The initial months of pregnancy are quite blissful and trouble free. Problems start occurring when the belly starts to grow in response to the growing baby. The excess weight on the stomach starts to put undue strain on you lower back muscles. This can lead to back ache, lower back discomfort and trouble sleeping at night.
There is little one can do to completely eliminate it but with the proper form, posture, diet, weight gain and back support, back pain can be effectively dealt with especially in the latter half of the pregnancy.
Tips to Relieve Back Pain During Pregnancy
It is important that women get as much rest as they can during their pregnancies. Rest is needed for taking the strain off the back and other joints. If you are constantly on your toes, this will strain your back and lead to niggling aches and pains. Make sure you take frequent breaks in between periods of activity. Try to delegate work to other family members and relatives so that you get the much needed rest and relaxation.
Bend From the Knees
Most women become careless with their form and posture during pregnancy. This leads to unnecessary strain on the spine. If you are planning on bending and lifting, make sure you do so from the knees. Go down on your knees and keep your back erect while trying to pick something up. This will take the pressure off your lower back.
Get a couple of firmly cushioned chairs and sit straight when you are resting, reading or watching TV. Sitting in an inclined position can exert pressure on your back muscles. Use firm cushions and pillows as supports.
Watch Your Weight
Keep your weight in check by eating healthy and making sure that every pound gained is done so in a healthy manner. When you gain weight gradually, it allows your body and joints to adjust to the excess weight without extra pressure.
Mild to moderate exercise done during pregnancy will ensure that you never have backache and joint problems. Take a brisk walk or do some mild strength training to keep your body, back and joints supple. Exercise also promotes blood circulation and decreases your sensitivity to any sensations of pain. Therefore, exercise will actually keep you happily distracted.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
Make sure you wear loose and airy clothes during pregnancy, as your body will protest on being restrained. Loose clothes are also good for posture and general back health. In any case, comfort will now be your top priority.
Wear Flat and Padded Shoes
Wearing heels during pregnancy is the worst thing you can do as it creates strain on your spine. Your centre of gravity shifts even more when you are donning high heels. Stick to comfortable and padded footwear like flat chappals and moccasins. Choosing the right footwear can save you many back related hassles.
Recognize the Symptoms of Labour
At times women experience lower back pain as a symptom of labour. Make sure you are able to discern between normal backache and signs of labour. Back pain that is closer to the due date and increases in intensity is often the first sign of labour and should be given due merit and attention.
While most forms of medication are not recommended for pregnant women, some women can take painkillers to relieve acute pain. This of course should only be done after consulting with a doctor.
Make full use of pregnancy massages. Enlist the services of your spouse to give you a relaxing back massage that will alleviate the pain to a large extent.
You can alternately take a hot shower, which can give tremendous relief from backache.
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Do Not Sleep on Your Back
One of the worst things you can do is sleep on your back especially in the last trimester of your pregnancy. You should try to sleep sideways only. Take the support of pillows and cushions placed against your back and in between your legs so that you do not feel the extra pressure of the baby. Keep changing positions from one side to the other.
Practicing prenatal yoga not only strengthens your pelvic floor muscles but also your back and prevents backache. Take the advice of a good prenatal yoga expert who can guide you correctly on the exercises that you should be performing. Make sure that you have your doctor’s ok before embarking on an exercise programme.
Use Ice or Heat
Alternate application of ice and heat can relieve back pain to a large extent. Use cold compresses followed by the application of a hot water bottle. This will give you a lot of relief especially if your backache is severe.
Sleep it Off
Fatigue can exacerbate joint aches and pains. If you are battling exhaustion and fatigue, now is the time to take rest and sleep off the tension, aches and pains. Relaxation will give your back the rest it deserves.
Support belts can go a long way in giving you the much-needed relief from backache. A number of maternity support belts are now available for use by pregnant women. These are tied on the waist and give adequate cushioning to the spine as the woman goes about her daily chores. Try out a few brands and choose one that you are comfortable with.
Swimming is a good way to get in the much-needed physical exertion. It is also one of the best exercises for the joints. Do 3-4 hours of swimming everyday to stay in shape and to keep your back in prime condition. Aqua natal classes are now being held especially for pregnant women. These are tailor-made and can be easily tapered to suit individual needs and current fitness levels.
With the help of the above tips, you can permanently banish back pain and have a comfortable and uneventful nine months.