We all know that the duration of pregnancy is an uncomfortable time period for the body. The body undergoes several changes, hormonal and physical. As the baby grows inside the belly, it adds pressure over the bladder which causes frequent urination and weight over the spine that causes backpain.
Generally, the backpain starts by the beginning of second trimester and can last till the birth of the baby, or after the delivery as well. Having tailbone pain during pregnancy is not something rare and occurs in about 1/3rd of pregnant women. The coccyx or the tailbone is the last bone in our spine and lies posterior to the uterus.
You may also like to check our write up on back pain after c-section.
What causes tailbone pain during pregnancy?
About 70% of women are reported to experience pain in their lower back, of these, 50-80% women experience back pain during pregnancy. Prior to delivery, the body releases a hormone called “relaxin”, this hormone is responsible for increasing flexibility and loosening of the pelvic ligaments in order to provide space for the developing baby.
The tailbone is connected to the pelvic floor muscles which upon contractions causes pain. By the end of third trimester, it can get even more uncomfortable and painful as the baby is fully developed and adds the most pressure during the time.
Another reason for the tailbone pain during pregnancy is that as the baby develops and grows in size, it adds more pressure on the tailbone causing pain. It may give you a hard time finding a comfortable position to sit in. other contributing factors are lack of exercise and constipation.
How do you get rid of tailbone pain during pregnancy?
There are different ways to ease the tailbone pain to a great extent. These can be as follows:
Lying or sleeping on your left side would help in digestion and better blood circulation in the body. During pregnancy it is commonly recommended to lie on the side. This would make a noticeable amount of difference with the discomfort.
Use of Pillows:
As mentioned, while lying on your side you should keep a pillow between your knees. This can help in positioning your knees and hips in a comfortable and neutral position to ease tailbone pain during pregnancy.
A neck pillow or commonly called as the donut pillow can be used which can help relieve the pressure, however it may cause pressure in other areas of the body.
Achy tailbone also causes pain in our hips. In order to relieve both you can opt for special seat cushions which can ease your back.
You should consult your doctor regarding what kind of exercises you can do. You can perform gentle exercises such as swimming which is one of the best for pregnant women. There are various pregnancy friendly exercises that you can perform but you must take care that they should not have jerky motions that may cause problem or cause pain in the tailbone.
Yoga is a good idea and YouTube has numerous videos regarding pre-natal yoga that you can always surf through. In order to limit the stress on your back and have good pelvic movements, you can go for brisk walking which is an exercise that can also help you ease your sore muscles.
Changing Positions Often:
Sitting for long periods of time would keep constant pressure over the tailbone causing pain. You should avoid standing or sitting in a single position for too long and constantly change to comfortable positions. If a working woman, they should also bring changes in their positions by having a small chat with co-workers, getting up for tea breaks and taking small 5 minute walks. This would bring a noticeable difference and help relieve tailbone pain during pregnancy.
Avoiding Excess Weight Gain:
Gaining weight gain is natural in pregnancy as the baby in your belly develops and grows but you should keep in mind that it would be necessary weight gain. The idea of gaining weight sounds like a nightmare for most of the women, hence during pregnancy the unnecessary weight gain should be avoided. Apart from that, excess weight on the body would act as a contributing factor to the pain in tailbone.
The increased weight causes increased stress and to avoid that, you should avoid having too much sugary foods and drinks. It is undeniable that the cravings are at peak during pregnancy, you should still keep a notice of what you consume and go for healthier alternatives. For example, instead of having sugary drinks, you can refresh yourself with a glass of coconut water which having various benefits for women during pregnancy.
Sitting in a Good Posture:
Although sitting for too long can cause stress and hence pain over the tailbone, even for short periods of time you should maintain a good posture. Sitting straight and in a relaxed manner would be helpful in the situation. Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed and your back straight. This would extend the time until pain kicks in.
You can perform exercise on an exercise ball as well and sit on it as you keep your body active. These can prove as great as for posture improvement.
Wearing a Maternity Belt:
Wearing a maternity belt can prove to be helpful as it adds a layer of support and carry the extra weight for you. This can take the extra burden off your back and reducing pain in the lower back. These can really come in handy by the end of 2nd trimester and beginning of 3rd trimester.
You can take hot or warms baths as it increases blood circulation in the body and eases pain. You can fill the tub with warm water and have a relaxing bath. This would overall help your mind and body to relax. A heating pad can also be used as good alternative. Place the heating pad on your lower back and the heat can provide relief from the pain.
A massage during pregnancy sounds heavenly and tempting. Having a massage in the first trimester may not be a very good idea as they are not really recommended and massage therapists often refuse to provide services in the first trimester, but then again, you may not experience lower backpain till the end of first trimester. During the second and third trimester, you can consult your doctor and go for a massage. The job should be done by a professional for a better experience.
Avoid uncomfortable clothing in order to avoid and problems. Tight clothing should be avoided as it would add pressure over your body. Wear loose or oversized clothes that would help you feel comfortable. During these stages you would like to roam around in your usual slippers or flats rather than those high heels. They would be uncomfortable as well as risky. You should consider changing your wardrobe for the time period to avoid unnecessary pain.
Encourage Bowel Movements and Avoid Constipation:
As mentioned earlier, getting constipated can only make the situation worse. The unpleasant situation can be a result of the hormonal change. Keeping yourself hydrated, taking high fibre foods and iron supplements helps in easy digestion and avoids getting constipated. Your bowels shouldn’t be full all the time.
During pregnancy, consult your doctor for the kind of painkillers you can use given your situation. Some of the pain relieving medications that are safe to use are Tylenol, muscle relaxants such as Flexeril and topical pain relieving patches. You are still suggested to seek professional advice.
Pregnancy is time when the body goes through several changes whether it is hormonal or physical. The body carries a new life but with the passage of time as your body grows, the extra weight can bring about uncomfortableness and pain. It is normal for women to experience backpain during pregnancy but you can overcome the situation by taking the precautionary measures.