Back pain affects many pregnant women, particularly as the pregnancy progresses. The growing stomach throws off the balance, often affecting a woman’s posture and the way she walks. Weak abdominal muscles add to the back pain because the spine doesn’t receive as much support. Whatever the cause, back pain adds to the discomfort of pregnancy, causing many women to search for relief. Pain medication use during pregnancy is limited, but there are other ways to ease back pain.
Wear supportive, comfortable shoes to give yourself a solid base. Uncomfortable shoes or high heels can throw off your posture, causing worse back pain.
Exercise on a regular basis to improve back strength for better posture. Low-impact exercise, such as walking or swimming, helps relieve back pain in some women.
Focus on maintaining good posture when walking and sitting. Keep your shoulders back as you keep a tall, straight stance.
Sit in a supportive, comfortable chair. Add a pillow behind the small of your back for better support if your chair isn’t comfortable.
Sleep in a side position rather than on your back to avoid or decrease pain. Use a body pillow to support your growing belly, with the end tucked between your knees for more comfort and better body alignment as you sleep.
Alternate between sitting and standing. If your job requires you to stand for long periods of time, ask for a stool or sit down occasionally to give your back a break. If you sit for most of the day, get up and walk around to loosen the muscles.
Take a warm bath or apply warmth to your back to relieve pain. Ice helps some women, while others alternate between the two.
Get a prenatal massage or ask your partner to rub your back to help relieve the pain.
Squat when you pick up objects rather than bending at the waist. Ask for help when lifting heavy items to avoid more strain on your back.
Take acetaminophen as directed on the package. Acetaminophen is the one pain reliever that is generally considered safe throughout pregnancy unless your physician suggests not using it.
Strengthen abdominal muscles. Mayo Clinic recommends pelvic tilts, which start with you on all fours. Arch your back upward and bring in the abdomen, holding for a few seconds before releasing the position. Repeat five to 10 times.