For most people, getting a big fat positive (BFP) is such joyous news to receive. After the endless, stressful months of trying to conceive, counting your fertile days, ovulations tests, on demand love making, and perhaps, a number of false positives, this news is just as sweet as crossing the finish line after a marathon – hard earned success.
Soon after the good news has sunk in though, the reality of carrying the pregnancy checks in. Some of it good, some of it scary, some of it downright unbelievable. Not all women have great pregnancies, not all have bad ones, it’s usually a mix of the good and the bad.
Add in to the mix different ages, different bodies, different genes and reproductive histories, carrying multiples and everyday life… our bodies are taking on a huge task for the next 9 months as they create life.
One of the common issues faced by expecting mothers is back pain during pregnancy. Your body, in its beautiful normal state, is undergoing a massive transformation as it makes room to grow your little one.
The additional weight of the new baby, alongside your growing uterus, extra blood and the placenta, will still need to be supported by you.
And it definitely gets harder as you progress in pregnancy with the growth of the baby.
This demands an intentional lifestyle change to make sure your regular life is not overly disrupted, and yet comfortable enough to carry you to term.
Thankfully, there are some proven remedies and excellent products in the market, highly recommended by fellow moms to be as well as medical professionals, to make these 9 months as back pain free as possible.
4 Excellent Products To Help You Relieve Pregnancy Back Ache
These come in two categories: sleep pillows and chair pillows. Back pain, whether pre-existing or brought on by pregnancy, can be exacerbated by:
- Maintaining one posture for long periods e.g. sitting or standing
- Incorrect bending
- Poor support – uncomfortable or unsupportive car or work chair and/or bed
Some poor mom’s have to go as far as throwing out the whole mattress and getting a new one!
While this has its place for extreme cases, for most mom’s to be, the best support can be in form of a pregnancy pillow.
They are ergonomically-shaped pillows, made to keep the growing bump cradled and come in a variety of shapes:
- U-shaped maternity body pillows
- C-shaped pregnancy pillows
- Belly Down pregnancy pillow
These relieve or ease pain as they offer leg support, and bump support and give the freedom to comfortably change sleeping positions to minimize the discomfort of sticking to one position through the night.
They come in breathable, durable fabric, and are long enough to enable one to stretch out for full body comfort and support. Consider these as a gift to yourself or your expecting friend.
Portable pillows or wedges are the way to go for mama’s on the move, as they can be used on regular seats in cars or in the office or even when travelling.
Some even come with provision for hot or cold packs for extra comfort. They offer simple support to both the back and the belly, are compact and lightweight, thereby not taking up much space in the bed or in a suitcase and can transform even the most uncomfortable chair into something bearable.
Maternity Belly Bands or Comfort Belts or Prenatal Cradles
Once you enter the third trimester, or, for some, even within the second or first, you see real growth in your belly size.
This can lead to strain on the lower back and may require extra support, throughout the day.
Enter the maternity belt, belly band and belly cradle. These are a variety of belts or tube-like garments that wrap around the belly and offer support to the lower back, pelvis, hips and abdomen and also give mild compression.
They also allow the mum to be to wear non maternity or pre pregnancy clothes longer as they give coverage to the skin that may be exposed with the expanding belly and can cover unbuttoned or unzipped pants.
For those looking for something more discrete, pregnancy tape is an equally supportive but out of sight might not be the best practical alternative.
Back Massager and Massage Cushions
At the end of the day, a back massage can go a long way in alleviating back pain brought by pregnancy.
With the addition of compression packs, cold or hot packs or even back massagers, these can increase the effectiveness of the pain relief and comfort brought by a simple back rub.
They also make it easier for the masseur, as they ease the pressure on your spouse’s or partner’s hands, and enable them to give almost professional level massages.
To make lying down on the growing belly comfortable safe for both mama to be and the growing baby, a stomach sleeper pillow is a great accompanying cushion for a great back rub.
Supportive Shoes for Pregnancy
Ever thought of the link between your feet and your back? We have all had at least one experience with one pair of good looking but unsupportive shoes, that went straight to the bin after their first day out.
It’s highly recommended, especially for pregnant women, to wear supportive shoes which help ease back pain. Though flats are very cute, readily available in large variety and cheap in the market, shoes without proper support can make the 9 months a living nightmare.
Additionally, some women experience swelling in their feet or even increase in shoe size during pregnancy.
The ideal shoes to support your feet and in addition your back are slip ons that do not require bending to tie or lace up, rubber soled shoes that provide great shock absorption, low heels for greater stability and shoes with arch support. Shoe inserts can also add invaluable comfort and support to existing shoes.
5 Proven Remedies That Can Fix Pregnancy Back Pain For Good
I wasn’t a fan of massages. But the nagging and pulling pain from my back was driving me nuts, to the point of finding it really hard to sleep.
My girlfriend introduced prenatal massage to me and I made an appointment the next day. What a relaxing experience it was. I felt my stiff muscles in my back were melting like butter when the masseur kneads my sore back and thighs. Immediately after the session, I felt like the weight of the world were lifted over my shoulders.
I slept like a baby (sounds weird as there’s already one growing in me) that night and I was really looking forward to the next appointment.
You can find the nearest prenatal massage practitioner here. (for USA only, just key in your zip code)
Prenatal massages are great for relaxing your muscles but if you feel your back pain is due to some old injury or if you feel it’s more than just sore muscles , then I suggest you to see a doctor or chiropractor.
A chiropractor is basically a health care professional that specialise in the treatment of spine and joint problems.
The treatments are usually manual adjustments on the joint itself basically due to misalignment.
Some women have misaligned pelvis that makes the pregnancy painful and may interfere with the delivery of your baby.
Chiropractic sessions are not as enjoyable as massages but it will solve any chronic issues you may have that exacerbate your back pain during pregnancy.
Having chiropractic sessions during pregnancy is not uncommon.
Just be sure the chiropractor is trained to work with pregnant women and have special tables to accommodate for a pregnant woman’s body.
Osteopathy for Pregnancy
Osteopathy is gaining popularity with pregnant women lately. It is certainly a great technique similar to what a chiropractor does, but the difference is their approach.
Osteopathy takes a more holistic approach going towards the root cause of the pain, whilst chiropractors’ approach is mainly from the spine.
What is Osteopathy?
Difference between Osteopathy and Chiropractic
It is certainly a great approach to fix back pain from a “root cause” standpoint rather than just treating the symptom.
Being active during pregnancy helps a lot with getting your blood circulating efficiently.
Exercises which are focused in breathing and low intensity will greatly help and may also relief your back ache. Going for a brisk walk is simply relaxing and calming.
However, stay away from intense activities or lifting weights as this may affect your pregnancy.
Please also consult your doctor on exercise and physical workouts if you have a high risk pregnancy or in doubt.
Prenatal yoga can help improve posture and strengthen the core and body in prepration for labor. It is also a great form of exercise for pain relief and also reduces your anxiety & stress with focused deep breathing.
As pregnancy can be a rocky road of emotions from the hormonal surge, prenatal yoga can serve as a balance and relaxes your nerves.
Swimming is one of the most recommended exercises for pregnant mothers because you are getting a good workout but doesn’t put direct pressure on your spine.
When you are in the water, you are weightless as gravity is taking out of the equation.
So by just threading water or doing laps in the pool will give you a full body workout.
The low impact of swimming will also help decompress your spine and this is why you might feel your backache starts to lessen after swimming.
Also, swimming is a great workout to get you breathing deep and relaxed which is essential during labor and delivery of your baby.
Practice good posture
As your belly grows, you will tend to slouch forward as the weight and center of gravity shifts forward.
You may compensate slouching forward but leaning back more but this may strain the muscles and joints of your lower back, hence giving you this nagging back ache.
The best practice for good posture is to stand up straight and tall (don’t lean back or slouch forward), keep your chest upright. Rest your shoulders by keeping them back and relaxed (don’t shrug).
Also, consider looking for a pair of comfortable shoes. As you put on weight , your feet will also grow bigger and ankles swell, you might find harder to walk with normal shoes.
Comfortable shoes with low heel, wide, good support and easy to put on will ease the pressure of your feet and also help relieve back ache.
Careful when lifting from the ground
Try not to bend when lifting from the ground. You will find it harder to bend at some point in time, especially when your bump gets bigger (somewhere in mid 2nd trimester).
When lifting, instead of bending, slowly squat down and lift up with your legs. Ask for help whenever possible. Most people will oblige to help a pregnant lady.
Sleep on your side
If you’re a back sleeper like me, you’ll find it difficult to sleep when you belly gets bigger. The weight of the bump will be entirely on your back when you sleep on your back.
Sleep on your side, the left side is preferred but you might like it more on the right.
You could also use some pregnancy pillows and wedge between your knees, to ease of the pressure on your lower back.
So, there you have it, I hope these will help you relieve and help your sore back. Pregnancy is a journey full of aches and pain but it’s all worth it when the day comes for you to meet your new bundle of joy.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments or just anything you like to share in the comments sections below.