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how badly does it hurt when you break a rib?

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I have been sick with a respiratory thing for over two weeks, with lots of coughing. I am 38 weeks pregnant, so that complicates things. I have had tenderness around my lowest ribs for a few days, but just a few min ago, I coughed and felt a sharp pain and a pop around my lowest right rib. I can barely move and it hurts to take a deep breath. I have never broken anything before, so I don't have a reference for the degree of pain. Any advice on what I can do to ease the pain?

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Oh my- that's awful :(


I never felt a distinct pop, but my dr & I are 99% certain I cracked a rib last fall during a bout of bronchitis and extremely intense/hard coughing. I'm sad to say there's nothing to do to fix it and it took about 6 weeks to heal before I could laugh, cough or take a deep breath without pain. I won't lie- it was exquisitely painful and I haven't forgotten it one bit. :grouphug: It hurts to breath, lay down, move, laugh etc....not as bad as it hurts when you cough however.


This is what I did to ease the pain of continued coughing a little....but at 38 weeks I"m not sure these will work...and bluntly, if you did break a rib, I'm a little concerned how this might affect your delivery :( My heart goes out to you :grouphug:


Here is what I did/was told:

-press arm firmly along side when coughing

-wrap pillow around area (front & back) and firmly support when coughing

-keep coughing to minimum for pain (so possibly consider suppressant?), but keep taking deep breaths often enough so you don't develop pneumonia

-avoid exertion so that you aren't breathing rapidly or deeply; this will also trigger more coughing

-I also wore a chest compression bandage for a few days just to keep pressure on the rib- oddly, it didn't hurt as badly that way. But that's not possible for you



I'm so, so, so sorry. :( :grouphug:

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I feel for you! I broke my ribs in four places during a nasty respiratory infection. I was 36wks pregnant with my third!


It was excruciating and took weeks to heal. I kept coughing and reinjuring myself. There is nothing you can do to help it. They used to wrap ribs, but its been proven totally ineffective.


Hang in there! Lots of hugs!!

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:grouphug: I'm so sorry... The same thing happened to me when I was greatly preggo with ds8 and contracted whooping cough. I remember being so happy during labor, b/c the epidural took away the rib pain as well. Unfortunately, it took months to heal, but eventually it did.

Ask your doctor what is best to take for pain.:grouphug:

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Boooo. You guys are not encouraging me! Especially since my plan is to have a drug free homebirth. :001_huh:


The good news is that, as much as it hurts, I think it must be muscle strain rather than broken rib. It doesn't hurt as much to breathe as it did earlier, and I would think if I actually broke something, the pain would be constant rather than just when I move?


Anyway, hopefully it will heal some before labor starts. Thanks for the input.

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