According to Baby Center, most women experience back pain during pregnancy, often during the second or third trimester. This may be attributed to multiple factors such as changes in posture as the growing uterus causes the body’s center of gravity to move forward, the additional weight gained, and an upsurge in hormones that relaxes the pelvic muscles and interferes with the support the back gets. It is not possible to completely eliminate back pain in pregnancy, but there are multiple things you can try to minimize it.
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Maintain a Good Posture
As the baby grows, your body’s center of gravity moves forward. To prevent yourself from falling forward, you compensate by leaning backward – this can strain your lower back muscles and cause back pain, especially in the second and third trimester. Always keep in mind the following four fundamental rules of good posture throughout your pregnancy.
- Stand straight and tall
- Hold your chest high
- Keep your shoulders backward and relaxed
- Do not lock your knees
Use a wide but comfortable stance for maximum support when you stand. If you intend to stand for a long period of time, then rest one of your feet on a low-lying stool – alternate your feet regularly to ensure uniform rest. Good posture also means that you sit with care. Use a chair that comfortably supports your back whenever possible. Alternatively, put a pillow behind your lower abdomen when you sit on the chair or on a couch.
Use the Right Gears
Wear low-heeled shoes with the right arch support during pregnancy. Keep away from high heels as they can further move your balance forward causing you to fall down. You may also consider using a support belt. The effectiveness of maternity belts is generally limited, but some women find them to be very helpful.
Undertake Gentle Exercises
Regular physical activity can strengthen your back and reduce back pain in the third trimester. With an OK from your health care provider, you can try gentle exercises such as swimming and walking. With the help of a physical therapist, you can also try body stretches that can help relieve the back pain.
Another thing you can try is stretching your abdomen and lower back. Rest on your knees and hands, your head in alignment with the back. Pull your stomach in, slightly rounding your back. Hold your breath for a few seconds, and then slowly relax your back and stomach while keeping your back flat. Repeat these ten times. You can also ask your health care provider other exercises that you can do.
Lift Objects Properly
When you want to lift objects from the ground, squat down and raise your legs. Do not bend at your waist or lift weights with your back. It is critical to know your weight limits. Avoiding carrying weights altogether is recommended if possible. Bending on the waist is the major cause of upper back pain in pregnancy.
Sleep on the Side
Sleep on the side instead of on your back when pregnant. Research has shown that sleeping on your side ensures a maximum supply of oxygen to the growing baby. Bend one or both your knees when sleeping. You may also consider putting pregnancy pillows between the bent knees, behind your back, or under your abdomen.