That little one you’re nurturing in your uterus causes a lot of things—fears and worries, joy and excitement, aches and pains. For many women, back pain is a constant companion throughout their pregnancy, for others it starts in the second or third trimester, and others are lucky to escape pregnancy without much if any back pain at all. But, if you’re struggling with back pain never fear.
We have 6 ways to relieve back pain during pregnancy.
What causes back pain during pregnancy?
You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again, no two pregnancies are alike but there are common reasons for back pain during pregnancy.
First, when you’re pregnant your body produces relaxin, a hormone that loosens ligaments and joints in preparation for birth. The same hormone can impact the ligaments that support your spine, causing instability and discomfort. As you know, there is weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds during a healthy pregnancy. Since the spine has to support that weight, it can cause pain. The baby’s weight can also put pressure on the pelvic and back.
Since pregnancy shifts your center of gravity, it’s natural to try to compensate by leaning backward. Without even knowing it, you likely are making changes to your posture and the way you move. These changes are often the culprit that causes back pain. If the parallel sheets of muscles that run from the rib cage to the pubic bone are separating due to your pregnancy, a condition called diastasis recti, it can exacerbate back pain as well.
When you experience emotional stress, it can create muscle tension in the back leading to back pain or spasms. If you’re in the midst of a stressful period of your pregnancy, it’s quite possible your back pain will worsen.
6 Ways to Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy
- Get an adjustment from a chiropractor
Be sure to find a chiropractor who specializes or has experience with giving adjustments to pregnant and postpartum women as well as a table that can accommodate a pregnant belly. Adjustments while you’re pregnant can also prevent sciatica, the inflammation of the sciatic nerve.
- Keep moving
While your exercise routine might change during pregnancy, it’s important to keep moving to help with back pain. Exercise, even walking and swimming, is great to keep your muscles from getting too tight. Anything that works on your glutes such as squats, bridges, kickbacks or lunges helps to strengthen your glutes, hamstrings and calves that will help support your back. The cat yoga pose is also great to keep your muscles flexible.
- Posture improvements
You want to be sure you keep your feet hip-width apart and your body’s weight in your heels. If you are picking something (or a little one) up, be sure you bend your knees and hinge at the hips rather than rounding your back. When you sit, scoot to the edge of the seat as you would site on an exercise ball and don’t sit for too long. When you sleep, put a pillow between your legs and sleep on your side to relieve pressure on your back.
- Deep breathing and mindfulness
Not only can deep breathing and mindfulness reduce stress, but it can help relieve back pain. Deep breathing, where your ribs move in and down on the exhale and out and up on the inhale, can keep your rib cage moving properly. Mindfulness and meditation can help manage pain. There are several meditation apps available including InsightTimer that are easy to use.
- Get a massage
If you are pregnant and schedule a massage to relieve back pain, don’t be surprised if the therapist spends most of her time on your bum since your glutes are critical in supporting your back. At home, you can use a foam roller to roll out your calves, hamstrings and glutes.
- Wear a maternity support band
A maternity belly band helps do the work of your loosened ligaments and muscles—it supports your back, hips and abs. You should be sure to wear one during taxing activities that have you bending, lifting, walking or standing. Our Lola&Lykke belly band has a back pocket for hot and cold therapy relief, another way to ease back pain.
When you experience back pain, it’s time to listen, take a break and put your feet up because your body is telling you it needs a break. At Lola&Lykke we built our business to give mums the support we wanted when we were on our own postpartum journey. We’d love to be there for you when the time is right.