Third trimester back pain – how to get relief

Third trimester back pain is incredibly common and can be caused by any number of different things. Though it may be common, it is NOT something that you have to suffer through and there are many things you can do to find relief.

What causes third trimester back pain?

Poor posture

As your belly grows it often pulls your pelvis forwards, which in turn increases the curve in the low back. This puts extra strain on the muscles of the back and hips causing them to ache.


During pregnancy your body is pumping with hormones (obviously, they’re pretty much the reason you’re pregnant in the first place). One in particular, relaxin, is responsible for loosening the ligaments around the pelvis to make room for your baby to grow and eventually pass through. This opens up the joints of the pelvis and can create instability. In many cases this instability is felt as pain radiating up the back. If you suspect your back pain might be from an unstable pelvis, I’d suggest seeing a physiotherapist and checking out these posts on SI pain and SPD.

Weight gain

Weight gain is not only inevitable during pregnancy but also essential. Not only are you carrying around the weight of your baby, but also the placenta, and extra fluid. You’ll also put on weight in the breasts and thighs so that you have energy stores for breastfeeding once your baby arrives. The extra weight means that your body has to work harder every day just to get around. This extra strain can make the back ache by the end of the day and is often worse by the third trimester.

Tight legs

Another fun side effect of the weight gain is that your legs are often working harder each day to carry you around. If you don’t take the time to rest and stretch them, tight legs often makes sore backs worse as the tension moves upwards into the low back.

third trimester back pain

How to relieve third trimester back pain

Good posture and alignment

+ Try to stay aware of your posture and not let your belly weight travel forwards. Instead, engage your glutes and your core to hold your belly over your pelvis. This helps to keep your weight evenly distributed rather than causing back strain.

+ Try not to slouch into the couch or while driving. Put a cushion or rolled up towel under the low back to support this area.

+ Use pillows when you sleep to support your body. Lie on your side and place a pillow between the legs to keep the pelvis straight, a small pillow under the belly to support the uterus and a pillow behind you to support you back. Yep, you basically need to make yourself a pillow nest and suggest your partner finds somewhere else to sleep.

third trimester back pain

Yoga for strength and flexibility

Pregnancy yoga helps you to maintain strength and flexibility in the areas you need them.

+ Deep breathing with pelvic floor and core awareness can help to support the weight of your growing uterus and minimise back pain.

+ Stretching out your legs helps to reduce tension in the low back.

+ Yoga helps you gain a better connection with your body which improves posture and alignment.

If you’d like to practice this yoga for third trimester back pain try the class below. If you’re brand new to pregnancy yoga start by downloading my free yoga for pregnancy and birth guide here.

So that’s it. I hope these suggestions help you to find some relief from your third trimester back pain. Make sure you come back and let me know.

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