Painful ribs at night, any tips on how to ease this?

I'm finding it really hard to sleep at night due to pain in my upper rib cage whenever I lie on my side -the pain is a lot worse on my left. I've tried wearing a sports bra in bed, propping myself up with pillows but don't know what else to try. The pain is barely noticeable in the day when I am upright, but for the last couple of weeks I've been waking up 10 times a night or more in quite a lot of pain. It's a fairly localised almost burning sensation in the bone beneath my breast. I'm 22wks 1 day today. This is not something I remember happening in my previous two pregnancies. Any tips on how to ease this and allow me and hubby to get some sleep?

5 Replies

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  • Oh bless you... Your really feeling it at the moment. I have a stupid pillow that's hardly worth calling it that its a really puff less side sleeper. I'm not sure if its recommended but there is a pure oil like tiger balm that radiates heat into the area. I used this on my ack at 18/19 weeks when that was severe. Something else is hot water bottle and some paracetamol. All else fails have a chat with the midwife or chemist se if they recommend anything for you. Hope it gets sorted nots nice topped with hormones and sleep deprivation xx

  • Thanks for your reply. I hadn't thought of trying a hot water bottle and may try paracetamol and tiger balm. I have a midwife appointment next week, so I will tell her if it's still a problem then. Hopefully it's one of those transient things that will soon be forgotten. Even as I type baby is wriggling about and reminding me to be happy :-)

  • Orh no better feeling. We go through a lot to help grow our baby's one big miracle :-)

  • This is called rib flare, I've had the same thing since 16 weeks... I wouldn't recommend putting anything on the area that increases heat. I've been advised to use an ice pack or frozen peas 2-3 times a day. The burning sensation is the muscles that support the ribs inflaming, so anything cold will draw the blood away from the area and will help reduce the inflammation & pain. The other thing that will be helpful is doing exercises to stretch the area.. Hope that info helps! X

  • hey I had this up to about 23 weeks, my midwife said as above use something cold, also I went swimming couple of times a week, ur able to move so much more freely and it helped loosen me up, I even did summersaults in the pool and it really helped. xx

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