With the third trimester coming to an end, you tend to feel this major heaviness in the pelvic area. This is because the little one inside is pressing deeper into your pelvis, thereby preparing for birth. By the end of the pregnancy, your baby’s not-so-little head will be pressing pretty hard against your hips, bladder and pelvis region.
Causes for Pelvic Pressure during Pregnancy
During the last trimester, the clock seems to tick faster, bringing you closer to your due date and your hormones may rage to help your baby make an comfortable exit from your womb. Your connective tissues will soften and loosen up by now to allow your baby to squeeze past the pelvic bones. You can expect to feel a lot of pressure in your pelvis region three to four weeks prior to your due date, as your baby starts to ‘engage’ himself. The process is termed as ‘engaging’ or ‘lightening’ when a baby moves downwards into a head-down position, causing immense pressure on your cervix, so much that at times you might feel like the baby is literally slipping down the birth canal.
The pressure in the upper abdominal area reduces once the baby drops down and the uterus stops pressing against your lungs and diaphragm. Pelvic pressure can be extremely uncomfortable and painful and sometime result in sleepless nights.
Ways to Deal with Pelvic Pressure in Pregnant Women
- Try some pelvic exercises such as trying to relax with your hips in an elevated position, or by trying pelvic tilts.
- Taking a warm relaxing bath can help you in relieving the pelvic pressure during the last semester of your pregnancy.
- You can also opt for a belly sling. It is a crisscross sling made of elastic fabric that helps in supporting the weight of your belly.
- Prenatal massages may also help you relax. Consult a therapist to know which ones would suit you the best.
- Put pillows between your legs when you sleep and lie on your sides, to keep your hips aligned, and get some relief from the pelvic pressure.
- Try not to put too much pressure on one leg, and be careful when you climb up and down the stairs. It is best to take measured and easy steps, and to the avoid stairs, if possible.
- Make sure to avoid sudden, jerky movements.
- Confine your footwear to low heels with a good arch support to comfort your legs.
- It helps to start walking. Take short strolls to ease the discomfort.
Pelvic Pressure: When to Seek Expert Help
The regular remedies to relieve pelvic pressure and pains are not enough sometimes, and there are situations where you need expert help, especially when you suffer from:
- Too much pain which makes it difficult for you to walk
- Any type of bleeding
- You feel chills, or are feverish
- You have a severe headache
- You feel tired and a little dizzy all day
- Vomiting and nausea for long periods
- There are more than four contractions in an hour or two
- You have a greenish, watery or bloody discharge
The pressure on your abdomen will reduce as the baby moves down to his ‘head-down’ position. In the mean time, try to sit on a chair with a good back support, or try applying an ice pack or warm compress on the affected area to reduce the pain. If the pain does not seem to reduce, get in touch with your health care provider.