How To Alleviate Back Pain During Pregnancy
We enlisted the help of Dr. Robin Elise Weiss, president of Lamaze International, to share her secrets for easing those oh-so-annoying back pains that can appear when you’re expecting.
The Pelvic Tilt
Dr. Weiss says one of the easiest ways to alleviate back pain is to do what’s called a pelvic tilt. If you’ve never practiced this before, use a wall for assistance.
“Stand up straight and relax,” said Dr. Weiss. “Inhale and as you exhale, slowly think of pressing the small of your back to the wall so that your whole back is touching the wall. Notice how your pelvis moves up and forward when you do this.”
From there, take that pelvic movement and incorporate it into other postures, such as on your hands and knees.
“While it’s a small movement, the difference is huge in how you will feel,” she said.
It’s All In The Posture
Proper posture might be the last thing on your mind during your third trimester, but paying attention to it can work wonders for your throbbing back.
Proper posture begins with your head held high, as if a string was pulling the top of your head toward the ceiling. Your ears should be aligned over your shoulders, so you’re not leaning forward.
“Try to think of your shoulders held back and your shoulder blades closer together,” said Dr. Weiss. “You should try to pull in your abdominal muscles as well.”
Your knees should face forward, as well as your hips.
If you haven’t had the best posture in the past, it may feel awkward at first. Weiss says it’s normal to need to practice this a bit first to “get it.”
“What is different about pregnancy is the growing abdomen and the shifting in the center of gravity after the fourth month of pregnancy,” she said. “So assuming this posture can help, even with the growing abdomen.”
Practicing proper posture prevents the classic “pregnancy waddle,” or leading with the belly, which actually leads to more back pain.
You probably know that lifting heavy objects can be the source of back pain, and this is no different during pregnancy. Every women’s limitations are different.
Dr. Weiss advises you talk with your doctor about how much you can manage to lift, and at what point in your pregnancy you should stop lifting heavy objects altogether.
If you’re still experiencing chronic back pain, Dr. Weiss says regular visits to the chiropractor may help you keep your spine in alignment and adjust to your shifting center of gravity.
“Some chiropractors also have specialized training to adjust the mother in a way that can help optimize the baby’s position, this is known as the Webster Technique,” she said.
Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH, CPH, LCCE President, is the president of Lamaze International.
Have a can’t-miss tip for easing back pain during pregnancy? Share it with us in the comments below.