Congratulations! You’re pregnant! That’s a great news- and if you’re a first time mom, you have a good reason to celebrate one of the best moments of your life.
There are moments when being pregnant feels so magical and thrilling that you never want it to end. One thing is for certain-there’s no other experience in life comparable to the feeling you experience when you finally realize you are pregnant; these nine months will change your life forever!
You need to be prepared both physically and mentally for big changes that will now happen in the next few months of your pregnancy-your body will start producing some hormones, including the hormone ‘relaxin’, which helps prepare the body for childbirth. One of the effects of ‘relaxin’ is the loosening of ligaments throughout the body, making pregnant women less stable and more prone to injury; and as the belly grows larger, the muscles strain to carry extra weight, especially in the back region, which in turn, leads to back pain.
Pregnancy is thought to be a predisposing factor which leads to other conditions that can generate discomfort and low back pain during early stages of pregnancy is due to both mechanical and hormonal factors. Studies indicate that somewhere between a half and three quarters of pregnant women suffer from back pain at some point of time during their pregnancy period.
Causes of Back Pain in Pregnant Women:
Pregnancy back pain is typically observed in the area where the pelvis meets your spine, at the sacroiliac joint. The most common causes of back pain during early pregnancy include:
1. Weight Gain:
During a healthy pregnancy period, women tend to gain a lot of weight and it is the spine that has to support that weight. The weight of the growing baby and uterus exerts pressure on the blood vessels and nerves in the pelvis and back which causes back pain in early pregnancy.
2. Posture Changes:
Pregnancy shifts your centre of gravity. As a result, there you may experience back pain due to stretched abdominal muscles that restrict you from maintaining proper alignment.
3. Muscle Separation:
As the uterus expands, two parallel sheets of muscles that run from the rib cage to the pubic bone may separate along the centre seam. This separation may worsen back pain.
Emotional stress can cause muscle tension in the back, which may be experienced as back pain or back spasms.
[ Read: How To Reduce Stress During Pregnancy ]
You are more likely to experience back pain during your pregnancy if you are overweight or if it is not your first pregnancy. Strenuous work, previous low back or pelvic pain, or injury to your pelvis can also cause back pain in pregnancy.
Although back pain is synonymous with pregnancy, it is curable! Understanding the causes of back pain and what can be done to alleviate it, can provide some relief.
11 Treatments to Ease Back Pain During Pregnancy:
Here we’ve put down some tips and tricks to help you deal with back pain during early pregnancy.
1. Know Your Limits!
Try not to lift heavy objects. In case you have to bend to pick up something heavy, lift it correctly! Don’t bend at waist; bend on your knees or squat and lift it. Do not strain your back.
[ Read: Lifting Weight During Pregnancy ]
2. Practice Good Posture:
- Avoid sitting or standing for a long time. Use a stool or a resting chair and avoid standing on one foot. Sit periodically in case you have to stand for a long duration.
- Sit on chairs that have supportive backs or use pillows at your back, and try to sit up straight.
- Stand straight with your shoulders relaxed.
- At work and when driving, consider a lumbar support for your chair. Try not to cross your legs, and check whether the position of your computer screen and chair are correct. Try to move away from your desk regularly and get fresh air at lunchtime.
- Be careful while getting done with your household work. Avoid heavy strenuous works.
- Use a warm towel or a heating pad on the lowest setting to provide you comfort.
- If you have a toddler and you are pregnant, it’s especially important that you adhere to correct lifting techniques with them too. Always kneel or squat to pick up your child and if this becomes difficult, sit down and let your child climb up onto your lap.
[ Read: Heating Pads During Pregnancy ]
3. Sleep Easy!
- Sleep on your side and do not lock your knees. Consider using a pregnancy/support pillow to make sleeping more comfortable, or place a pillow between your knees and another under your belly; this prevents your top leg from twisting across your body into the recovery position while you sleep.
- Use a firm mattress to sleep on.
- To get out of bed, roll on to one side and push yourself up to a sitting position, then slowly stand up.
- Ask your gynaecologist to recommend stretching, tummy and stabilization exercises and such low-impact exercises which are safe for you — these regular exercises can help ease back pain and boost your body flexibility.
- Get a gentle pregnancy massage if your doctor gives a nod for it!
- Never take any medications without checking with your doctor first, it may cause complications in pregnancy later.
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