in nature and that it was in fact the baby (and my uterus) pushing upward (I did have this same pain with my son, but not to the intensity that I am having now). The pain/burning/stabbing/numbness are still there, but I think the pain has decreased since my mind is not making the pain worse. I also was visiting with my 70 year old neighbor (who had 5 kids) and I told her that I was having a lousy week and I mentioned the pain and she just was finishing my sentences (she even mentioned the numbness!!), she too had this same pain with a few of her that made me feel better. I guess we just have to live with the pain for a few more weeks.

Anonymous said...

Hi my Husband found this blog actually looking for what my symptoms are I have pain in my upper right side right under my right boob and it comes and goes it is sometimes sharp and I cant seem to stretch it out or get comfortable I have went to crying thinking that might make me find some relief . My doctor order a gall blatter ultrasound but I dont have any vomiting or nausea and also no back pain just really low and I know its a nerve because I get stuck if I lay down a certain way. I am so concered about the pain and dont know anybody who has had this but now I see everybodys symptoms but I dont have vomiting or back pain so its just a sharp upper pain under my right boob if anybody knows please help me fiqure it out the baby seems to be laying on my right side they always find the heartbeat over there so is it a muscle?????/

Alison said...

I have been having a similar problem and it's a real relief to see that it's not just me!! It's a stabbing, burning pain under my right breast that feels like someone has set a match to it. It's worse at night and often wakes me up out of sleep. The only position that I find comfortable is sleeping on my back, but as 33 weeks pregnant do not like to do this. I am in the UK and have to been to see my doctor a number of times - he just says it's nothing to worry about and probably just a nerve or things being stretched around - this is no comfort when the pain is so bad and ever present. Let's just hope it goes away after the baby is born.

Anonymous said...

I too am having this pain on my left side. It feels like a pulled muscle but worse. I went to Labor and delivery to rule out contractions and I was having them so I was given tributalin(sp)they stopped by the pain didnt. I went home and the next day phoned my Dr who put me on pain meds and bed rest. I return on Wednesday and if the pain doesnt go away I may have to go back to the hospital.

THe midwife told me it might be muscular skeletal and it occurs in some women. She also said that I might just have to deal with the pain until I deliver.

That thought is horrible because it is so painful! I had a massage on Friday which helped for a little while but without the pain meds really nothing helps.

nshelton said...

The only thing that helps is a hot shower, a lot of burping and pain medication. I finally got my doctor to listen to me about the pain medication after I spent 7 hours in the ER and another doctor told him there was no more tests they could do and it obviously only happened while I was pregnant so the sensible thing to do was to prescribe me pain meds to control the more severe attacks and just wait it out.

As the baby gets bigger the pain is more frequent and more intense but I still try to only take the pain meds when it's so unbearable I can't manage it anymore.

On a side note, as I said before I had this with my first son and after you go through this gastric type pain for months on end labor and contractions are NOTHING! It's a breeze... *LOL*

Stef said...

Well, I haven't written in a while. I thought I would check and see if anyone found a diagnosis. No one has it seems. But I see you took the Chiropractic approach, INTUITIVE WOMAN. I went once. It does give reliefe but I didn't have insurance and couldnt afford anymore visits. But I am now 31 wks prego and when I first posted I was 15weeks. Somewhere inbetween that time frame that pain just stopped. But about three days ago I noticed lots of pain all over my belly. It felt like the ligamant stretching pain I had earlier in my pregnancy. I thought that was only low but maybe it can be all over. I am a small build so I feel everything. Hope everyone's pregnancies went well or are going well. I am getting nervous as it's getting closer to the time I lost my first child. I believe all will end well. I just pray all the time. Good luck all


nshelton said...

Just an update. I had to have an emergency C-section on the 20th of April. I was pretty upset by having to have the C-section but everything turned out ok and the baby is awesome.

What I wanted to let you all know is that the night the baby was born my attacks stopped so they are definitely in part pregnancy related. No one has still been able to tell me why they happen but I'm just happy they are gone. *LOL*

Good luck to everyone and you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

mommy2blake said...

Hi all. I too have an update on these strange pains. My baby girl was born on April 25th and as soon as she was born the pains went away. So there is hope!!!

IntuitiveWoman said...

Hello All,

Congratulations to all of you who have had your babies. I delivered a 9 lb. 6.7 ounce baby boy on March 30th. He has been the light of my life ever since, hence the lack of posting.

It seems that most of our pains have subsided since giving birth, including mine, to which I raise my glass and say thank goodness! I was actually still a bit sore to the touch after giving birth, but nothing like before hand. And, after 21 hours of labor, I barely remember the pain I was feeling in my abdomen! ;)

So, now I'm curious if there is something common among our pregnancies/births to which we could possibly attribute the pain. Like, did we all have big babies?! Seriously, 9 pounds 6.7 ounces takes up a lot of space!

Heather said...

I was so relieved to find your blog entry last night. I woke up with shooting, sharp, burning pains under my right breast. I am 26 weeks pregnant. I have had the pain for about a week, but it got unbearable last night. I just got back from my doctor, who told me my rib cage is inflamed because it is expanding to make room for my lungs because the baby has gotten so big it is pushing up against it. She said my 32-inch rib cage is growing so much that I will probably go up a bra size to 34. She said to apply heat, if that helps, and take Tylenol for the pain.

My doctor said the pain will subside in a few weeks after I go through this growth spurt. I hope this helps some others who have found their way to this blog.

mommy2blake said...

Glad to see your post and to hear all is well with you and you new bundle of joy.....congratulations!!! I had a baby girl on April 25 and she was only 6lbs 12oz, 21 inches long so not sure if it has to do with the size of the baby or not, maybe the length though and positioning. My daughter was face up. We will probaby never find out the true causes, but at least we can let other women who are going though this pain know that it does end with the birth of the baby and that it is not serious.

nshelton said...

Congratulations to your new babies! My son was born April 20th and yes my pain stopped as well. I got one more attack about 2 weeks after he was born but nothing since then. He was 5 lbs 13 oz. My first son was 4 lbs 10 oz and I had the pain with him as well. But again after I gave birth I didn't have the problems anymore.

I've done a lot of research on it but still no real success and finding a cure other than dealing with the pain and taking pain medication to dull the pain a bit.

Anyway, congratulations again and maybe one day we'll be able to get someone to look into the issue for us. *LOL*

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say Thank You all for your stories. My pain is excruciating and I already have a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old so taking it easy is out of the question!! I'm going to look into the Chiro-therapy, other than that, the only thing that provides relief (temporarily) is draping myself, at the chest, over my large yoga ball. This allows the muscles to drop, which actually helps. I've been stuck on that ball for about nine weeks and I have 2 more to go. God bless you all and good luck with your new angels. Much love and Peace- Tarah :)

Anonymous said...

I am currently 16 weeks pregnant with our 8th child. I have the same pain in my upper abdomen under my right rib cage. I AM PARANOID! I lost a full term baby at three weeks of age nine years ago because of a cord accident at birth. I also have a son who has spent many months in the hospital due to an immune deficiency/lung disease. We almost lost him at three weeks to RSV.
ANYWAY you would think by now I would know what this kind of pain is. but I've never had anything like this. I will have an over four year space between babies and the only other time I had a tearing pain like this was with my 7th baby during labor and it was in the same spot.. a tearing pain.. and then after delivery I had major hemmhoraging. I have had nausea, diarrhea in the past few days.. have a dr appt in two days but don't really want to wait that long!

intuitivewoman said...

Dear Cainansmom,
Congratulations on #8! Wow!! And, thank you for sharing your situation and concerns, my prayers are with you. Much like each of our experiences were somewhat different, each of your pregnancies (which, I'm sure you know) will be different. So, I want to encourage you to stay strong and positive, and do not equate what happened w/ #7 with what is happening now. If you cannot wait 2 days to see your doctor, call him/her and see if they can work you in. Tell them your symptoms. The first thing they may do is an ultrasound, and hopefully, that will relieve some of your stress by showing that your baby is ok. Try to find the best position for comfort, whenever possible. Keep us posted on your progress. I will be thinking of you...All the best.

Anonymous said...

Yup, came across your sight when searching for stabbing right shoulder blade pain. i'm currently 19 weeks pregnant. i came home for lunch and all of the sudden i felt like something was stabbing me in the back! Wow, it hurts. i can't imagine it's my gallbladder as the only thing i ate in the past two hours was an orange! i plan to call the doc. to see what he thinks but i don't put much faith in docs. in general so i'm not holding my breath! although, that sounds tempting since breathing feels like a chore right now :-) thanks for the informative post!

Kelly said...

hi I'm 21 weeks pregnant i was just at the ER again for this type of pain they thought it might have been my gallbladder but it wasn't the doc said he couldn't find any reason for my pain he gave me 2 shots which helped a little but i have had this pain since Jan with no results mine feels like my ribs are being shoved outward and my back feels like i have a cow sitting on it. I'm tempted to see a doc about the possibility of a tumor growing on the inside since i have many on the outside and along my spine.

Brooke said...

Hi all-
I am 32 weeks pregnant and have been feeling the EXACT SAME pains for several weeks now as those described originally by Intuitive Woman. No, the doctors do not know what is causing it and keep giving me the same perplexed expressions you have all been complaining about. ;) I have seen a chiropractor for it several times now and it does not seem to be helping.
I just wanted to thank everyone who has posted regarding this problem - it is incredibly encouraging to know that I am NOT alone and that the pain will go away upon delivery! Your blog has alleviated some of my more paranoid worries. Just another pregnancy issue that will work itself out in about 8 weeks, I guess! Thanks to all!

Anonymous said...

Hey! Thank God I am not alone in this. I had almost the exact same pains, the only difference is it felt like someone was pressing down on my chest sometimes. But it felt like I was being stabbed and had shooting pains curve down the sides of my baby belly.

I'm 24 weeks pregnant and went through this for only three days. It was horrible and I'm so afraid it will come back. As you said I could not lay on my side only on my back which made my back pains worse and eventually the abdominal pains would start up again.

For a while walking or standing would dull it but after a while nothing would.. no positions at all it was pure Hell all I could do was sit there and cry in pain.

I ended up taking a hydro(prescribed) and it went away. Like you said the relieve was amazing, I was so happy to have NO pain.
I called the dr early in the morning as the pain caused me to have no sleep and she actaully told me not to come in, just to wait it out!

Anonymous said...

I have the same pain in the upper abdomen on the right side on the bottom rib. My doctor did ultrasounds on my gallbladder, kidneys, and the baby. Nothing is wrong with the baby he is just really big, at 30 wks he was already 5 lbs. I am now 35 weeks, and the pain hurts in the back all across the front and is now associated with numbness in the center. My doctor states that it is muscular/skeleton problem and nothing else. I feel like someone is stabbing me hourly and can't seem to ease the pain with tylenol and they won't give me anything else. I haven't had an indegestion or vommiting throughout the pregnancy...just this horrible pain!!!! Who said pregnancy was supposed to be wonderful?

Anonymous said...

Hi Nice Blog .I think HR understands the importance of other people tracking time--IT, Lawyers, non-exempt employees, but struggles with the idea of labor time management .

Nicole said...

I am 34 wks pregnant and this pain has been going on for the past 3 or 4 days. I cant get any relief, and so finally last night at 1:30 in the morning i called my doctor and he said to go to the er if it gets bad enough and when i asked what it could be, he seemed dumb-founded. So im very nervous,as I have been seeing spots like flashing lights in front of my eyes for a couple hours today and i've read that these are symptoms of preeclampsia (but i dont have swelling or anything whatsoever). Today i called the dr again and the nurse told me to go to the er if it gets very bad. What erks me is how it seems like nobody cares and acts like its no big deal. I want to go to the er but im afraid that it'll be nothing and then i wasted a $100 copay on nothing. Well i guess it'll be worth it just to make sure my baby is ok !

IntuitiveWoman said...

Maybe you could go into your OB's office and have your blood pressure checked? If it's elevated then it's another symptom of preeclampsia and they should definitely admit you.

Nicole said...

So i ended up going to the er last night. I was admitted to the maternity floor because i was very dehydrated (which is why i had spots flying by my eyes)and that was causing contractions. Also they found that my pain in my abdomen was in fact my gall bladder and i will have to have it out when the babys born...good luck to everyone!

IntuitiveWoman said...

Good luck to you, Nicole. Good for you for listening to your body and going to the ER. So sorry to hear you're going to have to have surgery after your baby is born, but at least you know the source of the pain. I wish you all the best...

angeline said...

I found some relief!!:)))

Hello everyone,

So I was convinced I had a hiatal hernia until two days ago. I had had pain in my upper abdomen for 9 weeks and was at the end of my rope! The only thing that helped was to push that area in with my hand or pillow. That stopped working about a weeks ago. It was non-stop tearing/stabbing/aching in my upper abdomen under the rib area.

I went to the Doctors twice last week only to be told it was gas maybe a muscle. Needless to say I left really frustrated and in tears that I was going to have three more months of this.

The first appointment they seemed perplexed and sent me home with muscle relaxers which only made me tired and did nothing for the pain. The second time they told me it was gas and a normal part of pregnancy. I do not agree that it is gas b/c it is in the same place always.

I found this site and was so thankful I was not the only one but still upset that there seemed little that could be done for the pain.

I decided to do some yoga stretches. I was doing the cat position and felt a lot of pulling on both sides of my abdomen. I thought maybe I should not do this. I looked up prenatal poses on the Internet to double check. It said the cat-cow pose was good for pregnancy so I tried it again. Still felt a lot of pull especially when lifting neck head up. But after the pull I felt a ton of relief! I could not believe that is all I had to do that entire time!!! Why did the Doc not know this?? I did it six or seven times yesterday and my pain has decreased so much and I am so happy!!!!!!!

I was beginning to think this would be an only child and I have not even felt labor pain yet lol:) I do not know if this will help anyone else but I hope it does because that pain becomes too much after a while.

I thank everyone for their posts. To know I was not crazy or just could not handle pain at all was so helpful.


angeline said...

This is the exact pose that helped me:

good luck ladies!

methi said...

I am currently in my 21st week of pregnancy. About three days back, I was experiencing this mild throbbing pain right below my breasts. I checked with my primary care physician. He suspected acid reflux and prescribed Nexium. For the past three days, I have been avoiding oranges and eating smaller meals.

But since yesterday, I have this mild throbbing ache only on the right side (right below my breast). I can feel it when laughing or coughing, or when I sit down on a couch and try to get up. This pain is carried all the way to my back.

I can feel it when I am sleeping on my right side. Lying on my back seems to give some relief but am not supposed to be sleeping on my back.

I called my doctr again and have this ultrasound appt tomorrow to rule out gallstones.

I will update this post once I am dont with my appt tomorrow.


Angeline said...


My Doc tried to say it was acid indigestion but I was already taking the acid reducer they recommended. They also tried muscle relaxers which did nothing and I really did not want to be taking anyway. My pain was on the upper left side though. The only thing that helped was the yoga stretch that I posted just before your post. I hope u find relieve b/c I was thinking of not having any more after this until I found relief........had not even been through labor yet!!!!

Intuitive Woman said...

Angeline, thank you so much for your comments and link to the yoga pose that has relieved your pain. I'm so glad you were able to find relief.

If i remember correctly, the left side is the pancreas...did that check that at all? Most docs and specialists are very reluctant to do any tests while you're pregnant, but thought I'd ask.

Mg, I hope all goes(went) well with your ultrasound and that nothing major is going on. If they do not find anything and the pain persists, I would encourage you to do whatever you can to relieve it, no matter how temporary, be it yoga, chiropractor, or any other method that works for you.

Even though it doesn't help right now, I can attest that it does immediately go away after giving birth (presuming its not gall stones, etc.); and if you experience birth the way I won't remember the pain you feel now! ;)

And, that said, I was still ready for another one about 2 months after I had him. What an amazing experience.

Anywho...I wish you ladies the best with the remainder of your pregnancy and truly appreciate you sharing your stories for all. Please keep us posted, and let us know of any other remedies you find that helps alleviate the pain.


methi said...

Thanks Angeline and IW for your replies.

I had my ultrasound appt today and the attending nurse told me that she didnt find any gall stones.

So thats a good thing.
I hope this will go away after child birth.

I will try the yoga pose for relief if this pain continues.

Sometimes, it seems to help to wear very loose fitting clothes.


Angeline said...

Intuitive Woman they did do an ultra sound of my organs but things looked good. They could not do any tests for hiatal hernia while I was pregnant.

IntuitiveWoman said...

Methi, glad things turned out well with your ultrasound. At least you know you won't have to have surgery immediately following birth. :) Wish you well in your pain management until the big day.

Angeline, glad your organs looked good. I know they are being 'better safe than sorry' in not doing tests, so I was cool with that, but still, the unknown sucks at times!

Am I the only one who feels like, with all the technology in the world, at least a little bit could be focused on developing methods of non-invasive internal assessments on pregnant woman?

We are still a medical enigma if anything goes awry during pregnancy. Perhaps that is the way it should always be...

Jenna said...

Hi everyone. Very interesting to hear my very same experiences from all of you...burning pain, like a knife, wakes me up, chronic, numb all in the upper abdomon - and of course, the doctors knowing nothing and suggesting tylonol which doesn't touch it. My big quesiton is this: what impact does this have in labor? Does this pain magnify and complicate contractions or does it fade into the intensity of the sensations during labor? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I am in my 6th month of pregnancy and recently started experiencing severe upper abdominal pain, right below and slightly to the right of my breast bone. It feels like muscle spasms and cramping in the ribcage, with a strong burning sensation. Occasionally I feel numbness and tingling on the opposite side, on the left. The pain is mainly confined to that area, but occasionally seems to radiate around the entire ribcage towards the back. It can be so severe that I am unable to carry on with my activities and have to rest. It tends to get worse in the afternoons, after I have been doing some repetitive activity, or being in the same position for awhile (like sitting at my desk, or standing during a presentation). Someone below had described the skin as feeling sunburned - it is a very accurate description - after a full day of cramping my skin in that area feels extremely sensitive and painful to the touch.
After reading the original post, I realized that my condition was musculoskeletal and ended up going to see a chiropractor. Fortunately, he knew what it was and was able to diagnose me with INTERCOSTAL NEURALGIA. It is a rare condition that often goes undiagnosed because doctors don't see it very often. My chiropractor specializes in prenatal treatment, therefore he has seen it before. Intercostal Neuralgia occurs due to compressions in the nerves in the thorax-abdomen region or the ribcage area, causing acute spasmodic pain that arises along the course of the nerves in that area. This compression can occur due to many reasons, an enlarged abdomen being one of them. There is no quick solution to this problem and no guaranteed results. I have had a spinal adjustment done, which relieved some of the pressure, and am now getting therapeutic massage targeted to the specific area in my abdomen/ribcage, which seems to help a little. Acupuncture is another form of treatment that is recommended - I might try that next. In the meantime, heat also seems to offer some relief, so I apply a heating pad to the area and to my back (use it for no more than 10 minutes at a time and at least 2 hours apart, so as not no raise your body temperature).
I hope this helps some of you identify your symptoms. Simply knowing the name of my condition has made me feel much better, knowing that I am not going crazy or inventing some disease :) I also feel more in control as I am now able to do more research into other treatment options. Good luck! I hope you all feel better soon!

Angeline said...

Ugh, my upper pain is back and stretching is not helping. It was nice to have a break but a little nervous it is just going to get worse until I deliver. I will be 35 weeks tomorrow.

Intuitive Woman said...

With regard to this pain and labor, honestly, I do not remember feeling it once my contractions started. At that point, all I could focus on were the contractions, and the pain in my ribs and back were all but non-existent. I had no false labor, and once my contractions started (6 days after my due date), they started about 3 minutes apart. I was laying on my exercise ball at the time trying to relieve the pain in my ribs, when all of the sudden, the unequivocal labor pain started. After that, it's like...rib pain? I don't have any rib pain! Best of luck to you...let us know how things go.

Thank you for all the information you obtained from your chiro. I have never heard of INTERCOSTAL NEURALGIA but it's nice to have something to start with when doing research. The chiropractor definitely relieved my symptoms, if only for a little while; I'd be very interested to hear how acupuncture works if you choose to go that route.

Hang in there, sweetie. You can bear it. A few more weeks and it will be a faint memory. Have you tried the chiropractor at all? I know the yoga was working for you, but perhaps a combination is in order now that you are farther along. Just a thought.

Trust me, once you have that precious baby in your arms, the pain you feel now will have been more than worth it. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone. I am sitting here feeling the same pain as everyone has described but just under my left rib. I've had it since early 2nd trimester. My physio told me it was because of my ribs moving (caused by those lovely hormones that almost moved my hips) to make room for the uterus. The stretching sensation is due to my abdominal wall being attached to the bottom ribs. She gave me a stretchy tight tube sock thingy to be worn around the ribs pressing on them. It's awesome!! I can't get through the day without it. Especially if I'm sitting. However, I can't wear it at night when the pain is especially bad because its a bit constricting so insted I scrunch up one the kids teddy bears and jam it against the offending rib (between the rib and matress) to act as a counter pressure. Otherwise like you all I just end up on my back coz its the only pain free position and I'm 32 weeks so no good. Try it and you'll see it works very well. Hope this helps!! I'm going to try your chiro idea next week as well though.

Anonymous said...

I came here to see if I could find some help for my problem. This is my first baby, I'm 18 years old, & I'm living on my own. So all of this is new to me. I feel the same pain that everyone is talking about in my left side. Every time I move the smallest little bit I feel like someone just stabbed me. Then the pain goes throughout the upper area of my stomach. I am only 10 weeks pregnant, & I didn't think I was supposed to be having pains like this yet. If ANYONE finds out what is the best way to take care of this problem...PLEASE let me know. Thanks =)

Beth said...

I asked my doctor about the pain I was having in my upper, right abdomen for the last few weeks (I'm 26 weeks now) and he said it was MY umbilical cord. It stays inside you your whole life and runs from your belly button to your liver. The doctor said because my stomach is growing so much the cord is being stretched and pulled and it becomes painful. He says it's nothing to worry about and there's nothing you can do for it. If I push on it, it hurts a little less, but it never really goes away. Hope that calms some of you other nervous mother's nerves. It made me feel better having the doctor give me an actual reason.

Anonymous said...

I've been having the same pain on my upper right side just bellow the ribs. It all started with pain in my back between the sholder blades, which I thought were normal pregnancy back pain. Once it moved to the front I started looking for answers and found this post. I too have the numbness and itchyness sometimes, worse after I eat (more pressure I guess). Pressing on it seams to help and I do get sharp pains once in a while when I press on my stomach. I use a heating pad for the back pain which helps alot. I also tried the cat/cow yoga position which helps as well. I had my gall bladder checked and there's nothing wrong... must be a nerve like someone said. Glad to hear it went away after delivery for most of you. I'm 31 weeks now... looking forward to it!

Mazu said...

im 30 weeks pregnant and i just started getting these pain in my upper back at my shoulder it accord right after i try to eat or drink certain food or drink hot drink it a stabbing feeling hurting horrible i have to wait to my next doctors appointmenton the dec.21 to see what he say about it i just started to get it and no one i no can give me any advice. so if you guys now anything please help.

My Secrets said...

Ive been trying to research this weird pain for the longest and some of you have given me some insight or at least helped me to worry less. I've been feeling the same numbing, tingling feeling on my right side under my breast or near the bottom of my right rib cage. I've been feeling it for months and my doctor dismisses it all the time. I thought at first that it was my back cause it felt like a stabbing pain, but I really realize that its coming from or shooting around to my stomach area. I did notice that I feel it in the afternoon, either because I ate a lot or I am really tired. I can't pin point the cause yet. My father just recently died from liver cancer during my 5 month period and I am now almost at my 7months. He had a similar strange pain and died only after 3 months of discovering it. I scares me that no one has a real answer for me, but when my baby moves, it gives me slight reassurance that he is still ok. I think I might see my regular doctor about it Monday...keep you posted!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm only 8 wks and 2 days and been feeling this pain in my diaphraim for and durinf the 7wks of my pregnancy. But it started on my right side of my ribs and down to my legs. I try talking to my doctor and she is not sure but stated that if I still have the feeling by the time I go in for my 9wks f/u she will do ad run some test to see wht is going on. Thank you ladies I may have to call my Chriropractic and go to see him. I can not sleep at night or feel good during the day at all bcs of the pain. This is my first pregnancy and I'm not liking the way I feel but looking foreward to the baby. Thats the only thing that keep me from pushing the subject.

Anonymous said...

Hello. I had severe sharp pains in my shoulder blades about a month ago. I'm 34 weeks now and they have gone away. I was put on bedrest because of braxton hicks comming too soon in my pregnancy (now i'm expecting a premature birth). Apparently the sharp pains in the shoulders were because of these two muscles. They are the same thing and they both make up the muscles surrounding the shoulder blade. One is called the Tenes major and one is called the Tenes minor. Anywho, what happened was because i was laying down all the time, i would lay down but turn one direction to read a book or watch a movie. (Like laying on the couch with your upper torso looking forward while the rest of you is laying fulling parallel with the couch) The dr said to stop laying like that for long periods of time because that was what was causing the pain. Then there was something about if its the major one (or maybe it was the minor one) you will sometimes experiance a numbness in your last three fingers (middle, ring, and pinky), that may or may not travel slightly up the arm (if not all the way).

Hope that helped with the shoulder pains ladies, i just had to take hot baths and stop sitting in one position for so long (there are other causes, that was just what mine was occurring from.) Mine have gone away now. Good luck ladies!

Anonymous said...

I am almost 28 weeks along and I have just started having a stabbing pain just under my right breast in my abdomen, sleeping on my side is torture, moving makes it feel like something is ripping or tearing. I have had this with my two previous pregnancies as well. My doctors have never been able to tell me what it is so I have just been living with it, waking up each morning crying because it stings so badly. If I put a little pressure on the area then the pain will subside for a minute. I've tried an icepack and it seemed to help a little but it did not really alleviate the pain. I had a benign tumor removed from my calf a couple years ago that was causing me muscle pain and part of me wonders if this could be similar but with medicaid and uncaring doctors I will probably just have to live with it, live with the pain and just hope the next three months flies by fast.

Anonymous said...


I am 34 weeks right now and started have a strang numb feeling in my upper left side about 2 months ago. It stared out as being just numb but in the last 2 -3 weeks it has gone into pain.the only thing that helps me is sleeping on my side.

Today i took a small nap at work. I woke up and went to grab my glasses and felt a riping pain in the arear that has been messed up for weeks. I called My DR and was told that it is nerves and just the baby. This was def not just the baby.

IntuitiveWoman said...

I just want to thank all you lovely women for continuing to be a support system for one another while going through this time of discomfort and pain. Being pregnant was one of THE best times in my life, even though the pain was sometimes unbearable. It was so helpful to me, and I hope that it continues to be helpful to each of you, to know that I was not alone, and not crazy for feelings pain I intuitively sensed was not 'normal pregnancy pain'.

To anonymous who received a stretchy tight tube sock thingy to be worn around the ribs pressing on them...thank you for describing it and how much it helped. It made me wonder if a support belt would work...?

Melanie...I hope you are doing well. I don't see the date you left your comment, but if you've had the baby, we'd love to hear back from you and see how things have gone since.

Beth, thank you for the information your doctor provided to you about it being your umbilical cord. I found that quite interesting, though am having trouble researching it. I'm sure it was comforting to get an explanation vs. an 'it's normal, you're pregnant' response.

Anonymous, thank you for the cat/cow yoga pose suggestion. Perhaps that will be helpful to others who find this site in the future. In the meantime, I hope you and your baby are healthy and well.

Mazu, I hope you and your baby are happy and healthy and that you, too, are now pain free. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

MySecrets, would love to hear from you and learn of your outcome. So sorry to hear of your father's passing while you were pregnant. That must've been very difficult. I hope you and your baby are well. Thank you for sharing with us, and if you get a chance, let us know how you're doing.

Dear anonymous with pain starting in stomach and running down your leg...did you ever find out what was causing your pain? It seems yours was a bit different, sciatic nerve, perhaps? I hope you are well, and am guessing that your due date is very near. All the best...

Anonymous laying on your back/side while reading...glad to hear you discovered the source of your discomfort. I hope you had a full-term pregnancy and you and baby are happy and healthy.

Dear anonymous at 28 weeks, I hope you are doing well. Most interesting about your post is that you've had this pain with two previous pregnancies. I have wondered if it would be something that happens the next time, and it may very well be based on your experience. I hope you have found ways to minimize the pain during your final weeks, and wish for you an easy, joyful birth.

Anonymous who felt a rip reaching for glasses: I certainly hope your doctor will take you more seriously if you continue to experience increased pain. I completely understand the frustration of being dismissed by your doctor; the least they could do is check you out. Keep us posted. All the best to you.

Anonymous said...

Everyone here please go see your local chiropractor they are a heaven sent to the pregnate women.I go every week and man does it help! My left hip is constently out of place and it hurt to move but after the visit it is so much better! So please you have have aches and pains and your doctor passes it off on something else go see the chiropractor. Good luck

Anonymous said...

hi everyone, just a quick moan ! The other night i was woken up by really sharp pains in my left ribs where they meet in the middel and i couldn't get comfy at all it allso hurt when i took a breth and felt like i was getting short of breth i thougt i could of been me just layin in a funny position but in the morning the pain got worse with every movement and brougt me to tears my mum thinks it could jus be were my belly is exspanding and its pushing on my rib cadge but the pains not shifting with pain killers or stretching does anyone no if this could be anything else or seriouse iv asked the doc but they just say speack to my midwife but i don't want to sound like i don't no what im talking about any sagestions please !!!! Oh and im 22 weeks pregnant sorry !!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello I was reading alot of these poor womans stories . I don't know if this is the same or not but I had just fopund out I was pregnant and was very excited and spooked I am older so I had mixed emotions flying high! But very shrotly I found myself having pain in my upper right hamd side and it would ache right through to my back as well. Well I lost the baby early and this feeling is still there a few years later! I had all sorts of test done only to hear all is well! So why do I still get this? it is never really gone just alot better on and off. Anyone have this happen?? No galstones.. no tummy issues, no liver issues ect... Just wondering I always wonder why and just would love an answer.

hema said...

hi all,
i too have been googling like crazy for the same symptoms -I am 24 weeks pregnant with pain and burning in the upper right abdominal area just under the right breast .. my docs suspected a gall stone and had scans done .. my abdomen seems perfectly fine ..
she said it must be acidity and put me on domstal and sparacid .. does not really help .. the stabbing pain and burning sensation have remained from the past 2 weeks .. I would be grateful if you can answer my queries:

1. does it heal on its own after delivery?
2. if the abdomen is fine, can it really be that "gap in ab muscles" as some forums put it?
3. how serious can the gap be?? will i need surgery later on for this?

thanks in advance to all ur replies!

in pain,

IntuitiveWoman said...

Hi hema, I can only speak from my own experiences, but I just had my second baby, and though I did feel some of the same pains in my upper abdomen, it was not even close to what I had the first time around.

For me, after I gave birth the first time, the pain went away immediately. After both births, there are moments when I twist a certain way that I have a shooting pain similar to what was more constant while pregnant. Over time, I have chalked the pain up to organs shifting and bones moving. I mean, a rib cage expanding to make room for shifting organs and expanding uterus HAS to hurt, no?! ;)

I am thankful that I was able to push through it w/o having any gall bladder, liver, or other issues after the fact. And, I would venture to guess that if all your organs are fine, then you probably will not need surgery after you give birth.

I was also very (hyper-)aware of the effects of drugs on my fetus, so I tried my best to go without the use of any pain killers - not even Tylenol if I could help it. Which is why I was so glad to find relief by going to the chiropractor. Have you tried that?

I started going earlier during my 2nd pregnancy, and found that a good massage and adjustment made all the difference. Plus, my little one seemed to enjoy it to, as she moved around a lot during the massages, which always made me smile.

Best of luck to you throughout the remainder of your pregnancy. I do hope you find some relief, but try to find comfort in knowing it will most likely go away as soon as you're holding that precious lil baby in your arms. *hugs*

hema said...

Hi Intuitive woman,
Your response actually makes me feel better and look forward to better days :)

I live in India, so not really sure if there are good chiropractors .. Will check out though ..

God bless you and your little ones :)

Anonymous said...

Great website!
I'm 35 weeks and this is my third pregnancy. I started having upper abdominal pain/ burning just in the middle under my breasts about a week ago. I asked my dr and of course he says what they all say, it's just muscle strain. I'm going to call them on Monday bc I can't go another 4 weeks like this. I'm not sure what it is. The baby is moving a lot so no worries there.
I enjoyed everyone's updates about this issue.

St.louis MO

Elizabeth S. said...

I'm 36 weeks pregnant as of 10/29/11.
I was in the hospital the Thursday before last with pre-term contractions. They gave me pricardia to stop the contractions. It didn't work. However, I didn't have any progress in dilation. I've been at 2 centimeters, 25% effaced, and -2 station (or I was last time they checked me.) I'm not sure if I'm still at this condition or not. But I've had horrible back pain ever since. It went away yesterday, so I thought I was going to get a break. But I woke up this morning and it was unbearable..and radiated to the front of my abdomen. I'm not sure what it is but I'm waiting to see if anything progresses as it's still continuing, I also had some major heartburn. I've been having heartburn since about 5 months pregnant..but, no matter what I do this session just won't seem to go away. I've honestly given up telling the doctors about any kind of pain I've been having. Every time, they always tell me to take Tylenol...which I cannot take because it makes me sick. I refuse to take anything else because of fears it could bother my baby of whom has already been exposed to heart medicine and antibiotics. She's had her . I'm so confused. Massages seem to help a little with the pain. But not for very long. After about 30 minutes the pain just comes back. I cannot tell if I'm having contractions again or not because this past week I've been having them and I guess have simply become immune to the whole aspect of it. I'm at a dead end with this. I'm wondering if there is something safe from home I could do that could help with my back, unless this is a sign of impending labor.
Doctors don't help at this rate. I'm beginning to think they just think I'm mentioning pain because I want narcotic type painkillers or something. Which is not true. Or if it's because I'm young and they think I'm just whining.

IntuitiveWoman said...

Dear Elizabeth,
I'm so sorry to hear about the pain you're in. I understand how docs can make it that much worse by having absolutely no empathy for what you, as an individual, are going through. They like to lump all pregnant woman into a box and tell us to "deal with it". I chalk it up to ignorance since they really haven't (and can't) study what is happening to a woman's body while pregnant. We are (still) a mystery! ;-)

As far as the heartburn is concerned, that's a toughy. I had it BAAAD w/ my second, like the entire pregnancy. I couldn't eat anything spicier than an orange! I ate a LOT of tums, and drank a LOT of water. The best thing you can do is drink water (I always added a touch of lemon juice to give it a little flavor :).

In terms of your pain, I wish I knew what would work best for you. It sounds like you are getting close (do you know if you're having a big baby, or what position it's in?). It may be that baby is in an awkward position. My second put a lot of pressure on a nerve and I limped around for the last 3 months of my pregnancy b/c my butt hurt so bad every time I took a step!

Try doing some pelvic tilts, or other exercises to relieve some of the pressure. The relief may not last, but sometimes temporary relief is better than none. Try to keep yourself as comfortable as possible and remember, it'll all be over very soon! :)

Here's a site that describes some good exercises for you:

Keep us posted, and best wishes with the remainder of your pregnancy and birth. Such an exciting time. I wish you well.


Anonymous said...

I think it's been years since anyone commented on this but this was the first thing I've found online where people described exactly the issue I'm experiencing! Stabbing pain, feels like a muscle pull, along with itchiness, right under my right rib cage. Doctor said it was baby pressing on my phrenic nerve, which would tie in to the back pain some of you ladies mention. I'm 27 weeks and the pain is starting to keep me from sleeping.

Anonymous said...

I am feeling extreme pain almost all the time in the front near to my upper right side of the ribs and immediately below the breast. Soc is saying that it will be there ,as during pregnancy one can feel pain anywhere. Its like someone has stabbed me with the sharp thick heavy stone there.Earlier the pain was only at the back-exactly behind the front pain position. But now it hardly happens in back but front pain is unbearable.

Intuitive Woman said...

It's always amazing to me how, after 7 years, this post gets found again and again. I think it speaks volumes as to what our healthcare professionals know - or don't know - about the female body, particularly a pregnant one.

I hope you find relief in as many ways as possible during the remainder of your pregnancy, and hopefully some of the suggestions identified in my post and these comments will work for you. I had it with both of mine, and after birth, it subsided both times. So, I know "hang in there" isn't what anyone wants to hear, but I do hope there's comfort in knowing it's probably nothing serious and it will most likely go away.

THANK YOU to all the women who have found this post helpful - even if it's just knowing you're not alone - and a BIG THANKS to ALL who have shared their story. May you be blessed with a beautiful little miracle very soon, and all the pain you currently feel disappears as soon as you hold your precious babe in your arms. Much love. - IW

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if anyone is on here still but I'm looking for answers. I'm only 7 days past ovulation can't even take a pregnancy test yet but since 2 days past ovulation I've been having this stabbing pain in my stomach under my ribs when I move quickly or bend. ItS been persistent since 2 dpo. Also have lower back pain as well. Could this be round ligament pain already? ? This is my 3rd pregnancy but I only have one child, had a miscarriage about 5 months ago. Am I crazy to think this is round ligament pain already? I heard some mom's say it was there first symptom but maybe there is something else wrong with me ??

Unknown said...

I know that your post was years ago; but I have been having the exact feeling at different times, and in the same areas of my abdomen. It feels like a nerve pain (somewhat like a kick; but I'm sure that it's not). Did you find out what the symptoms were during your pregnancy?

the Intuitive Woman said...

I've never really gotten any definitive answers on what this pain is. It either baffles people (obs, physicians, chiros, massage therapists, etc.) or they've heard of it but can't explain it. I've heard rib cage expanding (which kinda makes sense to me given that it is a constant pain), but then wouldn't it apply to all pregnant women as their bodies expand and change. I encourage you to try as many homeopathic therapies as possible. I wish I'd been more familiar w/ acupuncture at the time, I think it could potentially relieve some of the symptoms, in addition to massage and chiropractic adjustments. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Wha! This is great full blog i like this type blog. Deferentially this blog have this quality big cost, special effects, thank for sharing this blog.
Chronic Shoulder Pain Treatments
Chronic Shoulder Pain
Hip Pain Treatment
Treatment For Hip Pain
Treatment For Hip Pain
Hip Pain Treatment Relief
Relief For Hip Pain