Oh My Aching Back
Is pregnancy becoming a pain in the back? You’re not alone. Back pain is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy. It commonly starts between the second and third trimesters and continues throughout pregnancy.
What Causes It
Increased lower back curvature and a tilting of the pelvis due to increased weight gain and changes in the centre of the gravity. Stretching and weakening of the abdominal muscles also puts more stress on the lower back muscles. Another reason is widening and increased laxity of the joints due to the release of the hormone, Relaxin. This increase in joint motion in the pelvis contributes to pregnancy-related pelvic pain.
What You Can Do
1. Practise good posture. Avoid slouching. Also use chairs that have good support, preferably with a straight back, arms and a firm cushion. Use a footrest to elevate your feet and don’t cross your legs.
2. Take short breaks. Walk or stand and stretch at least once an hour.
3. Avoid lugging heavy loads. Or if you must do so, adopt the right posture when lifting.
4. Avoid piling on the kilos. Extra weight gain will worsen your back pain.
5. Wear the right shoes. Avoid high heels as well as flat ballerinas. Choose shoes with a 2-inch heel to keep your body in proper alignment.
6. Get a firm mattress. Or a body pillow to minimise stress to your back.
7. Try prenatal yoga. This could help relax your mind and consequently, your back.
8. Strengthen your abs. Do pelvic tilts to strengthen your abs, which in turn support your back.
9. Get a massage. Get one with a masseuse trained in prenatal massage and who knows you’re pregnant. Do this after the first trimester.