1) Focus on Your Posture
Posture is vital to feeling comfortable and preventing back pain. If you have good posture, your back is automatically supported. This makes it easier to move, and also to avoid straining joints and muscles. The pregnancy hormone relaxin, which helps your ligaments become more flexible in preparation for birth, also stretches your spine. (1) This is why you become more flexible during pregnancy, but it can also make you more prone to back pain if you don’t maintain good posture.
You may find stooping over to tie your shoelaces more difficult than usual, doing household chores, or picking up your child or other objects. This is because your joints are more flexible, and it’s harder to get support from the muscles around your lower back. When you drop your head forward to look down, you put your back out of alignment.
Try to remember to always keep your head up, shoulders back, and abs in when standing or sitting. Avoid rounding at the shoulders, which should be pulled back in a curve. Aim to keep an equal weight in both hips when standing, and your weight on the front of your feet when sitting.
Some ways you can achieve this is to be mindful of your posture, practice yoga, and practice proper breathing while you’re up and about.
2) Visit a Chiropractor
That’s right, a chiropractor! When it comes to back pain and pregnancy, a chiropractor can really be helpful. Throughout the entire pregnancy, the body is working hard to adjust to the growing baby. Muscles stretch and weaken, ligaments and tendons get stretched out, the spine curves to accommodate the additional weight, and the uterus puts pressure on the joints as it grows. All of this results in back pain, headaches, constipation, heartburn, reflux and other common pregnancy symptoms.
Some chiropractors are really knowledgeable about working with pregnant women, and you can often request a female chiropractor as well. Chiropractors schedule frequent check-ups throughout the pregnancy, and they are great about helping to monitor the baby and progress of the pregnancy.
Of course any woman should consult her doctor first before making an appointment with a chiropractor. Her doctor knows your medical history and can provide additional guidance about what to do when you are experiencing pain.
3) Take Regular Exercise
Exercises that trigger labour can be divided into three main categories:
“Gravity-induced” or “weight-bearing” exercises, which includes walking, jogging, and other aerobic activities. These are believed to cause uterine muscles to contract. “Kegel” exercises, that are also known as “pelvic-floor” exercises, contract the pubococcygeus muscles. These are the muscles you use to keep urine in when you sneeze, cough, or lift heavy objects. A third category involves “stabilization” or “core” exercises, which are believed to strengthen the muscles that support the spine and pelvis. These exercises include abdominals, lower back, and deep spinal muscular-contractions.
Some celebrities claim that they take a daily 30-minute swim to bring on labour, but there’s actually no evidence to support this. Studies have only been done on women in their third trimester when the urge to give birth are usually overwhelming.
Even though this exercise triggered labour, there’s no proof that a swim on its own, or through the entire nine months can have the same effect.
4) Try Physical Therapy
For back pain during pregnancy consult your OB-GYN pronto, if you’re unable to get comfortable or if the pain gets worse.
Chiropractic care and massage therapy are always a good option for back pain during pregnancy.
Additionally, physical therapy, while not addressing underlying problems, is a good way to retrain and strengthen your body. Especially because before pregnancy you probably had never experienced such strong and frequent back spasms.
There are some specific exercises that you can do to strengthen your muscles, improve your posture, and relieve some back pain during pregnancy.
The best thing is to consult a physical therapist. Only they can recommend exercises specific for your back and body shape.
Also, if you have underlying issues, such as spinal stenosis, trust it to a physical therapist and not to your OB-GYN pronto.
Pls note the following advice about exercise during pregnancy:
Avoid pushing your body too hard. The objective is to get stronger, not to push your body to the limits. Exercise whenever your body allows it. Keep in mind that each day is different.
Take frequent breaks from exercise to avoid back pain during pregnancy.
Exercise with proper form. The wrong form can in fact cause more harm than good. Review proper form with someone who knows.
5) Book a Massage
Being pregnant may seem like the most important job on earth, but the process of growing a baby also causes a lot of extra stress on your body. Many pregnant women experience back pain from their expanding bellies, from carrying a bigger load, and from the pressure of the pelvic bones shifting to accommodate a growing child. As a result, a prenatal massage may be just what the doctor…uh, I mean baby, ordered.
It’s soothing to get a massage while you’re pregnant, but be aware that pregnancy massages can be a little different than regular massages. Pregnancy massages are designed to be soothing and relaxing, but gentle pressure is put on the muscles that support and carry the baby. This is because getting deep traction on muscles in the back is not the best thing for your back.
Another thing to consider is that massage therapists who specialize in pregnancy massage are typically certified to work on pregnant women. A regular massage therapist may not be aware of the best ways to take care of a pregnant woman’s achy body.
If you do decide to get a massage while you’re expecting, be sure to pay close attention to your breathing. If you find yourself having to breathe heavily or are short of breath, you may feel lightheaded. If this happens, you should probably stop the massage and talk to your doctor about it.
6) Consider Acupuncture
Women who were pregnant that used acupuncture reported lower-back and pelvic pain. This is a safe treatment that minimizes stress in irritated muscles, relieves pain, and strengthens the muscular.
If you’re interested in learning more about acupuncture, there are some free informational books available for download on the site.