Your baby's growth is consistent over the 40 weeks of pregnancy, but you may not notice any pelvic discomfort or pressure until well into the third trimester. The pressure often comes from your baby turning and moving around in your uterus. As the 40th-week approaches, his or her head will be moving to the entrance of the birth canal.
Causes of Pelvic Discomfort and Pressure
Your baby is the main cause of pelvic discomfort and pressure. The average baby will weigh between six and seven pounds, which means six to seven pounds of pressure on the cervical opening. As your baby stretches and moves in the uterus, pressure can often feel strong and cause short bouts of pain.
Pressure can also be felt moving up toward the lungs and stomach. Until your baby “drops" (descends into the pelvic area), kicks and stretches may feel like your baby is trying to climb right out of the uterus. After the “drop” this pressure is often replaced with cervical pressure.
Discomfort and pressure on the cervical opening can also be a sign of impending labor. If the pressure is accompanied by pain, cramping or spotting, the beginning stages of labor may be underway.
Toward the end of the pregnancy, when discomfort and pressure are at their worst, spend plenty of time lying down on your side or sitting with your feet propped up. Warm baths, massages, and a belly sling to relieve pressure on the lower back can all help ease your suffering.