Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    PLEASE NOTE: If you are not yet pregnant click here to check out one of our other pregnancy communities.
    Pain under Right rib cage during pregnancy
    An_218303 posted:
    I am experiencing a fairly constant & acute pain under my right rib cage - directly below right breast. It felt orginally like broken ribs on right side, and now the pain moving a bit around the rib cage to my back. The pain started to occur occasionally at about 7 weeks and now that I'm at 18 weeks it occurs everyday. The pain is at it's worst in the evenings, after dinner. It's so bad, that I've contemplated many times taking a trip to the emergency room. The pain subsides by morning & gradually gets worse again throughout the next day. I do not believe this level of pain can be normal, though my doctor originally stated it may be the typical muscles stretching off the rib cage, unfortuantely, based on it's occurance after eating & only in one acute spot leads me to believe something else is wrong. I've read MANY posts on the same topic, but not many answers. Can anyone please provide some guidance & if normal, some pain management techniques - Thanks!
    SweetAngelGirl7t responded:
    I have had exactly what you have described. I did go for the HP for it. At one point it was cuz she was pulling on a ligament. It was so extreme, I thought for sure it was my kidneys or appendicitis! But nope, she was just pushing down and ouch! I even missed work sometimes cuz it was sooo bad!! Another thing it could be is your babe is kicking/hitting your ribs. The ribs on my right side, are so bruised, I could have sworn they were broken sometimes! Somedays are better than others. And the reason the back part of your ribs could be hurting is cuz your uterus is getting bigger, and pushing on them. unfortunately it's an uncomfortable stage of pregnancy! But I'd say since it started about 7 weeks (same time mine did, it's her pulling on a ligament!) But if you are really worried, please go to the ER and get it checked out!! No harm done there, and they will even do a sonogram of your baby
    Amy312 replied to SweetAngelGirl7t's response:
    Thank you for the reply! I really hope it's just the baby pulling on a ligament. I called my doctor today & have a ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow morning. They'll check out my gallbladder, since the pain is typically after I eat. I'll send an update after my appt tomorrow, just in case others are experiencing the same thing.
    busymama619 responded:
    I had the pain in the exact spot too! I figured my baby was way to small to already be causing so much pain. So I went to the Emergency room and they did a really detailed sonogram to check the entire area and they couldnt find the reason behind it. So they sent me home with Vicadin for pain. ( I didnt feel comfortable taking it) so I just put up with it. I did notice if I sat for long periods of time it was worse, so I tried to either walk around, lay down, or shift my body more towards the left or backwards. And the pain never went away, just got a bit better. I know this isnt really an answer.
    Prego40firsttime replied to Amy312's response:
    So what ended up happening? I have the EXACT same thing and I'm 18 weeks. I'm going for a gallbladder ultrasound tomorrow. I hope I have no stones. I also ready it could be a very early sign of accute preeclampsia or HELLP, but that's pretty unlikely. I'd love it if it was "nothing," but it's happening EVERY day now in the afternoons and evenings after I eat. I've tried cutting fat out of my diet and the back pain that came with it has settled down, but I do have that pain in the one area directly under my right breast. It's not so terrible - just feels like a bruised rib or muscle - but I imagine it could get worse.
    Therhry responded:
    Hi there. I don't want to frighten you, but alert you to the facts. You are not far enough in your pregnancy to be feeling what you've explained - in other words your baby is still far too small to be doing such damage. Your uterus for starters is now just only below your belly button in size, so there's no way your baby could be "bruising" your ribs. Ribs cannot get bruised as it is a bone but the surrounding tissues can. My son bruised my liver and the tip of my lung on the right-hand side, but that only happened at 7 months of pregnancy when he was already pretty big. At 18wks your baby can't even reach your ribcage believe me!

    Get yourself checked asap. I am 20wks 5days pregnant and I also have gallstones. This type of pain that you're describing is VERY typing of gallbladder problems, especially since it's worse at night AFTER you've eaten. And the pain always goes into the back. I know EXACTLY what you're going through. I had an ERCP in June last year to remove a stone that got stuck in my common bile duct (that's most likely the reason you're experiencing pain) and it was a simple and very short procedure and I was in hospital for 2 days. It's pretty non-invasive and the only unpleasant side-effect is the feeling of wind in your belly and belching and farting for a few hours afterwards. And it's also perfectly safe to perform in your 2nd trimester so don't stress. Heck it might not even be this but it just sounds too close for comfort to me.

    GL and all the best to you and take care of your LO in there!

    Theresa (39)
    South Africa
    LillyMaezMom responded:
    • The one response about the baby being of too small to bruise your ribs is correct however it is possible for them to bruise the inside your uterus.Elbow or the heel of their foot or their toes and sometimes their little heads.This depends on how they are positioned and how high you are carrying.Hope this helps.Good Luck!
    Prego40firsttime replied to Therhry's response:
    So I ended up getting the ultrasound and liver enzyme blood test (and bilirubin) and they all came back normal. Still, the pain is daily and it's right in my gallbladder area, concentrated under my right breast! I'd love it if it's just gas or my uterus pushing all the organs upward and bruising them. Sometimes it does feel like a bruised rib, but sometimes like a little fire burning. It really isn't too bad, as long as it doesn't get worse, but I REALLY wanted to make sure it wasn't a blocked stone or something while I'm still in the 2nd trimester.

    Therhry, how did you get diagnosed? Were your blood and liver tests and ultrasound normal, or did they show stones? Also, I didn't know that they could remove just one stone. That's lucky! Did they see it on an ultrasound?
    Therhry replied to Prego40firsttime's response:
    I was diagnosed in 2007 when I got Jaudice because of a stone blocking the common bile duct. What happens is a stone will escape out of the gallbladder when it contracts (this happens when you eat as the bile is pumped from there into the stomach to aid digestion). Because the stone is now blocking the duct, the bile has nowhere to go so remains in the gallbladder and goes back up into the liver. This is what causes that sever pain under the ribcage going into the back and right shoulder blade. It's awful and can get so bad that you end up vomiting which is what happened to me. When they did a sonar and liver function tests the could clearly see the gallstones in the bladder but could not see the blockage therefore I had an ERCP. It might sound very invasive but it's not as this method is specifically designed to look at the stomach and intestines and other organs (it's a tube about 0.4mm in diameter with a tiny little camera at the end). They found the stone (was about 0.6mm in diameter) and removed it and since I have had very good health - no more pain. Even though I still have my gallbladder and the surgeon said it might not happen ever again. We'll have to see and hope for the best. It's been nearly a year and God willing I'm good.

    They can perform an ERCP by the way when you are in your 2nd tri and it's quite safe for you and the baby as they don't go anywhere near your uterus and you're awake, although sedated and it's not painful. They work through your throat so afterwards you'll just experience a sore throat and a bit of bloating as they pump air into your ducts to inflate them. It passes out of you a couple of hours after.

    Hope this helps.
    Prego40firsttime replied to Therhry's response:
    I'm still getting the daily burning/bruising feeling under my right it's happening in morning after I eat, too. But if it's "nothing" then I'm not worried. I'm still being careful not to eat too much fatty food. Although I plan to make some tacos with lean turkey meat today. Not something I would make if I had a gall bladder problem, but they say I don't. I'll just take it easy. If anyone else has right rib pain/similar issues, please chime in!
    Amy312 replied to Prego40firsttime's response:
    I had the Ultrasound and they everything looked normal! No gallstones, or any other issue. The doctor said it may still be a malfunctioning gallbladder (sulge that doesn't show up on the U/S), but they cannot test for the malfunction until after the baby is born. All I could do was cut out fats as much as possible & drink more water, but truthfully that didn't help at all. I still had the pain everytime right after I ate (even an orange) for about 2 more weeks after the unltrasound, and then magically (I am now 22 weeks) the pain has almost completely disappeared. There is hope! I thought for sure I would have to endure that awful pain until my baby was born.
    Therhry replied to Prego40firsttime's response:
    Just though I'd mention that I had the same pain when I was pregnant with my eldest son. When I went to see my OB/GYN about it, he proded and probed the area gently and told me my liver was a bit swollen and he thought that my son had kicked my liver and bruised it. That will definitely give you that burning/bruised feeling, especially if you raise your arms above your head and extend your torso. If it hurts a lot, then you know your liver is bruised from baby kicking you there. Heck my son's foot got stuck in my ribcage!! THAT was another story!!
    Prego40firsttime replied to Therhry's response:
    Amy312, that's funny, same thing is happening to me! I went to a gastro yesterday and he said that if there were no stones on ultrasound, and my liver blood test was normal, and I'm not having nausea, diarhheah, etc...coupled with the fact that my pain is daily and feels like a "burning" and comes when I eat or drink no matter what it is...he thinks it's not gallbladder. It could be gas. I asked why it's ONLY in that right rib area where the gall bladder is. His response is that everything on the right pushes up during pregnancy. He also said maybe it's an ulcer, but he can't really test 'cause I'm prego. He suggested I try Mylanta, so I am doing that.

    Interestingly, now that I've gotten back off the ultra low fat gall diet I feel a little better, mainly because I was trying only to eat oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables, which probably gave me a lot of gas!!

    I still say that it COULD be gallbladder pain, and if the docs thought it was, I'd stay on the low-fat diet for the rest of pregnancy. But I'm not having gall attacks or typical symptoms...just a suspicious pain near my gallbladder. So I will just be careful what I eat but still eat some things I like.

    I'm glad it's probably not gallbladder pain, although I've heard of people testing fine and still having a gall problem and ending up having a bad attack later.
    kbailey2011 replied to Therhry's response:
    I'm having the same pain. I'm 33 weeks, i'm unsure what to do. If i should go to the doctors?
    amar87 responded:
    im now 24 weeks pregnant with my second child and occurring this pain in my right rib cage yet again! During my first pregnancy the pain was soo severe that i made 2 emergency room visits. Doctors can never give any explanation as to what these pains are that ive been experiencing with both pregnancies. Personally i never felt any pain till about 20 weeks with both pregnancies. Doctors say everything is fine its just "normal" Ive noticed pain at its peek after a long day of work. I have a desk job and my own personal conclusion is that the pain is caused from hunching over a computer all day. Ive found that once i come home and stretch out the pain subsides. With my previous pregnancy on my trip to the ER the doctor asked to describe the pain and my best explanation was "a knife going through my ribs all the way to my back". The doctors think im crazy but the pain is at times unbearable. i myself would like some answers as to what this pain is. i know its not just stretching or a kick in the ribs.

    Helpful Tips

    Easing Early Pregnancy NauseaExpert
    For many women, eating a small snack every hour or two will keep nausea to a minimum. Almost any food will do, but nuts are a great choice, ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    41 of 56 found this helpful

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.