Backache During Pregnancy

What is it?
Backache is very common in pregnancy. Half of all pregnant women can expect some back pain. Your ligaments will become softer and stretch to prepare you for labor. As the baby grows, the hollow in your back may increase and this may cause you backache. Also, due to the increased weight, the muscles in your back may have to work harder to support your balance, resulting in increased lower back pain. About half of all pregnant women complain of backaches. Fortunately, there are lots of simple strategies you can use to ease the pain.

Tips to Prevent and Treat Backache During Pregnancy

1. Exercise. Sticking to an exercise program can solve a lot of your worries. Find out from your doctor what abdominal and back strengthening exercises are safe for you. Also, find out how long you can maintain your regular exercise program.

Swimming, for example, may be an excellent way to keep fit and relieve the stress on your back from the extra pregnancy weight. Water exercises also invariably work out the trunk muscles, as you use them to balance yourself while floating weightlessly.

2. Proper Picking up Posture, Girls! You’re walking down the hall when you spot your husband’s toolbox laying on the floor. Stop! Remember, when picking something up from the floor, bend your knees and keep your back straight. Always lift with your legs, never your back, keeping the heavy object close to your body at all times.

You can also try kneeling down on one knee with the other foot flat on the floor. Get as close to the renegade object as you can.

3. Don’t Be A Sitting Duck. Improper sitting positions will make you an easy target for back pain. Be sure to sit with your back straight and well supported. When you are seated, tuck a small, firm cushion in the small of your back. It will give you support and help relieve the aches you experience after you have been sitting for a while. Make sure that your chair has a straight back, arms and firm cushions.

When sitting, try not to cross your legs. This can aggravate your back pain and compromise the circulation in your extremities.

4. Showing Style. High-heeled shoes are so before-you-were-pregnant. Word to the fashionista: because of the extra weight you’re carrying, you’ll want to pack away uncomfortable footwear. Think flat, simple and comfortable.

5. Sleeping Arrangements. A firm mattress will help relieve your back pain. If you don’t have a firm mattress, put a piece of hardboard under your current mattress.

Lying on your back puts 55 lbs. of pressure on your back. Placing a pillow under your knees cuts the pressure in half. Lying on your side with a pillow between your knees also reduces the pressure.

6. A Pillow is the Answer. Try a pregnancy pillow (see photos below). These popular full-body pillows provide great support for your head, shoulders, abdomen and legs. They promote healthier circulation and can reduce head, neck and back pain. These special pillows soothe aching muscles and also ensure proper spinal alignment. After the arrival of your baby, lie back and use it as a nursing pillow.

7. Wear a Support Belt. A pregnancy support belt gently lifts the abdomen without squeezing and encourages a more erect posture. Proven to be safe, these popular belts can dramatically reduce or even eliminate lower back pain caused by the strains of pregnancy. These belts are comfortable and fully adjustable.

8. Pamper Yourself. While a birthday lets you be "Queen of the Day," pregnancy means people will tolerate you lavishing yourself with tender loving care for a whole nine months. Pampering yourself, even if it’s just getting more rest, can mean reduced back pain.

Ask your partner or a friend to massage your back — remember though that some aromatherapy oils can be dangerous for the baby. Instead, use baby oil to rub your aches away. Also, make sure you get enough rest, especially later on in your pregnancy. Lastly, try not to stand for long periods of time. If you have to, keep one foot up on a stool with your knee bent to prevent strain on your lower back.

9. About Weight Gain. Don’t gain more than the recommended amount of weight. Nine months of carrying extra weight gain will take its toll on your back. If you’re already a bit over the suggested gain, be sure to make up for it with added rest.

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As you progress through your pregnancy, how do you deal with your backaches and other discomforts? At Pregnancy Stories, you can share your wisdom and knowledge about getting comfortable during pregnancy with other women.

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my lower back is killing me. i sit at a computer all day and my back can barely take it. i had to buy a special pillow to support my back and i am trying out all the chairs in the office looking for the best one. so far they are all pretty flimsy. i am trying to take more frequent breaks and stand up now and then but i just don't have time to stand up and stretch every 30 minutes. i will try to do so every hour though.
13 years ago