Backache During Pregnancy
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Experiencing back pain during pregnancy is quite common for mums-to-be. It’s not surprising when you think about all the changes happening to your body, not to mention that growing bump of yours! Let’s take a look at why back pain can occur and some of the things you can do to ease any backache you might be experiencing.
Back pain can happen at any time during your pregnancy but it tends to be most common in the third trimester when your bump is getting bigger - and little one is getting heavier!
As your bump grows, it actually changes your centre of gravity. This weakens your tummy muscles and changes your posture, so you might feel a strain on your lower back.
As the extra weight pulls forward on your lower back muscles, your spine can be pulled along for the ride. This is called ‘sway back’ and might feel a little uncomfortable.
Remember to take it easy, because there’s generally more work for your muscles to do with extra pressure on your joints.
Your ligaments get softer as your body gets ready to give birth. This can make your pelvis ache, causing a bit of discomfort at the bottom of your spine. It might feel uncomfortable when you stand, sit, roll over in bed, walk, bend over or try getting up from the couch!
Giving your back some TLC
A few simple techniques can help give your back some much-needed TLC while it’s working so hard on your behalf…
Stand up straight
Your posture’s really important, especially when you’re pregnant. Keep your back straight by imagining there’s a string attached to the top of your head, pulling you up. Notice how this gently elongates your spine. Breathe normally while you’re doing it and keep your tummy and bottom tucked in!
Posture’s just as important when you’re sitting, so try not to slump. You can use a special pillow designed for your lower back (called a lumbar pillow) to support you.
Use pillows in bed
It can be tricky to get comfy at night. A few extra pillows may help you get those much-needed zzzz’s. Lie on your side and put one pillow between your bent knees, and one underneath your bump, to stop it pulling on your back.
Wear comfy shoes
Comfy shoes, flats, trainers, sandals or even a small heel if that’s what you find most comfortable, can really make a difference to your achy back and feet.
Gentle exercise, such as aqua-natal or antenatal yoga classes are great for gentle stretching in all the right places. Even a bit of light swimming or walking helps keep everything moving.
Yes, really! A few minutes gently rotating your hips can help keep your back happy and free.
Leave the heavy lifting
Tempting as it might be to get all those jobs done, avoid lifting anything heavy. It puts your back under even more strain. Ask someone to help you just in case.
Exercise your pelvic floor
Spare a few minutes a day for regular pelvic floor exercises. You can do them anywhere - at your desk, at the checkout or even in the car. Pelvic tilts help strengthen your tummy muscles and keep your pelvis strong. This in turn minimises back ache and improves your posture. It’s a win-win.
Remedies for backache
If you do end up with a sore back, it’s great to know that there are simple techniques to soothe your aches away. If it gets really painful, ask your midwife or doctor about other pain relief options.
Support your bump
Placing a wedge-shaped pillow under your bump in bed at night eases the strain on your back. Wearing a special support belt that provides support to your bump and back during the day can also help.
A heat treat
Treat yourself to a warm bath, a hot water bottle or a wheat pack to ease your aches and pains. Steer clear of hot baths or spas, though. They can increase your core temperature, which isn’t good for little one or you. Prefer cool relief for your muscles? Use an icepack or even a bag of frozen peas.
Hopefully, this has given you lots of easy ways to soothe your pregnancy backache if it does happen. Remember in most cases it’s perfectly normal, but if you’re worried for any reason, talk to us at the Careline - or your doctor or midwife. We’re always here to help, so feel free to call us if you have any questions.
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