Back pain and lower back pain during pregnancy are common, normally beginning in the second trimester. The reason being is that your baby is growing and that is good news, but these backaches can take the joy out of preparing for your future baby.
I was about 5 months pregnant and I remember getting stricken with a sharp pain in my back when I got up from the sofa. I found myself hovering over the sofa because of the pain. I couldn’t move even though I wanted to. The pain took my breath away.
From that day forward, my pregnancy was a pain in the back but I learned how to deal with these annoying pregnancy pains but first I learned the reason behind these pains, before looking for ways to alleviate my pain.
What causes back pain during pregnancy?
I had to understand the cause as it was beginning to affect my day-to-day life, going to work was a challenge, heck even getting in and out of the car was worse than an aerobic workout. Normally, pregnancy back pains begin near your pelvic area, where it meets with your spine; this area is called the sacroiliac joint. Following are some of the main reasons for these pains:
A healthy, normal pregnancy means that we will be gaining between 20 to 25 pounds. I gained a whopping 38 pounds. That is a lot of pressure on our spines. So weight gain is one of the factors behind our lower back pain.
Changes in posture
Our posture changes during pregnancy without us even realizing it. It changes because of our center of gravity, (our belly weight) adjusts our posture adding strain on our back and spine. My partner said I was shorter during our pregnancy.
I found this point interesting; during pregnancy our body produces a hormone called Relaxin, which helps our pelvis’s ligaments to relax, causing the joints to expand in preparation for giving birth. This obviously causes pelvic pain during pregnancy.
During pregnancy our uterus expands, as do the muscles around the uterus. These muscles are the rectal abdominal muscles and run all the way from the pelvic area to the rib cage, of course leading to back pain.
Most mothers are emotional stressed out during pregnancy; I was stressed because of worrying about the unknown. Stress as we already know, can cause muscle tension especially in the back.
How I treated my back pain during pregnancy
I didn’t want to take any pain relief medicine during my pregnancy out of fear of harming my precious baby boy, Luca. So I wanted to be able to treat my back pain naturally without any side effects to my baby or to me.
I found these following suggestions provided the relief I needed to be able to enjoy my day-to-day life during my pregnancy. To my surprise, I found that my pregnancy back pains were directly related to my sleep patterns. The better I would sleep at night, the less back or hip pain I experienced.
Exercise helps to loosen tight muscles and ease that extra stress on your spine. I found doing Yoga and Pilates relieved my pains considerably. Other recommended exercises for expecting mothers are swimming, walking or cycling.
Pillows and sleep
As I mentioned before, my quality of sleep affected my back pain. I would find myself going to bed night after night, waking up in worse pain than the day before. I tried using pillows to support my uncomfortable areas but nothing helped.
Finally, after a talking to a physiotherapist about how I was dreading going to bed each night and waking up, she recommended that I invest in a pregnancy pillow. The thought of long round pillow being the solution to my back pain woes was silly, but I was so desperate that I got one. It really worked, it allowed my body to get the support it needed to be able to relax and unwind when I was sleeping.
Hands-on-treatment such as massages or physiotherapy can help to release those sore muscles. I used a physiotherapist that specialized in back and hips pain during pregnancy. But if you don’t have medical coverage for physiotherapy during your pregnancy, get your partner to learn some easy back massages to help relieve your discomfort.
My mom always was after me about my posture, telling me to stand straight. Believe me, slouching causes back pain especially during pregnancy. I noticed I was slouching while sitting and walking, so I would force myself to sit and walk straight during my pregnancy, even though my 38 extra pounds in the belly made me want to slouch. Now I’m using a posture corrective brace to help me re-gain my normal posture.
Most women suffer from back pain during pregnancy, so you are not alone in this uncomfortable battle. I’m positive these simple suggestions will provide you relief from your pregnancy aches and pains.