Baby, My Back Hurts: Dealing With Back Pain During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, you may already be experiencing lower back pain. This pain is not uncommon and can be a part of the discomfort that occurs later in the pregnancy. The American Pregnancy Association reports that 50 to 70 percent of all pregnant women experience some back pain. 

Back pain occurs because as your pregnancy progresses and the baby grows, your posture changes and your back muscles are strained. This change in posture and muscle strain can lead to lower back pain. Another cause of pregnancy back pain is a hormone present in the body during this time. This hormone causes the ligaments in the pelvis joints to loosen, as your body becomes more flexible in preparation for delivery. But this loosening can also contribute to back pain.

Here are some things you can do to help ease your lower back pain during pregnancy:

Put Your Best Foot Forward

It's always smart to wear shoes that fit well and have good support for your arches, but this is especially true during pregnancy. After all, your feet are carrying around two people now. High heels are a no-no because they throw your posture more out of alignment and could cause you to stumble. And you'll probably find that low-heels, not flat shoes, give you the most comfortable fit.

Sleep Well

Choose a firm mattress for good back support while you sleep. Your sleep position matters too. You'll want to sleep on your side, not on your back or stomach. Pull one or both of your knees into a bent position. Use extra pillows for support between your knees, under your tummy, or along your back.

Stand Up Straight

Did your mother prompt you to "stand up straight"? Well good posture is especially important during pregnancy. Being pregnant throws your posture out of proper alignment, so you'll want to remind yourself to stand up straight with your chest held high and your shoulders relaxed. When you need to pick something up, then bend your knees and squat, keeping your back as straight as possible. 

Keep Moving

Regular exercise and stretching during pregnancy can help ease your back pain and strengthen those back muscles that are being strained with the pregnancy. Talk with your health care provider about the best exercises for you.

Apply Heat or Cold

After a busy day on your feet, you may find that using a heating pad or ice pack on your back gives you relief from back pain. A good back rub may also give you some relief.

You need to know when to see a specialist, like Valley Chiropractic, for your back pain. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that you contact your health care provider if the back pain is severe or if it last for more than 2 weeks. Back pain can be a sign of preterm labor or a urinary tract infection. So if your back pain is accompanied by fever, burning when you urinate or vaginal bleeding, then you should get in touch with your health care provider right away.