Easing Back Pain During Pregnancy

Back pain is common during pregnancy, as your centre of gravity shifts forward and there is increased strain on the back to keep your posture upright. The abdominal muscles, which also support your spine, become weak and stretch to accommodate the growing uterus, thus increasing the risk of back injury. Hormones released during pregnancy cause relaxation of the ligaments in your pelvic joints to prepare for your baby’s passage. If your pelvis becomes too flexible however, you can develop back pain.

To minimise your chances of developing back pain, your doctor recommends:

  • Wearing shoes which provide good support for the arches and avoiding heels
  • Sleeping on a firm supportive mattress
  • Squatting and bending your legs while picking up something
  • Good back support while sitting which can be achieved by a small pillow or other lumbar support device
  • Lying on your side with pillows between your legs when in bed

Exercise is recommended during pregnancy to strengthen the muscles supporting the spine. It can improve your posture, relieve pain and prepare you for labour. You can also find relief by applying a hot or cold pack to the sore area.

You should consult your doctor if back pain persists for longer than 2 weeks or is associated with fever, bleeding or burning while urinating. It could sometimes indicate urinary tract infection or early labour.

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