Preventing Back Pain During Pregnancy
There are some things that you can do to help prevent (or at least decrease) back pain
when pregnant. By being proactive, you might be able to decrease the chance of developing this pain, or at least limit its effects. Some of these prevention strategies include:
- Strengthening your abdominal muscles. Abdominal muscles (stomach muscles) provide support for the back. As the uterus and baby grow larger and your center of gravity changes, having strong abdominal muscles will help to support these changes.
- Exercising. Walking, swimming, and water aerobics are all good aerobic exercises while pregnant. Talk to your healthcare provider about what makes sense for your particular situation.
- Practicing good posture. Good posture includes standing straight and tall, while pulling your shoulders back and down.
- Asking for help with lifting large or heavy loads.
- Using good lifting techniques. This includes bending down to pick up objects, lifting with your knees, pulling in your stomach muscles, and keeping your head and neck in line with your straight back.
- Performing stretching and strengthening exercises for your back. Talk to your healthcare provider about which ones are appropriate for your situation.
- Wearing low-heeled shoes.
- Avoiding sitting or standing for long periods of time.
- Using a footstool while sitting to help raise your knees higher than your hips.
- Sleeping on your side with one or both knees bent and one or two pillows in between your legs. Sleeping on a firm mattress may also help.
- Using a small pillow behind the lower part of your back when sitting.
You can also use many of these techniques to help relieve back pain if it does occur.