Low back pain is a common complaint during pregnancy, especially as the increasing weight of your growing baby places extra strain on your lumbar region. Although you may not be able to avoid back pain completely, correct posture and exercise may help minimize your pain. Properly supporting your lower abdomen and lumbar region may also help to ease your discomfort.
Back Pain in Pregnancy
According to American Pregnancy Association, 50 to 70 percent of all pregnant women experience back pain. A variety of conditions can cause pain in your lumbar region during pregnancy. Common factors include an increase in hormones that cause your joints to loosen and relax, weight gain, changes in your center of gravity, stress and poor posture.
Strengthening and toning your muscles can help support your lower back during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially during pregnancy. In addition to supporting your lumbar region, strengthening your core muscles may also help ease your back pain during pregnancy and labor.
Although sitting may help take your some of the stress off your feet, improper sitting can increase back and hip pain. The Cleveland Clinic advises using a lumbar roll or small, rolled-up towel behind the curve of your back. This soft support can help keep your lower spine in a gently curved position. When driving, adjust your seat so you are close to the steering wheel to support the curve in your lumbar region.
Sleeping in a supported position can help relieve back pain. Lying on your side with your knees slightly bent can help you maintain the natural curvature in your back. Placing a soft pillow between your knees can help keep your hips and pelvis from turning inward. Experiment with body pillows and rolled sheets or towels to find the best level of support.
Although back pain is common during pregnancy, extreme pain or discomfort that disrupts your sleep may require medical care. Contact your doctor if you experience lumbar pain that does not respond to self-help measures. Rhythmic cramping pains, as well as severe back pain, may signal a problem with your pregnancy or the beginning of labor.