The Pregnancy Pain in the Behind You Need to Know About

Everything is going fine for you and your bump when all of a sudden pregnancy becomes a pain in the butt.  Literally.  Many moms-to-be are struck by pain in the behind or lower back – and then find that the pain runs down their legs.  When the pregnancy pain known as sciatica strikes it can be a temporary annoyance – or it can become hard to move.  

What is sciatica?  

The sciatic nerve is the biggest nerve in the body. It starts in your lower back and extends all the way down to your ankles.  When the sciatic nerve becomes compressed it is called sciatica.  

What causes sciatica? 

Sciatica can occur for a variety of reasons throughout life, but it is common during pregnancy.  Several things can cause the sciatic nerve to become compressed during pregnancy, including weight gain, your bulging uterus, a shifting center of gravity, or your baby's head resting in exactly the wrong place.  

pregnancy pain
Image via Unsplash/ Alexander Krivitskiy

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What does sciatica feel like?

Sciatica starts in the lower back or buttocks and sends a sharp, shooting pain down your leg. It will probably feel different than any other pain you have experienced, even if you have had lower back pain throughout your pregnancy.

How common in sciatica? 

Very!  Most pregnant women will experience at least one episode of sciatica during their pregnancy.  

How severe is sciatica?

It varies greatly from mother to mother.  For some women, the pain will occur only once or will be transient. However, for others, the pain may be severe and long-lasting taking them off their feet completely. Thankfully, severe sciatica is rare.    

Can sciatica be prevented? 

Unfortunately, there is really no way to prevent sciatica. It will either strike or it won’t. Just be prepared to recognize what’s going on when it happens. 

What can I do if sciatica strikes?

As with any pregnancy-related concern, call your doctor or midwife for advice, especially before taking any medication or starting any new exercise.  However, there are several things other moms have found helpful in dealing with sciatica during pregnancy that you may find helpful too. Getting off your feet, sleeping on the unaffected side, using warm compresses, yoga, acupuncture, acetaminophen, a pregnancy massage, and a pregnancy girdle are things other moms have said have helped them cope with sciatica.   

Can sciatica hurt my baby?

No! Sciatica may be very uncomfortable for the mother, but it is not at all harmful for the baby.

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If this pregnancy pain in the butt strikes, take a deep breath, take a load off your feet, and know that this too will pass.   

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The Pregnancy Pain in the Behind You Need to Know About

Jamie is a Beltway Insider who loves channeling her pre-motherhood love of traveling into spending time exploring all D.C. has to offer with her brood of two girls and two boys ages 9, 7,5, and a baby. She is a reformed lawyer turned full-time kid wrangler who enjoys photographing her everyday chaos and anything salted caramel. Since life is never dull, she loves writing about the issues and events going on in her life at any given time, including caring for a daughter with special needs and th ... More

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