Back pain and related problems are very common for pregnant women. This comes as no surprise; you’re carrying a growing load! Between half and three quarters of women experience it, especially in the second half of their pregnancy. So we’ve covered a few tips on how best to cope with it.
Focus on Prevention
If you’re planning on getting pregnant, you can reduce the odds of back pain by getting fit. This won’t cure sciatica or weak ligaments, but it will strengthen your core muscles and help prevent pregnancy back pain. Once you get pregnant, don’t spend the next nine months with your feet up. Engage in gentle exercise like walking and swimming to stay in shape. Use the Alexander Technique to maintain spinal alignment and try some of the associated exercises to keep your neck and back properly positioned without tension. While pregnancy isn’t a time to try to lose weight, limiting weight gain can minimise the strain on your joints and back.
Get a Massage
Massages are one of the best ways to relieve lower back pain. Your Maternity Cover may pay for back massages as a way to treat back pain without medication, even if your health insurance otherwise wouldn’t cover it. Remember to tell the massage therapist that you’re pregnant, as there are certain oils you shouldn’t be exposed to while pregnant. If massages aren’t an option, try standing in a hot shower or bath to relax your back muscles.
You could make your back pain worse if you try to sleep on your back when pregnant. Instead, try sleeping on your side with a bolster pillow to take the pressure off. Also take notice of when the pain is at its worse. You may find early morning or late at night are the peak times. If this is the case, try shifting your sleep schedule so that you get enough sleep. Being tired will make muscle aches and pains worse throughout the day.
Don’t Strain Yourself
Try to maintain good posture whether you’re sitting or standing. It’s tempting for pregnant women to hunch over, as it feels like the baby bump is pulling them forward. But try to avoid slouching. Similarly, avoid lifting heavy items. It’s important to aware of these strenuous movements as a lot of them can have a negative impact on your body. You should also support your weight when you’re standing for a long period of time. Shift your weight from foot to foot while standing, and feel free to ask for a chair so you don’t have to stand too long. When you’re entering your final trimester you may want to consider getting a support belt to take on part of the weight of the growing baby.
Talk to Your Doctor
Talk to your doctor before back pain becomes debilitating. An osteopath may be able to offer relief, or your primary care doctor may be able to prescribe massages or medication to treat the condition. Just ensure you recognise when you need an expert’s help to treat the condition. You don’t want to be left bedridden due to back pain or, worse, a back injury.
Back pain may be a common problem for pregnant women, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer from it. There are steps you can take to minimise the odds of it occurring and treat it when it strikes.