Back pain and pressure is a very common, and very uncomfortable problem that occurs during pregnancy. Weight gain and the resulting changes in the way you walk, as well as hormonal changes that are relaxing muscles and ligaments throughout your body in preparation for childbirth, can cause back pain levels ranging from soft to severe. There are a number of drug free ways to reduce or prevent pregnancy back pain.
Maintain good posture by standing up straight and tall. Envision an imaginary cord pulling your body up into perfect alignment from above your head.
Swim or do prenatal water exercises to relieve pressure from your back and joints. Since the water supports your weight, even walking or floating in the pool will help relieve the pressure.
Enroll in a prenatal yoga class or learn a few basic, simple yoga poses and/or stretches that you can do on your own at home to stretch muscles and promote relaxation.
Find an acupuncturist with experience in treating pregnant women to help activate your body’s natural pain relief process.
Sleep on your side using extra pillows placed strategically to help relieve aches and pains, which should help you rest better. Lie on your left side with your neck aligned with the rest of your spine. Use a firm pillow for your head and place another pillow between your legs. Place a small pillow under your stomach to relieve pelvic and back pressure while you sleep. Some pregnant women find full-length body pillows to provide relief.
Use a lumbar support pillow at work, in the car, or anywhere that you sit for long periods of time in order to support good posture. Elevating your feet on a footstool may also help relieve back pressure while sitting.
Wear a maternity support belt. Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, these thick elastic bands are worn under the belly cradle and around the hips to support your abdominal muscles. Models are also available with bust and shoulder straps to provide relief for pregnancy back pain.
Exercise regularly to tone and strengthen your entire body and to avoid excess weight gain, which causes additional stress on your back and spine.
Squat and lift with your legs when lifting small objects. Do not bend at your waist or lift with your back muscles. Do not try to lift heavy objects. Ask for help if you need it.
Apply a heating pad, or alternate between ice packs and heat. Having someone rub your back or having a massage therapist do a prenatal massage may also help.
- If your back pain is constant, severe, caused by trauma, getting progressively worse, or you also have a fever, contact your health care provider right away. Other symptoms to notify your health care provider of immediately include loss of feeling in one or both legs, suddenly feeling uncoordinated or weak, low back pain in the late second or third trimester, or pain under your ribs, on one or both sides.
- Be sure to discuss your exercise options with your health care provider, especially if you are considering new activities that you were not doing before you became pregnant. Keep in mind that the type and intensity of exercise you can safely engage in may change as your pregnancy progresses.