Pregnancy Tailbone Pain Questions and Answers

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Having a baby can be a wonderful experience, but it can also be challenging if you are suffering from back and tailbone pain. While approximately 70% of women experience low-back pain at some point in their lives, 50-80% report back pain in pregnancy. For nearly 10% of them, the pain can be debilitating.

Many parents have questions and concerns and we wanted to address some commonly asked questions.

Is tailbone pain an early sign of pregnancy?

Having backache is a common symptom and an early sign of pregnancy. It may be accompanied by cramps like those felt during the period. It is because the body is getting ready for the baby.

When does tailbone pain start in pregnancy?

Back pain is a normal symptom of pregnancy. Tailbone pain during pregnancy is more common in the late second and third trimesters as your belly gets bigger and your center of gravity leans forward; however, it may happen as early as the first trimester and is linked to increased stress and hormones. If a woman is heavier in weight or has had back pain before pregnancy, the risk is higher during pregnancy. Sometimes it appears if a woman has had multiple births or some kind of trauma to the pelvic floor.

What causes tailbone pain during pregnancy?

Tailbone pain can be caused by pelvic ligaments becoming lax. When you are pregnant your body releases a hormone called relaxin. The role of relaxin is to relax the ligaments in the pelvis to allow for birth, and it can make the tailbone more sensitive. As your growing baby begins to take up more space, they may also be creating pressure right up against your lower back, which can also cause discomfort. More than 50% of women experience back and tailbone pain at the bottom of the spine.

How can you ease tailbone pain during pregnancy?

A physical therapist can help with your tailbone pain. The goal is to reduce muscle tension while preserving muscle strength and correcting the instability that causes the pain. Try to maintain good posture when you are standing or sitting. Squat rather than bend at the waist when picking something up. Wear shoes that support your growing belly. Elevate your feet when sitting and use a chair with good back support or you can try using a lumbar pillow for more support. Try taking some time to meditate or do some prenatal yoga to relax and stress your muscles. Treat yourself to a comforting massage which is good during and after pregnancy.

How do you sleep with tailbone pain during pregnancy?

Try to sleep on your side rather than your back. Putting a body pillow between your legs while you sleep can help position your knees and hips in a more neutral, comfortable position. It is important to get lots of rest so you don’t increase your stress levels

Does tailbone pain go away after pregnancy?

For most women, tailbone pain goes away soon after delivery. In some cases, the instability caused by loose ligaments during the pregnancy and trauma during delivery can cause tailbone pain and postpartum pelvic floor dysfunction for several months. During childbirth, the pressure from the baby's head can fracture the tailbone or coccyx. A fractured coccyx can be quite painful and symptoms can take months to subside. Many women gain relief after about 2 months of physical therapy. Specific exercises can help to strengthen the core muscles and stabilize joints in the tailbone area.

Whether you are pregnant, plan on becoming pregnant, or just had a baby, we have a set of online courses that will help you strengthen your core to ease childbirth or help you recover faster post-pregnancy.