How to deal with SI pain during pregnancy



I barely had any pregnancy symptoms first time round. It was only in the last few weeks with Eamon that I really had to slow down and it wasn’t until the last week or so that I felt uncomfortable enough to think labour and birth was a good idea. ha! But this time I feel like I’ve felt everything much sooner and it feels like I’ve been heavily pregnant since about week 6!


I’ve had SI pain on and off since about 20 weeks.  Basically it’s an aching pelvis or lower back.  Doctors and physios might also refer to it as an unstable pelvis, pelvic girdle pain or Sacroilliac Pain. The pain doesn’t always show up in your pelvis either, I’ve had friends complaining of pain in the buttocks, one side or the other, hips, and it may even send pain shooting down one or both legs.


Basically it occurs during pregnancy as the hormone relaxin softens all of the ligaments that hold the bones of the pelvis stable allowing the pelvis is widen. The muscles of the pelvic floor also contribute to the pain as they tend to weaken as the uterus grows.  But it’s important to keep in mind that this is your body doing exactly what it is meant to do during pregnancy, loosening the pelvic region so that your baby can pass through it.


But just because it is a normal part of pregnancy does not mean you should suffer in silence, there are a few things you can do to lesson the pain.


What can you do?

Be careful with movements. So no heavy lifting or strenuous exercise. (This is the reason I’ve had so much trouble this time I think. Thank you renovating!)

Hold good posture when sitting or standing for long periods of time.

Use a pelvic support belt. (I swear by this thing now.  She isn’t very attractive but it definitely works – even when renovating or lifting other children! You can get them from a physio or online.)

Avoid lying on your back. (Which by late pregnancy you won’t want to do anyway)

Place pillow between legs and under belly when lying on side.

Contract pelvic floor and lower abdominal muscles when rolling over. Drawing knees up to support can also help.

Seek treatment – chiro, physio, osteo


I bet you thought I was going to list some yoga exercises to do to help with the pain?! Right?


Well actually in some cases yoga can actually make SI pain worse as it tends to focus on more opening and releasing (when your body is already doing too much of that).  You can still practice yoga (and it’s still good for you!) if you have SI pain, you just need to be more careful.  Avoid any poses that encourage further opening (wide leg poses, hip openers, etc) and focus on keeping the pelvis stable whilst practicing (wear your super special belt!).

**Edit. I’ve since created a video on relieving SI pain with yoga and how alignment can really help.  Check it out here or visit the studio for access to all my videos.


Did you suffer SI pain  during pregnancy? What helped for you?

9 Responses to “How to deal with SI pain during pregnancy

  • Lilybett
    9 years ago

    Oh my goodness, I had this around 25 weeks and it was awful. I had been keeping up with my gym classes until that point (although lower impact) and suddenly lifting my leg to go up stairs – agony. I got a neoprene girdle/belt thingy and that helped but I think it was my fantastic osteo who really helped make a difference. I took to the pool for the rest of the pregnancy. And then as if by magic the pain lifted around 33 weeks and I could walk again.

      9 years ago

      That’s amazing that it lifted before you had Bub! I haven’t tried osteo but I’ve heard great things.

  • I wanted to kiss my chiropractor after she helped me. I could barely walk…my pain radiated down my left leg…and after two treatments I felt like I could run a marathon!
    I also found that putting a thin pillow under my belly when I was lying on my side helped…so it didn’t flop all the way down and pull ligaments and everything else down with it.

  • Heather
    9 years ago

    Oh my goodness, this is certainly familiar territory!! My SI pain was SO BAD I was on Crutches for the last three months!!! I had to pee in a portable toilet in the living room because I could not walk up the stairs. Chiro helped TREMENDOUSLY as did water therapy, and having a TENS machine on my back 24 hours a day. A soon as my son was born I could almost hear my body go “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” I also had to use a walker for the three weeks after he was born! I feel your pain literally!

      9 years ago

      That would have been so hard with a newborn baby! Hoping mine clears up miraculously at birth.

  • I had this with both my boys, but particularly with Eli. I guess it didn’t help that I was carrying Lior around still! I went to see an Osteopath and he was great. 🙂

      9 years ago

      Yes I’m still lifting Eamon at times too so I don’t think that helps. I’m going to look into osteopath. I’ve had a few ppl recommend now.

  • Housewife in Heels
    9 years ago

    You poor thing! I had it off and on, but it wasn’t too bad till the last few weeks. There’s only one cure- and I wish you all the best with this!

      9 years ago

      Thanks! Am so ready to take it on and meet this baby!

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