• Dr. Monica Ngo

Pregnancy Series 1: Minimizing Pregnancy Related Back Pain

Updated: Jul 24

Did you know that at least half of all pregnant women experience back pain? And 10% of those report pain severe enough that it impact their ability to perform their daily routines and activities. Read below to learn simple tips you can take to help protect your back during pregnancy.


What causes pregnancy-related back pain in the first place?


When pregnant, it is normal to gain more than 25-30 lbs. However, this extra weights can cause significant stress on your back, knees, ankles and feet. During this time, as your baby grows your core abdominal muscles also becomes stretch and thus cannot stabilize the rest of your body as well as they did before. During the third trimester a hormone called "relaxin" increases. This hormone helps loosen the joints in the body to allow the pelvis to accommodate the growing uterus. This causes the muscles of the back and pelvis to work overtime to keep you upright and balanced and thus leading to back pain.


TRY THESE TIPS TO HELP MINIMIZE YOUR RISK OF BACK PAIN:


Exercise

Low impact activities such as; swimming, walking, yoga or stationary cycling can help relieve pain and maintain fitness.


Sleep Position


It is best to sleep on the left side of your body to help reduce the pressure of your uterus and the large blood vessels in your abdomen. This helps optimize blood flow to both you and your baby.




Pillow Position

Place a pillow between your knees to take of pressure off your lower back when sleeping on your side.







Support Your Body


Due to the added weight its important to wear supportive shoes and use a lumbar pillow in your chair at home or at work to help your back. If your job entails a lot of sitting it is best to take frequent breaks and walk around for a few minutes each hour.


Take Breaks


Take frequent short breaks with your feet elevated. Having adequate rest helps restore your energy and give your body a chance to rest.




Note: Always consult your healthcare provider if you have any further questions or concerns in regards to your pregnancy.

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