Back pain is a common issue for pregnant women, according to both the Mayo Clinic and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The large amount of weight gain, particularly in the stomach where the baby is growing, adds stress to the back muscles. Fortunately, through exercising, you can stretch and strengthen your back muscles, helping to ease the pain. Look for exercises that are easy to do and don’t require you to lie on your back.
The child’s pose is a yoga exercise that stretches your lower back. Sit on your knees, with your butt touching your heels. Bend down and reach your hands as far away from your body as you can and your forehead resting on the ground, if possible. You may have to spread your legs a bit to make room for your belly. Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds.
While standing, bend at the waist with your torso straight until your torso is parallel with the floor. Then, stand up straight again. This helps to strengthen your back muscles. Do this 10 times.
Pelvic tilts help with both stretching and strengthening. Get down on the floor on all fours–most likely, your lower back will naturally arch to the ground with the weight of your belly. Tilt your pelvic muscles to bring your back to a vertical position. If you can, arch it the other way, like a cat. Then, return to your starting position. Repeat this at least 10 times.
With your back against the wall, slide your body down so that you are in a squatting position. Your legs should be bent at a 90-degree angle, with thighs parallel to the floor, and your back pressing firmly against the wall. Start by holding the position as long as you can, working your way up to one minute.
Start on the ground on your hands and knees. Bring your right knee into your stomach, then stretch the leg out behind you. Repeat 10 times on each leg. This works your lower back, butt and thigh muscles.
Moving around in general can help strengthen your back and loosen the muscles. While you may be tempted to just rest when you have pregnancy back pain, it’s much better for you to move around. Walking is a great low-impact exercise for pregnant women.