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About 1 in 5 pregnant women are affected by pelvic girdle pain to some degree.
It is important to remember it may not get worse and with treatment early in pregnancy it can be managed well. It does not mean you cannot have a normal labour and delivery.
This leaflet is designed to provide you with advice and practical measures to assist you in reducing your pain and symptoms.
Causes of back pain and pelvic girdle pain in pregnancy
Pregnancy causes numerous changes in your body. These include changes in your posture and centre of gravity, lengthening of muscles around the tummy, increased weight and the ligaments around your joints softening and become more elastic. These can lead to changes in the symmetry of your pelvis which in turn may cause pain.
Common presenting signs and symptoms
The signs and symptoms can vary greatly between patients.
Some of the activities which can produce pain are:
The site of pain can vary. It can include the lower back, buttocks, groin, front or back of thighs, over the hips, around the pelvic floor/perineum and in the lower abdomen.
Try to avoid:
• Standing on one leg (e.g. get dressed sitting down).
• Standing or sitting for long periods of time
• Twisting and bending to lift.
• Carrying a toddler on one hip.
• Heavy lifting – (i.e. using the vacuum, shopping, wet washing, heavy toddler).
• Cross legged sitting.
• Pushing heavy supermarket trolleys (try online shopping).
Inform the midwife that you have had pelvic or back pain
Try to avoid positions which are asymmetrical or result in wide leg separation
(squatting or stirrups)
Do not put your feet up on the midwife’s hips to push
The good news is that the vast majority of women find the symptoms resolve on their own after the birth. However, if symptoms persist, continue with the advice given during pregnancy and
seek advice from your GP at your post-natal check. You may need further physiotherapy. Be aware of your back when feeding, changing & lifting to prevent further pain.
Go to ‘useful information’ page to download the Pelvic Pain booklet.