PREGNANCY Tailbone Pain

How to Cope with TAILBONE PAIN during PREGNANCY

How to Cope with TAILBONE PAIN during PREGNANCY

by Dr. Foye…


The joy of pregnancy can unfortunately be decreased in women who suffer from coccyx pain (tailbone pain). Some women have tailbone pain before becoming pregnant. Others experience new onset of tailbone pain during pregnancy, or during childbirth (labor and delivery). Occasionally, the baby passing through the birth canal may cause an injury such as a coccyx sprain (sprained tailbone), a coccyx dislocation (dislocated tailbone), a coccyx bruise (bruised tailbone), and even a coccyx fracture (fractured tailbone, “broken tailbone”, chipped tailbone, “cracked tailbone”). Women suffering with tailbone pain are understandably concerned that their symptoms may worsen while pregnant or during childbirth. This article gives some basic information for women facing these concerns.


Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Things You’ll Need

  • An obstetrician and/or midwife, or other childbirth professional


Step One

A woman who already has tailbone pain prior to becoming pregnant should consider completing any testing or treatments for this condition prior to becoming pregnant. One reason for taking care of this prior to the start of pregnancy is that some tests and treatments for tailbone pain can not be safely performed during the pregnancy.

Step Two

A woman should inform her obstetrician (and any involved midwife or other childbirth professional) if she has any has a history of previous tailbone injury or any symptoms of tailbone pain, aching, soreness or discomfort.

Step Three

Similarly, if any of these symptoms develop or worsen during the pregnancy, it is wise to keep the health care team informed of this.

Step Four

Note that many medical radiology tests such as x-rays and CT scans (CAT scans) are typically avoided during pregnancy since they would cause radiation exposure to the baby (embryo, fetus).

Step Five

Be careful about the medications that you take for tailbone pain. Pregnant women should avoid taking NSAIDs (“nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs” such as ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, naproxen, Aleve, aspirin, Bufferin, etc.) unless your doctor tells you to. Follow the same advice for stronger pain medicines containing any opioid (narcotic) substance (such as Percocet, Darvocet, OxyContin, oxycodone, morphine, etc.). These medications can sometimes cause problems with the baby or with delivery. Tylenol (acetaminophen) may be allowable. Discuss these choices carefully with your healthcare professional.

Step Six

Consider using seat cushions that put less pressure on the coccyx. These include wedge cushions (which have a triangle wedge-shape cut out so that the coccyx does not contact the cushion there) and donut cushions (which have a hole in the center). For details, please see my other eHow article on “How to Choose a Coccyx Cushion.”

Step Seven

Avoid sitting on surfaces that worsen the tailbone pain (e.g. hard surfaces versus soft surfaces). Also, avoid prolonged sitting. Find the sitting position that is most comfortable for you.

Step Eight

Consider ways to decrease pain without medications, such as soothing baths, local icing, or relaxation techniques.

Step Nine

The pregnant woman may wish to consider planning to deliver the child by cesarean section, rather than having a vaginal delivery through the birth canal. Obviously, this needs to be discussed with the obstetrician and/or midwife to reach some understanding, to have a mutually agreed-upon plan, as well as a backup plan if necessary. Important factors could include the severity of the tailbone pain, the nature of any underlying tailbone injury, any history of tailbone difficulties during previous deliveries, and the size of the baby (fetus) relative to the size of the woman’s pelvis.

Step Ten

If tailbone pain persists after pregnancy, it is important to inform the health care provider and consider finding an appropriate specialist to evaluate and treat this. Ideally, the evaluation and treatment should be done before the condition sets in and becomes chronic. Also, it would be best to have the evaluation and treatment completed prior to any subsequent pregnancy.

Overall Tips & Warnings

  • For more information on Tailbone pain, please see Dr. Foye’s other TailboneDoctor articles on eHow, or go to and
  • WARNING: Coccyx pain can sometimes be due to very serious underlying medical conditions: seek in-person evaluation by a medical professional.
  • WARNING: This information is intended to be educational and is NOT to be considered as medical advice. This information is NOT a substitute for direct medical care from a physician who evaluates you in person.
  • WARNING: During pregnancy it is important that any medical symptoms, concerns or treatments should be carefully discussed in-person with an obstetrician or other professional healthcare provider. This is important for the safety of both the mother and the baby.
  • WARNING: Many physicians and other health providers have little or no experience in evaluating or treating tailbone pain or coccyx injuries. Seek medical attention from a specialist with experience in treating tailbone pain.

Tailbone Pain (Coccyx Pain) Doctor / Physician

Tailbone Pain (Coccyx Pain) Free Review Article at eMedicine

Tailbone Pain (Coccyx Pain) Publications

Tailbone Pain (Coccyx Pain) Information

Tailbone Pain (Coccyx Pain) Dr. Foye

Tailbone Pain (Coccyx Pain) Injections

Tailbone Pain (Coccyx Pain) New Jersey (NJ)

Tailbone Pain (Coccyx Pain) New York (NY)

Tailbone Pain (Coccyx Pain) New York City (NYC)

Tailbone Pain (Coccyx Pain) Pennsylvania (PA)

Tailbone Pain (Coccyx Pain) Connecticut (CT)

Tailbone Pain (Coccyx Pain) Images, Xrays, MRI & Photos

Dr. Foye’s Listing on Spine Universe

Information on Tailbone Pain (Coccyx Pain) Relief

eMedicine article on Tailbone Pain (Coccyx Pain)

Testimonials from Patients with Tailbone Pain (Coccyx Pain)

Dr. Foye’s Faculty Profile at New Jersey Medical School

Tailbone Pain (Coccyx Pain) images on Flickr

Dr. Foye’s “How to” articles on Tailbone Pain:


How to tell if you have a BROKEN TAILBONE (FRACTURED COCCYX)

How to tell if you have TAILBONE PAIN (COCCYX PAIN)


How to Pick a COCCYX CUSHION (TAILBONE CUSHION) for Coccyx Pain (Tailbone Pain)

How to know if your MRI included the TAILBONE (COCCYX MRI)



How to Decide about Tailbone Removal (Coccyx Removal Surgery, Coccygectomy) for Tailbone Pain


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 Patrick Foye, M.D.,
Director of the Coccyx Pain Center,
PM&R at Rutgers
New Jersey Medical School,
90 Bergen St,
DOC Suite 3100,
Newark, New Jersey,
USA, 07103For an appointment, call:

 Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013.
Patrick Foye, M.D.


This web site is for
general informational purposes only.The information should not be
considered as medical advice.The information is not a substitute for appropriate in-person care
by a physician
with expertise in evaluating
and treating tailbone pain.This website
is not meant to represent
official views
of any university,
medical school,
hospital, etc.


Effective July 2013:
New Jersey Medical School is part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.