Pregnancy may be filled with joy and excitement for new moms, but it also comes with a whole range of uncomfortable side effects. Some of them are caused by your raging hormones, while others are caused by your growing belly. As your uterus expands, it can put tons of pressure on other parts of your body and leave you in pain. Your back may bear the brunt of it, but it can be tough to know whether it's normal soreness or something more serious. There are several signs you may have sciatica, which is way more serious than your typical back pain.
According to the Mayo Clinic, your sciatic nerve runs from your lower back, down through your buttocks and legs all the way to your feet. It's the largest nerve in the body and when it gets compressed in any way — like when it's squished by your growing uterus — you develop sciatica pain. Anyone can suffer from it, but sciatica is especially common during pregnancy according to the Cleveland Clinic. Although it'll clear up once you give birth according to Fit Pregnancy, it can certainly make your 40 weeks or so rather unpleasant.
Wondering if your achy back is a bigger issue? Here are seven signs the pain you're feeling is sciatica.
1. Your Legs Hurt
Sciatica isn't just confined to your back. According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), the pain will often appear in one or both legs during pregnancy.
2. Your Butt Hurts
Sciatica can be a literal pain in the butt. According to Belly Belly, it can show up as pain or numbness in your buttocks.
3. Your Legs Or Feet Go Numb
Numbness can affect more than just your butt. According to Baby Center, sciatica can also cause your legs and feet to feel numb or give you a pins and needles sensation.
4. The Pain Shoots All The Way Down To Your Feet
The sciatic nerve reaches all the way down into your feet. That's why you might end up feeling sciatica pain there, according to Simple Back Pain.
5. It Hurts To Sit Or Stand For Too Long
Being pregnant is a pretty good excuse to sit down and relax. Unfortunately, sciatica may make that less enjoyable. According to Healthline, sciatica can make sitting or standing for lengthy stretches very uncomfortable.
6. It Hurts To Walk
For some pregnant women, sciatica is far more than just a discomfort. According to Babble, it can actually get so bad that it limits mobility and makes it hard to walk.
7. The Pain Is Constant
Although run of the mill back pain may come and go depending on your activity levels, sciatic pain can be unrelenting. Baby Center noted that if your back pain isn't going away after a bit of rest, your sciatic nerve could be to blame. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to get some relief. Practicing good posture, stretching, and staying active may help you get comfortable, and you can always consider popping some pregnancy safe pain killers like acetaminophen to take the edge off.