Pregnancy can be both a scary and an exciting time all at once. Your body can have new aches and pains that you have not experienced before; some are normal and some are of concern.  But how do you know when one becomes something you should be concerned about?

Here are the most common pregnancy aches and pains and what you can do about them:

  1. Pain in the buttock and into the back of the leg – the most common reason for back/buttock pain in pregnancy is due to sacro-iliac joint pain (SIJ pain). The sacro-iliac joint is the joint between the end of the spine and the pelvis. It is normally very stable, but during pregnancy, the hormone relaxin is released, allowing more movement in this joint than normal and stretching the ligaments that surround the joint, causing pain. Pain usually occurs when you walk, stand on one leg or when you sleep on your side.  What you can do about it is strengthen your gluteus maximus (bottom muscles). This muscle is the major stabiliser of the pelvis and the earlier it is strengthened the better.
  2. Pain across the lower back and into the buttock – this is similar, but a little different to SIJ pain. Direct lower back pain from the structures in the lower back such as the discs or facet joints is felt across the lower back, rather than beginning at the buttock like SIJ pain. It is usually related to activities such as lifting, sitting or prolonged driving. For lower back pain, see your physiotherapist or doctor to assess it properly to determine the exact cause and appropriate treatment.
  3. Pulling pain at the side of the abdomen – a sharp pulling pain at the side of the abdomen, present with certain movements can be due to stretching of the round ligament of the uterus, which is normal during pregnancy. This ligament attaches the uterus to the front of the abdominal wall and can be put on stretch as the uterus expands. It doesn’t do any damage, but hurts in certain positions. This shouldn’t worry you as it does settle.
  4. Pain under the ribs – as the baby grows, it can directly put pressure on the ribs from underneath the rib cage. This is quite painful, but does settle as the baby moves into a different position or when the baby drops.
  5. Other types of pains – other pains that don’t sound like any of the above may not be muscular or skeletal in nature and should be discussed with your doctor or obstetrician.

Have you experienced pregnancy aches and pains? SHARE with us in the comments below.

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  • This is great to know. Thank you for sharing.


  • I experienced painful indigestion. Funnily, I’d never had it before and it took me a long time to figure out what it was. I ended up living on Mylanta. And the back pain… I don’t normally experience it but it was constant for months.


  • So, so pleased that I had my children very early in life. I never had any of the pains describes and loved feeling that little foot or fist thumping at times.


  • I’ve been having horrible pain under my right rib this pregnancy.


  • All of the above. Its amazing what we are prepared to put up with to get to hold our babies isnt it?


  • Number 3 – so bad at times. I struggle to move for a few moments before the pain subsides.


  • I must be one of those mean women – I often just feel like telling pregnant women to stop whinging. Yes, I have been pregnant and yes, you weigh more, its uncomfortable etc…And you know what, if saying that makes you feel better, then go for it and tell people like me to shut up :D
    Your busy 24/7 growing a human being.

    • Every mom and every pregnancy are different ….miscarriage, still birth and it is possible to die due to child birth, yes it’s a natural part of many women’s lives to have children but it’s also natural and a safe practice to be concerned when things trouble you, that’s why we rely on our Drs and Gyno’s.


  • IF only i knew this when i was pregnant! It would have helped!


  • i complained about all of these with my first pregnancy…but my second the pain was so much worse…i felt like my baby was going to fall out. nothing would ease the pain in my hips at all :(


  • Yes! I had a hip replacement at 23 and first child at 24 and second at 26. I had so much pain in both hips and pelvis I had to wear a brace


  • I experienced all of these pains during the my pregnancies. With my first baby I was always concerned about any pain and would always be at my obstetrians office but with my other pregnancies I knew that they were just part and parcel of pregnancy.

    • Yes, I can imagine. With the first pregnancy everything is new to us, and we worry about the smallest changes.


  • Fortunately I didn’t experience anything out of the ordinary.


  • My ribs and lower back ached as the pregnancy progressed and my feet ached towards the end. Looks like I was lucky


  • Luckily I didn’t have any special pain during my pregnancy. Just swollen feet during the last month.


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