Back and pelvic care during pregnancy

Back and pelvic pain is common during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones sensitise your tissue to pain and the growing weight of baby places extra strain on your muscles and joints. This pain is not harmful in pregnancy but the strategies below can help reduce your pain.

About low back and pelvic pain
Managing back and pelvic pain
Helpful stretches during pregnancy

* These exercises can be done on a chair if this is more comfortable for you.

 Woman sitting on a fitball circling her hips



Pelvic circles *

  1. Sit with good posture and relax your breathing.
  2. Make clockwise circles with your hips, then repeat anti-clockwise.
  3. Gently rock your hips forward and back.
  4. Keep breathing and rocking.

Woman sitting on a fitball with her arms reaching above her head with her fingers interlaced



Side stretch *

  1. Sit with good posture and relax your breathing.
  2. Stretch tall with your hands above your head.
  3. Lean to the right.
  4. Return to centre.
  5. Lean to the left.
  6. Keep moving, breathing and stretching.

Woman sitting on fitball leaning forward with her hands reaching towards her toes



Forward stretch *

  1. Slide your hands down the front of your legs and hold your ankles.
  2. Roll the fitball backwards until the backs of your thighs are stretched. If you do not have a ball you can sit on a chair.
  3. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds.
  4. To return to sitting, tuck in your lower stomach and gently uncurl your spine.

Woman on all fours rounding her back



Cat stretch

  1. Resting on all fours, round your back, tucking your chin to chest, and arch like a cat.
  2. Hold for 3 seconds, then relax.
  3. Repeat 3 times to start and gradually build up to 10 times as you feel more comfortable.

 Woman leaning with her back against the wall and her arms in a goal post sign



Wall stretch

Stand with your back against the wall and feet slightly forward from the wall.

  1. Roll your pelvis and flatten your back.
  2. Raise yours arms up above your head. If you are comfortable try to hold the gentle stretch for 20–30 seconds.
  3. Slide your bent elbows toward your lower back.
  4. Repeat 6–8 times daily

Stretches to manage lower back pain

These exercises are suitable during pregnancy and after giving birth.

Learn more about physiotherapy during pregnancy

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