During pregnancy, your uterus expands to almost 100 times its original size. This amount of growth can cause strain and discomfort, as well as affect your balance and posture. Back pain is the most common side effect of pregnancy, and is the complaint of many pregnant women. This page will help teach you to help manage and relieve back pain during pregnancy.
WHAT CAUSES BACK PAIN DURING PREGNANCY?
There are many different factors that contribute to back pain during pregnancy. The most common ones include:
- Changes in Posture: During pregnancy, the uterus grows and becomes heavier. The new weight from the fetus, placenta, and amniotic fluid can cause your center of gravity to change, for which your body attempts to accommodate by changing posture. During the later months of pregnancy when the baby is at its largest, women tend to lean backward. This causes strain on muscles in the back.
- Weak Abdominal Muscles: If your abdominal muscles are weak, pregnancy can cause additional strain on them. Since they have to work harder to support the weight of a new baby, these muscles can become very tired and sore from being stretched. This can cause back pain, as well as minor injuries during exercise.
- Hormonal Changes: The hormones that are released during pregnancy can also cause back pain. The body releases a hormone that relaxes the muscles and ligaments of the pelvis in order to prepare for easy passage of the baby. This loosening can cause the joints to become too flexible, which also causes back pain.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP EASE MY BACK PAIN?
There are many ways to help naturally ease back pain, and most of them come from being more aware of your body and how it moves. The following tips should help you reduce back pain:
- Do not lift heavy objects, or ask for assistance when lifting them
- Wear low-heeled shoes with good arch support
- Place a board between the board spring and the mattress of your bed if it is too soft
- When standing for long periods of time, periodically put one foot on a stool or box
- Sit in chairs with good back support
- When sitting, place a small pillow behind the small of your lower back
- When picking things up, squat with your knees and keep your back straight, rather than bending at the waist
- Sleep on your side with one or two pillows between your legs for support
- Apply heat or ice to painful areas of the back
Exercise is also a very important way to reduce stress and to stay healthy during pregnancy. Exercising regularly can help you reduce back pain and keep off any unwanted weight during pregnancy.
WHAT EXERCISES CAN I DO TO PREVENT BACK PROBLEMS?
There are several exercises that you can do to help reduce back stress and to strengthen the muscles: