Back pain is the bane of pregnancy and early motherhood. It may be a sharp pain upon movement or a constant distracting throb. It makes the sometimes already uncomfortable body changes of pregnancy even more uncomfortable and makes lifting and playing with the new baby difficult. Being proactive about back pain can do a lot to lessen the degree with which it affects your daily activities.
Having good posture is difficult when the center of gravity is constantly changing. This is why it is important to keep moving as much as possible. Standing in one position puts more strain on the back while pregnant than at other times. Try to limit time spent in one position to less than fifteen minutes. For example, wash a few dishes instead of all of them at once. Sitting for long periods can also cause back strain. If a job requires sitting at a desk, try taking standing breaks while reading memos.
Exercise alleviates many aches and pains and back pain due to pregnancy is no different. Women who exercise during pregnancy often experience better pregnancies and deliveries. Exercise classes specifically for pregnant women are safer than regular classes. Yoga encourages stretching and strengthening of the whole body but special care needs to be taken to not over-stretch already strained ligaments and to adjust for the unique balance and joint issues. Pay attention to body heat while exercising. Letting the body’s internal temperature rise too high can harm the growing fetus.
Rest is essential at any time, but it is even more essential during pregnancy and early motherhood. Resting well helps relieve back pain as well as adding resilience to face the myriad hormonal changes that provoke nesting urges one minute, fatigue the next and mood swings constantly. The first step to getting good rest is making sure the bed has the right support. The best mattress for back pain should keep the spine in alignment while reducing pressure on the hips and shoulders. Relax the spine by lying on the side. Bend the legs and keep the hips straight by placing a pillow between the legs. Lying on the back does not keep the spine in alignment and puts more pressure on the hips during pregnancy. This can actually cause increased lower back pain.
Some women may get their first experience of back pain during pregnancy. Most people do not think about their bodies until something hurts. Back pain is very common during pregnancy but there are things that can help alleviate the pain. Reducing back strain by changing position frequently, exercising for strength and stretching and getting plenty of appropriate rest will help tremendously.