Pregnant woman with back pain

Back pain in pregnancy: How to stay comfortable

Pregnancy is a miraculous time, but it comes with a wide range of weird and wonderful symptoms. Who thought you could sneeze and pee at the same time?

One of the frustrating symptoms of pregnancy is back pain, which affects up to 80% of women.

What causes back pain in pregnancy? Hormones cause your ligaments and joints to soften, meaning less spine support. Plus, as your baby grows, your centre of gravity moves forward, affecting your posture.

So, what can you do to ease your symptoms? Here are our recommendations for keeping comfortable until your little one arrives.

Stay no to high heels

Those high heels are gorgeous, but they’re not great for your back. High heels mean you have to shift your balance forward, leading to more strain on your lower back.

High-quality shoes with good arch support might not be as glamorous, but they’ll help relieve your back pain.

Do gentle exercise

Exercise might be the last thing you want to do when you’re expecting, but it can help strengthen your muscles, engage your core, and improve your flexibility. Plus, studies have shown that exercise can lead to shorter labour – result!

Prenatal yoga, swimming, and gentle walking are all excellent low-impact exercises.

Use pillows while you sleep

Did you know that sleeping on your left side is recommended during pregnancy? This allows for optimal blood flow around the body and takes the pressure off your internal organs.

Side sleeping is the best position if you have back pain. Prop a pillow between your legs to take the pressure off your hips and align your spine.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Your ligaments and joints soften while you’re pregnant to prepare for birth. This can put you at greater risk of injury, even in the early stages of pregnancy.

Don’t be afraid to ask your partner, family, friends, or co-workers for help with strenuous chores and tasks that might cause you to hurt your back.

Focus on your posture

While you might want to slump on the sofa and binge Netflix when your back hurts, concentrating on your posture can help resolve those annoying aches and pains.

Try to keep your back straight, your shoulders relaxed, your head held high, and your weight evenly distributed between your feet when sitting or standing. It’s not the easiest thing to concentrate on when you’re pregnant, but it will help with any back pain you experience.

A lumbar cushion can help keep your spine in alignment when working from home or driving.

Pregnancy back pain: When to contact the doctor

Most of the time, back pain in pregnancy is normal, if not irritating.

However, if you’re in the late second or third trimester and feel intense back pain and cramping, it could be a sign of labour.

You should also contact your doctor if you have back pain and lose the feeling in your legs, feel pain when you pee, or have a fever.

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