You’ve heard all about it (and been dreading it): sciatica during pregnancy. But you are 2/3 of the way through your pregnancy, and you have yet to experience that pain in the lower back, pelvic region and leg that you were warned about! Was all the hype just a great big lie? If you are one of the lucky ones who has made it through the first and second trimesters of your pregnancy sciatica-free, don’t think you got away with it just yet! The third trimester is coming–and so could be the sciatica.
The third trimester is the final stage of pregnancy, so it is the time when you body is preparing for labor. One of the main ways your body readies itself for the laborious task ahead (pun intended!) is by moving your baby lower down in your abdomen. Called dropping, this pregnancy phenomenon positions your baby closer to your pelvic region during the final few weeks of your pregnancy. Because of your baby’s new location in the third trimester, third trimester sciatic pain is common.
I’m Confused! Doesn’t Baby Dropping Mean Pregnancy Pain Relief?
Usually, your baby dropping in the final few weeks of your pregnancy (i.e., moving lower down in your abdomen as your body prepares to give birth) is something to look forward to, as it leads to a variety of things:
- The awareness that it is almost time to give birth. The end is near!
- That feeling of being uncomfortably full after you eat? It will go away!
- That pregnancy-induced heartburn, shortness of breath, and stomach and lung pressure? Gone!
- There also now is a space between your breasts and abdomen. Ah, room to breathe!
So many pregnancy pains disappear just because your baby drops! But you may also acquire one major new pain in the back (literally): third trimester sciatic pain.
Third Trimester Sciatic Pain Caused by Baby Dropping
Alert! Baby on the move! Although your baby dropping makes it easier to give birth (your baby is now where it needs to be to exit the womb safely), it makes it harder for your baby to avoid irritating your sciatic nerve. Lower down in the abdomen, your baby is in closer proximity to your sciatic nerve. Your baby is therefore more likely to put pressure on the sensitive nerve in your final trimester. Thought you got a away with experiencing sciatica during your pregnancy, didn’t you?
Although third trimester sciatic pain can make it a trying trimester, remember that you are in the home stretch of your pregnancy. All this third trimester sciatic pain will be well-worth it when you lay your eyes on your newborn son or daughter!