Back pain is a common complaint of women during pregnancy. It is frequently dismissed as trivial and inevitable. This article gives an overview of recent research on pregnancy-related back pain that documents the impact of this pain on women's lives, during and beyond the childbearing year. It argues for a more active approach to the prevention and management of back pain during pregnancy. Two common back pain types, lumbar pain and posterior pelvic pain, are described and basic management techniques for the woman and her primary caregiver are suggested. Red flag findings that necessitate specialist referral are also highlighted, as are suggestions for further research.