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Pregnancy Pain

Common Symptoms:

  • You may have an ache around your hip/pelvis and lower back or pubic bone which can be sharp and shoot down your leg

  • You may have pain with walking, sitting or standing for more than 20 mins

  • You may experience pain on getting up to stand from sitting or lying

  • Or pain when rolling over in bed

What can I do to help myself?

  • Squeeze your buttocks together as you move i.e.: sitting to standing, rolling in bed

  • Minimise any lifting as much as possible

  • Try and sit down to do chores and learn to delegate!

  • Change position regularly

  • Keep your legs together when getting in/out of the car

  • Avoid sitting with your legs crossed

  • Get dressed/undressed sitting down

  • Always roll onto your side to get out of bed

  • Walk up and down the stairs one at a time, take the lift/escalator if possible


Your body adjusts to weight gain during pregnancy by changing your posture, for example the way you stand. This can result in increased strain through some areas of your body.Strain in often felt around your lower back due to an increase curve in the small of your back.

In standing

  • Tuck your chin in

  • Try not to over exaggerate the curve in your back.

  • Pull your shoulders back and down

  • Gently engage your pelvic floor and tuck your tail under

  • Squeeze your buttocks slightly

  • Keep your knees relaxed and soft

In sitting

Choose a chair that provides your back with support.

Make sure your feet are flat on the floor

Try placing a rolled up towel in the small of your back

As you stand up squeeze your bottom muscles.

In Lying:

Lie on your side with a pillow in between your knees.

A pillow under your bump may be comfortable

Try rolling onto all fours when rolling from left to right

Stability Exercise:

The transversus abdominus, glutes, pelvic floor, lower back and obliques all help with the stability of your pelvis. It is important to exercise these muscles to help support your back.

Pelvic Floor Muscles:

The pelvic floor is a bowl of muscles forming the floor of your pelvis.

The pelvic floor has outlets for the bladder, uterus and bowel and supports the organs of the pelvis.

These muscles help to prevent leakage of urine.

Your pelvic floor is under strain in pregnancy as it has to carry the extra weight of your baby, and during delivery the muscles may be stretched and experience trauma.

General Exercise:

Regular exercise gives you a sense of well-being and is good for you and the baby during pregnancy. Always listen to your body and work at your own pace. Don’t start any new form of exercise without advice from your physiotherapist. Aim to do 60% of what you would normally do before becoming pregnant.

Swimming is a great pregnancy exercise but take care with breast stroke if having back/pelvic pain.

Walking is good to maintain fitness, remember to drink plenty of water and slow down when necessary.

Other common problems in pregnancy:

Tingling fingers

This could be carpel tunnel syndrome. This is not uncommon in pregnancy, and is a condition of the wrists where fluid accumulates and puts pressure on the nerves and blood vessels causing pain, stiffness, numbness, weakness and tingling, especially first thing in the morning.

Try sleeping with your affected hand up on a pillow, rest with your hands above you during the day and squeeze and release your fists regularly to reduce swelling.

Leg cramps

These tend to happen overnight and can be easily solved by stretching your calf muscles before you go to bed at night. If you get cramp overnight, pull your toes up towards you in bed and if this doesn’t help, get out of bed and do a calf stretch.

Rib pain

Pain under your ribs can be common during pregnancy when the bump is pushing up and reducing the space for your lungs and ribs. This will not do any damage but can be uncomfortable especially when sitting for long periods of time. Avoiding slouching and rounded postures and adding gentle stretches may help.


It can be hard work being pregnant, listen to your body and rest when you need to.

Please contact for physiotherapist if the advice given here does not help your symptoms. You may need manual therapy or massage to help resolve the symptoms.


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