October 15, 2008

Pains in Pregnancy: Backaches

back to back, barefoot & pregnant - _MG_7123

Image by sean dreilinger via Flickr

Pains in pregnancy can rob some of the joy in this precious time of a woman’s life. Backaches are some of the most common pains in pregnancy. With the extra weight that a pregnant woman carries (which is all out front with the larger breasts and belly), her sense of balance is off. When you’re pregnant, you also have looser ligaments, thanks to pregnancy hormones, contributing to the problem. If you are an expectant mother and your back is bothering you, here are some ways to find relief.

Your center of gravity will shift as the pregnancy progresses. When standing from a seated position, rise slowly. Any quick movements could make you lose your balance and fall. Prop your feet up on a low stool when you sit down to align your back properly.

[ad#ad-2] Exercise

Exercise relieves back pain. Ask your doctor which exercises are allowed during each trimester of the pregnancy. Walking is one of the safest ways to keep your back healthy. Pilates is also good for back pain and very comfortable during pregnancy. Maintain proper posture and pay careful attention to form when exercising to avoid further back aches.

Pelvic tilt exercises stretch the back and feel wonderful at the end of a long day. Kneel on the floor on the hands and knees. Arch your back and tighten your abdominal muscles. Hold for a count of five. Slowly bring your back to the starting position. Do pelvic tilts 3 times a day and be consistent to get the maximum effect.

Lie down, (but not flat on your back) to get some relief from back pain. Place a pillow under the knees and another under your head. Or you can also lie flat on the floor with your feet propped up on a chair covered with a pillow. If you are not comfortable on your back due to the added weight of the baby, lie on your side. Use a body pillow to support your growing belly and a regular pillow between your knees. Curl forward in the fetal position to stretch the muscles of the back and the vertebrae.


Get to a massage therapist or day spa. Some spas offer massage therapy for pregnant women. The treatments are relaxing and go a long way to relieve lower back pains. Check with your doctor or midwife to be sure that a massage is safe for you at your particular stage of pregnancy, as some massage techniques can encourage the start of labor.

Heat Therapy

Use a heating pad or a hot water bottle. Warmth can help relieve pain. Afterwards, have another person rub the warmed area to massage the muscle. A little massage oil with aromatherapy would be a nice touch.

Back pain in pregnancy is extremely common, but these simple measures can help relieve the pain. Keep in mind that sudden low back pain that feels crampy or wraps around to the front of the belly could be labor! Call your midwife or doctor if you’re not sure.

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Disclaimer: This website is not a substitute for consultation with your health care giver. You should not use any of the exercises or treatments mentioned in this website, without clearance from your physician or health care provider.

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Alexis Rodrigo