How to Handle Back Pain with Pregnancy

If you’re pregnant, your body is in constant flux as it adapts to the needs of your growing baby. Hormone and weight changes can do more than affect your mood and physical appearance. These changes take their toll on your back, too, causing pain that can get worse as your pregnancy progresses. But, what causes this pain, and how can you alleviate it?


Pregnancy Back Pain Causes


The most obvious cause of your back pain is the weight gain experienced during pregnancy. Simply put, more weight on your joints, muscles, and bones can lead to pain from having to carry the added weight.


But, the source of your pain is more complicated than that. As your uterus expands, it shifts your center of gravity and stretches out and weakens your abdominal muscles. These shifts change your posture, which puts strain on your back. If the pain is especially intense, it may be due to your uterus pressing against a nerve.


Hormonal changes during pregnancy also loosen your joints as well as the ligaments that attach your pelvic bones to your spine. This change can cause you to feel less stable and give you pain as you are walking, standing, or sitting for long periods of time.


It’s always a good idea to ask your doctor about any pain you experience during pregnancy, and he or she may refer you to a spine specialist who can help you with your back problems.


Tips for Easing Back Pain During Pregnancy


These simple tips can help you cope with back pain during your pregnancy:

  • Mind your posture. As your pregnancy progresses, it will be harder to stand up straight, so pregnant women tend to slump their shoulders and arch their backs. These actions put more strain on the spine, to try to keep your bottom tucked in and your shoulders back.
  • If you sit all day, make sure to mind your posture then, too. You might try supporting your feet with a footstool to help prevent lumbar pain or using a small lumbar roll behind your lower back. Take frequent breaks from sitting by getting up to walk at least every hour.
  • Likewise, if you stand all day, be sure to take breaks frequently as well. Try to take a midday break and rest your back by lying on your side while supporting your upper leg and abdomen with pillows.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and avoid wearing high heels during your pregnancy. As your belly grows, your balance will shift and put you at risk of stumbling and falling if you wear heeled shoes.
  • Finally, remember to bend from your knees and lift things from a crouching position – and, better yet, try to avoid lifting anything heavy at all as your move through your pregnancy.

Any commonly known tips for taking care of your back will apply even more so during pregnancy, so be mindful of how you treat your back during this time of rapid body changes.