Backache is one of the most common problems for pregnant women. If you’re suffering, you’re not alone. Nearly half of all women have back pain at some point during pregnancy.
You can lessen some of the normal back pain encountered during pregnancy by following these tips:
• Be aware of your posture. Try to keep your hips pulled forward and your back straight. Don’t be a “sway back.”
• Wear low-heeled shoes with good arch support. Avoid wearing high heels. They can strain your lower back muscles.
• Avoid lifting heavy objects. This can put even more strain on your back. If you must pick something up from the floor, squat down, bend at the knees and keep your back straight. Do not bend over from the waist.
• Split larger loads into two smaller loads. Holding them in either hand may be easier than carrying one large load. If you must carry a large object, keep it close to your body.
• Keep objects you need close by so you don’t have to bend or stretch to pick them up. Be careful. It’s easy to lose your balance when you are pregnant.
• Avoid standing for long periods of time, if possible. If you have to stand for an extended period, rest one foot on a stool or box. This will help relieve the strain on your back.
• Sit in chairs with good back support. Tuck a small pillow behind your lower back for extra support while sitting.
• When sleeping, a firm mattress provides better back support than a soft one. If your mattress is too soft, a board between the mattress and box spring will make it firmer. Sleep on your side instead of your back. Tuck a pillow between your legs when lying on your side. The pillow will help straighten your spine and give extra support to your back.
• Look for maternity pants that have a wide elastic band to be worn under the curve of your belly. This band will help support the extra weight. Consider using special abdominal-support girdles. They can provide back support and are available in maternity stores.
• Apply a heating pad set to the lowest temperature, a hot water bottle filled with warm water or a cold compress. To avoid excessive cold or heat, wrap the heating pad, hot water bottle or compress in a towel.
• Try gently rubbing or kneading the sore areas of your lower back. Ask your partner or a friend to help. Consider getting a massage designed for pregnant women.
• Medication to treat back pain during pregnancy is usually not a good option. Always check with your health care provider before taking any type of medication.
• Certain exercises can help strengthen and stretch your back muscles. They can also improve your posture and strengthen your abdominal muscles for labor and delivery. Talk with your health care provider about which exercises are safe for you and how long you should keep doing them during pregnancy.