Among the many aches and discomforts of pregnancy, lower back pain is one of the most common… and the most annoying. But here’s some good news: you don’t have to put up with it! We have 10 hot tips to help you relieve your lower back pain during pregnancy and feel like yourself again (sorta)…
I swore I wouldn’t waddle when I was pregnant. I SWORE. But lo and behold, sometime during my second trimester, I started to rock from one foot to the other when I walked like some sort of overgrown penguin. I couldn’t help it – my lower back was killing me and waddling seemed to ease the pain. As it turns out, my sexy side-to-side shuffle probably aggravated the issue instead of helping it. Whoops.
If your aching back is cramping your pregnancy style, you’re not alone – lower back pain is one of the most common complaints reported by pregnant women. When you consider that your belly is growing, your center of gravity is shifting and causing your posture to change, and your body is being flooded with a hormone called relaxin that loosens the joints and ligaments in your pelvis in preparation for childbirth, it’s really no surprise that your lower back is sore. But you don’t have to sit back and take it.
How to relieve lower back pain during pregnancy
Had enough of rubbing your sore back without getting any relief? Here 10 effective ways to soothe pregnancy backaches.
- Stay active: Strong back and core muscles will reduce the stress on your spine and ease back pain. Try low-impact activities such as swimming and walking, keeping your core muscles engaged throughout. Exercises such as pelvic tilts can also help strengthen your abdominal muscles gently and safely. And if you’re into yoga, keep it up at a moderate intensity – light stretching will relieve your lower back pain too.
- Mind your posture: You might be tempted to flop into your chair whenever you have a chance to sit down, but slouching can put more pressure on your spine. Try to sit in an ergonomic chair with a straight back, place a rolled-up towel behind your lower back for support, and rest your feet on a footrest or a stack of books.
- Wear BLANQI maternity supportwear: BLANQi’s innovative X-shaped back support not only eases pressure on the lower back, it also encourages better posture and helps you stand up straight. The Maternity Built-in Support Bellyband can be worn over your favorite jeans and under flowy tops, the Maternity Belly Support Tanktop looks fantastic on its own, and the Maternity Underbust Belly Support Tank is the perfect layering piece. BLANQI supportwear will make you look and feel so amazing, you’ll never want to wear anything else – even after you have your baby! (It’s a good thing there’s postpartum supportwear too.)
- Apply hot and cold: Alternating hot and cold compresses can help soothe lower back pain during pregnancy (but it’s best to get the green light from your healthcare provider first). You can either alternate hot and cold every 15 minutes or use cold compresses several times a day for a few days before switching to hot compresses. Never apply the compresses to your belly.
- Get a pregnancy massage: Regular prenatal massages performed by a qualified massage therapist can put the spring back in your step (but please don’t spring!).
- Try alternative therapies: Some women swear by acupuncture and chiropractic treatment to alleviate lower back pain during pregnancy, but make sure to get your doctor’s approval before you book an appointment.
- Wear low-heeled shoes: This might come as a surprise, but completely flat shoes are a no-no during pregnancy (as are very high heels – sorry!). The ideal heel height is two inches to keep your back properly aligned.
- Lift correctly: Never lift heavy loads when you’re pregnant. If you do need to pick something up off the floor, bend at the knees, squat down, and lift with your arms and legs. Don’t bend at the waist or lift with your back.
- Sleep on your side: Sleeping on your back can aggravate lower back pain, so sleep on your side and consider using a body or maternity pillow for extra support.
- Relax: This is easier said than done when your pregnancy hormones are raging and your to-do list is growing by the minute, but stress can cause back muscles to become tense and sore. Try a daily 10-minute meditation session with an app such as Calm or Headspace, or go for a short walk to clear your head when you feel your stress levels starting to rise.
When to see your doctor
There are some symptoms that should never be ignored during pregnancy. Call your doctor right away if you experience severe back pain, rhythmic cramps, difficulty urinating, pins and needles in your arms and legs, or back pain accompanied by bleeding or fever.