Easing Back Pain During Pregnancy

Back pain during pregnancy is one of the most common complaints women experience. The belly grows larger, shifting the center of gravity and putting strain on the low back. The hormones of pregnancy cause ligaments and tendons to loosen and stretch, further worsening the support that helps keep the back in alignment.

Here are some helpful tips to ease back pain:

Practice Good Posture:

Sit up straight and place a small pillow behind you to support the low back. Prop feet on a small stool while sitting to help ease the stretch on the low back. When lying down, place a pillow between your legs or behind the knees to help support the low back.

Wear Sensible Shoes:

Comfortable, low-heeled shoes are best. Look for shoes with good arch support and a comfortable foot bed.

Try a Support Belt:

Maternity support belts are designed to help reduce the strain on your lower back.

Get a Massage:

Use a tennis ball and rub the low back area in a circular motion. Have someone rub the muscles of the lower back for you or schedule a massage with a therapist licensed to perform prenatal massage.

Get Moving:

Regular exercise helps to strengthen the muscles that support the back. Prenatal yoga and prenatal pilates are wonderful to help stretch and strengthen the muscles that support the back and uterus. Swimming helps to reduce the effect of gravity on your back and strengthens muscles.

Try Heat or Ice:

A heating pad placed on the low back area can be soothing for tired, achy muscles. Also, a warm (not hot) bath can help relax muscles as well. Ice packs to the low back can also help with pain. Remember, never place a heating pad on your stomach!