Back pain during pregnancy is a sign that baby inside the womb is growing bigger. As the fetus grows in size it gets heavy for a mother’s belly to carry. The back undergoes a lot of pressure during pregnancy. Although its a good news to know that the baby is healthy and growing it’s still very tough for pregnant women to go through. You've got lots of company -- most pregnant women experience back pain, usually starting in the second half of pregnancy. So we will be sharing a few pregnancy back pain tips with all the mothers-to-be!
Why Do You Have Back Pain During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy back pain is so dreadful for women. We can only imagine! Back pain during pregnancy arises where the pelvis meets your spine, at the sacroiliac joint. There are a lot reasons for such back pain, but it is hard to point to one, so let’s discuss all of them:
Some Extra Pounds
During pregnancy when the baby is healthy, women tend to gain weight between 20 pounds and 30 pounds. The spine has to support all this weight and can experience a lot of pressure which in turn causes the back muscles to stretch out of alignment causing back pain. The weight of the growing baby and uterus stresses the blood vessels and nerves in the back and pelvis.
A hormone called relaxin allows the ligaments to relax in the pelvis area during pregnancy, and the joints feel looser towards the preparation of giving birth. This very same hormone can loosen the ligaments that support the spine which can be painful for the back and unstable during pregnancy.
A Bad Posture
During pregnancy a woman’s center of gravity changes naturally and without even meaning to she starts adjusting her regular postures or the way she moves. Sometimes this can misalign the back and cause pain.
Worrying All the Time
Stress is our daily life and by going through so many ups and downs pregnant women stress too much. These are situations we easily ignore but which can be really concerning. Stress can cause back pain or spasms which can be very discomforting during pregnancy.
What Can You Do To Reduce This Back Pain?
Now that we are all caught up on the different reasons for back pain in pregnant women, let’s quickly discuss what we can do to reduce pregnancy back pain!
Keep a Good Posture
Oldy but goody! Maintaining proper posture is the starting point of our journey to a pain free body. Yet it can be very effective to sit straight and hold your chest up while keeping the shoulders back and relaxed. It is possible to obtain a comfortable orthopedic chair that will aid in the position of your body or, if you wish, place a seat pillow on top of this chair so as to allow for optimal spinal alignment. There are special pillows on the market, popularly know as ‘pregnancy pillows’, which can be quite relaxing and supportive for pregnant women. These are available in plenty of shapes and sizes such as C-shaped, J-shaped, Full-Body Pillow, L-shaped, and many more!
Dress a Little More Comfortable
We understand style is something one just simply cannot give up. But it would be much more comfortable if you try and dress as relaxed as possible. Wear low-heeled — not flat — shoes with good arch support. Avoid high heels. You may consider wearing a maternity support belt. Research on the effectiveness of maternity support belts is limited, but some women find it helpful.
It’s good if you are getting regular exercise, it just keeps you and the baby healthy! But since you are pregnant and carrying a lot try to lift lighter weights, squat down gently and lift with your legs. Don’t bend your waist too hard or lift with your back as it might stress your spine and leave you in a lot of pain. It's good to know your limits and ask for help if you need to lift something.
Try Sleeping on Your Side
Side Sleeping has so many benefits as we already know. It is good for pregnant women to sleep on their side as opposed to your back with your knees bent. You also may want to use pregnancy or support pillows between your bent knees, under your abdomen and behind your back.
Apply Heat and Ice
While there is no scientific evidence to support its benefits, massage or the application of a heating pad or ice pack to your back might help. Hot packs soothe your back instantly if you apply it on the affected area for about 20 minutes.
Go See Your Doctor
Tell your doctor and health care team if you are experiencing serious back pain or neck pain that lasts over two weeks. They may prescribe you some OTC drugs such as acetaminophen or other medicines such as stretching and exercise. A urinary tract infection or preterm labor can both be indicated by back pain during pregnancy. Contact your healthcare team right away if you are experiencing back pain along with vaginal bleeding, a fever, or burning while urinating.
Scripps: 8 Tips to Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy
Mayo Clinic: Back pain during pregnancy: 7 tips for relief
Kids Health: What Can I Do to Relieve My Pregnancy Backaches?
WebMD: Back Pain in Pregnancy