- changes to your posture
- increased pressure on your pelvis due to the growth of your baby
- hormonal changes which soften the ligaments that support the pelvis.
These changes can place increased strain on the pelvic joints making the joints inflamed and painful.
Approximately 20% of pregnant women experience pelvic pain during their pregnancy.
What you might feel
- Clicking, locking or grinding in the pelvic joints.
- Pain in the front or the back of the pelvis, buttocks, groin and/or radiating into the thighs. The shaded areas in the picture below are where pain commonly occurs.
Activities that may increase your pelvic pain
- Prolonged walking.
- Fast walking.
- Getting in and out of the car or bed.
- Rolling in bed.
- Lying flat.
- Deep squatting or lunging.
- Going up and down stairs.
- Standing on one leg (e.g. dressing – putting on pants).
- Moving from sitting to standing.
- High impact exercise (e.g. running and jumping activities).
Managing pelvic pain during your labour
Managing your pelvic pain
To avoid increasing pelvic pain
- Don’t push through pain.
- Take smaller steps when walking.
- Walk shorter distances.
- Reduce heavy lifting and pushing and pulling activities such as, vacuuming.
- Break up large tasks into smaller activities.
- Rest in between activities.
- Keep your knees together when rolling in bed.
- Roll under rather than over when rolling in bed.
- Sleep on your side with a pillow in between your legs.
- Get in and out of bed with your knees together (see the diagram below).
Tips to reduce your pelvic pain
- Use an ice pack on the painful area for 20 minutes every 2–3 hours. Wrap the ice pack in a damp material so that the ice pack does not contact your skin directly.
- Stand tall at all times.
- Sit tall with back support.
- Wear a compression garment or support belt (supplied by your physiotherapist).
- Use crutches or a wheelchair (instead of walking long distances).
- Perform strengthening exercises for the hip, pelvic floor and deep abdominal muscles (as shown by your physiotherapist).
- Use home massage or trigger points to release tight muscles (as shown by your physiotherapist).
Remember, consult your doctor for advice about after the birth