Is It Normal for My Tailbone to Change Shape During Pregnancy?

Is it normal for my tailbone to change shape during pregnancy?
ByRobert Wool, MD
Mar 2017
Hero Image

When you’re pregnant, the rules about what’s “normal” go right out the window. You wouldn’t normally think you could fit something the size of a watermelon in your belly or have your cervix dilate to the width of a cell phone. And yes, it’s even possible for your tailbone to shift shape. That’s because when you’re pregnant, your body secretes the hormone relaxin, which helps soften joints (and also makes it easier for that cantaloupe-size head to pass through the birth canal). Your tailbone (or in scientific terminology, coccyx) is made up of a half dozen little bones connected by small joints. As it does with other joints in your body, relaxin loosens up the ligaments in your tailbone to make them softer and more pliable. And yup, that can cause it to change shape (and sometimes make even sitting down painful). Some women do even break their tailbone during labor (ouch), but it usually heals on its own.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Related Video

Q&A: Mood Swings During Pregnancy?

Maria Kammerer
Certified Nurse-Midwife

How to Help Your Partner Feel Baby Kick

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor

Metallic Taste During Pregnancy

Debra Goldman, MD

How to Cope With Sciatica During Pregnancy

Erin Nance, MD
President and Founder of Nance MD

Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

Paula Kashtan and Sarah Yang

Back Pain During Pregnancy

Michele Hakakha, MD

Varicose Veins in Vulva?

The Bump Editors

Will Pregnancy Change Your Feet… Permanently?

Elena Donovan Mauer
Contributing Writer

Q&A: Why Is My Hair Falling Out?

Lara Simondi

Is Pregnancy Brain Real?

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor