There are plenty of prengnancy symptoms that surprised me, but back pain was not one of them. Back pain during pregnancy is pretty common with between 50-70% of pregnant women reporting that they experienced it. The pain you experience can be as simple as a dull ache, or it could be a sharp pain that wrecks havoc on the entire second half of your pregnancy.
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If you are anything like me, you would rather avoid taking any unnecessary medications during pregnancy, so finding natural ways to relieve back pain became a priority. Getting to know the causes of back pain during pregnancy can help to determine a way to relieve it (or prevent it).
WHAT CAUSES BACK PAIN DURING PREGNANCY?
- Hormone changes- During pregnancy, hormones are released to help loosen ligaments in preparation for birth. Often times the loosening of these ligaments can alter the support your back normally has, causing pain.
- Being prone to back pain- If before pregnancy you already experienced back pain during that time of the month (like me), or if you just have a bad back in general, you are much more likely to experience back pain during pregnancy.
- Posture- This one is kind of obvious, but having bad posture can definitely cause some back pain. Bad posture, standing for long periods of time, riding in a car for an extended period of time, or bending over can all attribute to back pain during pregnancy.
- Gaining Weight- Gaining weight during pregnancy is a given, but as your baby (and you) continue to grow, your back has to support the extra weight.
- Center of gravity- As your baby grows and your uterus expands, your center of gravity will slowly shift forward, changing your posture. This may be when you develop a waddle during your pregnancy and your balance may be affected as well!
- Stress- As we all know, stress is bad for our bodies. Stress tends to sort of build up in the weak parts of our bodies. Pregnancy itself makes the back weak and prone to causing you pain when experiencing stress.
HOW TO RELIEVE BACK PAIN DURING PREGNANCY
If your pregnancy is anything like mine, you are bound to experience back pain more times than you’d like to. Don’t fret, keep your head up, and try these ways to relieve back pain during pregnancy!
Stretching is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to relieve back pain. You can do it anywhere with no equipment, making it a reliable way to ease the pain.
There are a ton of stretches online specifically for back pain during pregnancy, but I found this one to be especially helpful!
You may also be interested in trying prenatal yoga. Prenatal yoga can be helpful in improving posture and reducing stress in the body!
If there are no prenatal yoga classes in your area, you can always YouTube a few videos, whip out a yoga mat, and do it in the comfort of your own home!
HEAT OR COLD
I can’t speak much for anything cold, but applying heat to my back helped tremendously! I’m not sure I would have made it through my pregnancy without my heating pad, it was seriously a godsend!
I used this one even before I got pregnant, and found the different heat settings to be especially helpful during my pregnancy. If you think you may prefer something cold to relieve your back pain, you can always try an ice pack.
In my opinion, the stress of pregnancy alone entitles a pregnant woman to as many massages as she darn well pleases. If you can stand someone touching you in between hot flashes (lovely pregnancy hormones), a prenatal massage can be a great way to ease the tension on your back during pregnancy.
Prenatal massages normally include a special table that allows you to lay on your stomach during the massage, and a specialist trained specifically in prenatal massage. If there are not any spas in your area that offer prenatal massages, maybe your significant other or a loved one can offer a helping hand.
I have never actually been to a chiropractor before, but it sounds absolutely wonderful. There are chiropractors that specialize in treating pregnant women, but all chiropractors are trained to treat pregnant women.
Seeing a chiropractor during pregnancy is said to be safe and very beneficial. Pregnancy causes your posture to change over time, and a trip to the chiropractor can help improve your posture and reduce the stress placed on your body during pregnancy.
We all know swimming can be a great workout for pregnant women, but it can also do wonders for back pain. While in the water, you may feel weightless, which can help to relieve the pressure and tension that pregnancy places on your back.
I loved swimming during my pregnancy, and I found floating around the pool to be a great way to relax. As your baby continues to grow, a dip in the pool may be just the break you need to rest from carrying the extra weight around. An added bonus is the water helps you stay cool if you’re battling a rough summer pregnancy!
I’m sure by now you are sick of me talking about the stress pregnancy places on your back, but it can cause some serious pain, so I’m down for anything that helps reduce that stress. This is where a good maternity belt comes in.
Maternity belts work to support your back and your growing belly. When the extra weight of your pregnancy starts straining your back, a maternity belt can help reduce that stress by supporting some of the weight. You are only supposed to wear a maternity belt a few hours a day, so I would try to choose a time when you will need it most.
If you experience back pain during pregnancy, you are not alone. I went through it, and while there were things I do miss about pregnancy, I certainly could have done without the back pain.
Back pain can put a damper on your pregnancy, but I hope you can find relief with some of the ways mentioned above!
Did you experience back pain during your pregnancy? What were your favorite ways to ease the pain?