Are you having twins and sciatica pain? If you are lucky enough to be expecting more than one baby–whether it be twins, triplets, quadruplets, quintuplets, sextuplets or more–you might be unlucky enough to experience sciatica during your pregnancy. Multiple babies means more weight, more kicking legs, more space, more pressure, and therefore more risk of back pain. All of these bonuses of having more than one baby grow inside you can take a toll on the spine and lower back, making it more likely that you will encounter sciatic nerve irritation.
Twins and Sciatica: Increase the Number, Increase the Risk
More, more, more! With each additional baby, your womb gets more crowded, must hold more weight and needs to expand larger; it is no longer a home for just one–it must house two or more. Therefore, unlike in a one-child pregnancy, the sciatic nerve is within reach of four or more kicking feet; the uterus is sinking even closer to the sciatic nerve from the added weight; the additional babies mean extra pregnancy pounds that can put more pressure on the sciatic nerve; and there is more than one baby’s position to worry about irritating those nerve roots. As you can see, the sciatic nerve can receive a lot more action when the uterus has a greater occupancy.
Women carrying more than one baby will also gain more weight during their pregnancy than if they were having a single child. This extra weight must be supported by the spine, increasing your risk of disc damage that could lead to sciatica. Although there is an increased risk of premature birth (when your baby arrives before it has reached an ideal weight and size) when you have more babies at once, you are still more likely to add on more weight than typical.
Experience Sciatica Sooner
If you are having more than one baby, you are not only more at risk for sciatica but you are also more likely to feel that shooting or numbing pain earlier in your pregnancy. This is because you go through the normal pregnancy changes at a different rate than if you were carrying just one child. You tend to:
1. Grow Larger Quicker
Because more than one baby is growing inside you at the same time, your belly shows and you pack on the pounds earlier. You therefore have a longer time to carry around the additional weight and risk injury. The extra expansion also means that the sciatic nerve can experience pressure sooner.
2. Feel Movement Earlier
Women carrying more than one baby report feeling fetal movement at an earlier point in their pregnancy than most–before 18 weeks. Why is this a problem? Your babies have more time to perfect their sciatic-nerve-irritating positions in the womb as well as their kicks.
Ideal conditions for sciatica occur when you are having twins, triplets, quadruplets, etc. In other words, the more, the not-so merrier!