How is Sciatic Pain Different in the Third Trimester?

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How can third trimester sciatica pain be different than the sciatica pain you can experience during the first and second trimesters of your pregnancy? Let’s investigate what the difference is and the reason behind such a difference!

The Location of the Pain Stays the Same

No matter the cause of your sciatic pain, you are likely to feel it in three places:

  1. Your lower back
  2. Your buttocks
  3. Either your right or left leg

But if the location of the pain stays the same, what is the difference? The type of pain.

Different Cause, Different Type of Pain

There are two main causes of sciatic pain during pregnancy:

1. Your baby changing positions in your uterus

If you have had temporary sciatic pain in your pregnancy, it is probably because your baby was changing positions in your uterus. Sometimes when your baby moves, your baby relieves the pressure it had been putting on your sciatic nerve; other times, your baby moves into a sciatica-inducting location!

2. Your baby entering a permanent “heads-down” position towards the end of your pregnancy

But now, in the third trimester, your baby has less freedom to move around. This is because your baby drops in the final few weeks of your pregnancy, meaning your baby moves further down in your abdomen into a more permanent “heads-down” position (this is one way the body prepares you for labor). Your baby may be ready for birth, but you might not be ready for this type of sciatica pain!

Depending on which cause is the culprit, your sciatic pain will feel different.

More Permanent Third Trimester Sciatica Pain

What is different about third trimester sciatic pain? The duration. Because a baby can be in different positions in the first and second trimester of your pregnancy, your sciatica pain is likely to come and go. But when your baby enters its final “heads-down” position in the third trimester, its position is likely permanent; its movement is very much limited at this stage in the pregnancy. With a greater chance that your baby’s new position will irritate your sciatic never and a smaller chance it will not move to relieve the pressure (until you give birth, that is!), third trimester sciatic pain may be there to stay!

Although constant sciatic pain (with little chance of relief) is not fun, it will be over soon: as soon you give birth, your baby will be off your sciatic nerve! So until the day you give birth, endure you must!


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