Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

Pregnancy and low back pain

Why does my back hurt?!

First and foremost, you are not alone! It is estimated that more than 50% of women will experience low back pain throughout their pregnancy. There are many possible causes but these are the most common.

Weight gain

During a healthy pregnancy women typically gain between 11 and 15kgs of extra weight which your spine has to support. The increased weight in itself can cause low back pain but also the weight of your little human can put increased pressure on the blood vessels and nerves in your pelvis.


Around the second trimester is when most women begin to notice some changes in the way they’re standing or sitting. This is because, as the baby grows, the rest of your body shifts to make room for your growing belly. Your lower back will gradually start to curve more, and your shoulders may also move back a bit to makeup for your shifting centre of gravity and enlarging uterus. Later in pregnancy, the abdominal muscles of some women separate, which can also lead to a change in posture and low back pain. These changes are not typically long term but just your body’s way of accommodating to thechanges.

Hormone changes

During pregnancy, a very important hormone called relax in is produced in a higher concentration than usual. This hormone serves a very important role, it ensures that the joints, ligaments and structures around the pelvis become looser in preparation for the birth. Unfortunately, relaxin also causes abnormal motion in many other joints of the body, causing instability and pain.

What can you do about this?

There are many things you can do to help your pain!

There are a variety of activities and treatment options that can help with pregnant related low back pain. These methods are tried and tested.They are safe and have you and your little one in mind.

Pre natal yoga, pilates, Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Acupuncture and Massage therapy are commonly used modalities for pregnancy related low back pain.

Tips on what you can do on a day to day basis

  • Move your feet when turning around to avoid twisting your spine
  • Wear flat shoes as these allow your weight to be evenly distributed
  • Work at a surface high enough to prevent youstooping
  • Try to balance the weight between two bags when carrying shopping
  • Make sure you get enough rest, particularly later in pregnancy
  • A firm mattress can also help to prevent and relieve back ache

Yes low back pain is common in pregnancy, but there is much that can be done to help it!

Taryn Frame has a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Chiropractic. Taryn practices at absolute health solutions in Balgowlah with a special interest in pre and postnatal care and sport injuries.