One of the most common problems during pregnancy is back pain, and the majority of women suffer from it. Many of these women also think that it’s normal and that they shouldn’t complain about it. Not only is this not true, but there are actually quite a few ways that you can alleviate it. Here’s a look at 12 ways to deal with pregnancy back pain, so you don’t have to suffer for the next 9 months.
1. Stand and Sit Up as Straight as Possible
The first thing that you should do is make sure that you are standing up straight when you’re walking or standing. You should also make sure you’re sitting up straight as well. This can go a long way into making you feel better because you can be sure that you aren’t putting undue stress on your back or another part of your body. At the same time, it may be hard to remember to do this, so it might take practice. A good rule of thumb is simply to remind yourself to be mindful of your posture.
2. Exercise When You Can
Even though you may not feel like it, exercising can help loosen your muscles and help you forget about pain. Since you have a little one to worry about, you should make sure that you’re doing low impact exercises. Some really great things to try are yoga, walking, or swimming. Just a little bit can make a big difference. It can also help you bring your stress levels down.
3. Get a Body Pillow
If you have back pain because you aren’t getting a good amount of sleep at night, you can purchase a body pillow, to ensure you can get comfortable when it’s time to go to bed. If this doesn’t work, you can also replace your mattress or entire bed, although that could become quite expensive. Try to get a good pillow first and remember to sleep on your side for your best chance to stay comfortable.
Whether you’re having your first child or you have done it before, it’s important not to spread yourself too thin. You need to rest as often as you need to and try not to do everything yourself. Sometimes you need to sit down and let someone else handle a task. For example, your partner should be able to handle dinner a couple of times a week and its okay if he does the laundry from time to time. Even if you are fearful that something won’t get done the way you like it, this doesn’t mean that something bad will happen. It’s important to remember that you can’t be in control of everything and you are going to need help during this process, especially when you’re not feeling your best.
Besides just resting when you aren’t feeling good, you also need to relax. If you are feeling tired in the middle of the day, take a nap. If you are unable to cook dinner for a party you’ve already scheduled, you can tell everyone to bring a pot luck dish. Take every opportunity you can to just kick your feet up because your life will be changing dramatically as soon as you give birth. Furthermore, when you’re on your feet too much, you are bound to have back pain, so you must limit the time you’re on your feet.
6. Opt for a Maternity Support Belt
Another tool you can take advantage of is a maternity support belt. These are bands that you wrap around your middle that can take the pressure off of your back or pelvis. They come in many shapes and can accommodate moms of all sizes. Most types are easy to put on and take off, and you can wear them as often and for as many hours at a time as you like. They are available for purchase online and in stores, so look around a bit and you’ll probably find one that will work well for you.
7. Limit Stress
When you aren’t feeling your best, it’s best if you simply ask for help. You should have some people around you that you trust. These are the people you should call if you feel like something’s wrong, if you are unable to get through the errands you need to get through, or you just need some things taken care of on your schedule and you don’t have the energy. Stress can be instrumental in not only causing you pain, but also causing health problems, such as headaches or heartburn, so try to do everything you can to limit it. Of course this isn’t the easiest thing to do, but you have to try for your baby’s sake.
8. Don’t Overexert Yourself
Just like you shouldn’t try to do too many things, you also shouldn’t do anything that is going to wear you out. For example, you can’t work out the same way you could before and you shouldn’t lift heavy things. It’s a good idea to ask your doctor what is safe for you to move or pick up, as well as what tasks are forbidden. You will have to limit your tasks at times, but there’s a good chance that no one will be mad at you for doing so.
9. Evaluate Your Wardrobe
Another area of your life that you will have to change a little bit is your wardrobe. You will need to get clothes that are comfortable and allow your skin to breathe. You also can’t be wearing things like high heels. Items that are pressing on your stomach or don’t offer you any protection can cause you to have pain, so you should be careful about what you wear. Stick to outfits that are comfortable and that you can get out of quickly if you need to go to the bathroom or you get sick.
10. Try Hot and Cold
Just like with most muscle aches, you can try dulling the pain with hot or cold. This means you can use a heating pad or hot washcloth on your back or opt for an ice pack. It’s really a matter of which you prefer and which one works well for you. Make sure you talk to your OBGYN ahead of time, so that they can tell you what they recommend as far as over the counter medicines and treatments.
11. Be Mindful of What You Eat
One thing that you may not think about since you’re eating for two is that weight gain can sometimes make your back hurt. If you have gained too much weight during your pregnancy, this can be a big problem for you. On the flip side, if you are gaining the proper amount of weight, you still need to be careful of what you eat. If you are eating big meals or foods that are giving you gas, you may be gaining weight temporarily, which is having the same effect as carrying more weight around. When you eat big meals, it may cause your belly to grow until your food is fully digested, which can take many hours. Try to have a set list of foods that you intend to eat and do your best not to deviate from your list.
12. Get Checked Out
When you have back pain and other symptoms at the same time, there is a chance that something else may be going on with your body. One example is if you have back pain and you also can’t feel the lower part of your body. It’s possible that you have a pinched nerve or something like that. This is something your health care professional will need to assist you with, so you can be sure that your health isn’t in any danger. They will also likely be able to give you even more options and tips to help you ease your pain, so it’s never a bad idea to tell your doctor about your problems. You’ll at the very least be able to rest knowing that what you’re feeling is normal.