Back pain or aches are extremely typical throughout pregnancy, particularly in the early stages.
Your body’s ligaments naturally soften and stretch during pregnancy to get you ready for labour. This increases tension on the joints in your lower back and pelvis, which may result in back discomfort.
To help with back pain during sleep, you can take certain steps in your day-to-day life during pregnancy to strengthen your muscles and enjoy a more comfortable night.
Practice good posture
Your body’s centre of gravity moves forward as your baby gets bigger in the womb. You might unconsciously try to compensate for falling forward by leaning back, which can strain your lower back muscles and worsen back pain during pregnancy. Remember these guidelines for maintaining proper posture:
- Stand tall and straight
- Keep your chest raised
- Keep your shoulders back
- Stop your knees from locking
For the optimum support when standing, use a comfortably wide posture. If you have to stand for an extended period of time, put one foot up on a low step stool. Schedule regular breaks if possible, to reduce the strain on your muscles.
Sitting carefully is another aspect of good posture. If you struggle to maintain good sitting posture, lay a small pillow behind your lower back or select a chair that offers extra support for your back.
Use a pregnancy pillow
A pregnancy pillow (whether it’s a full body pillow or a simple wedge) can reduce the strain on changing pressure points, fitting into the contours of your body to prevent or reduce pain in those key areas. Generally, pregnancy pillows help to:
- Ease your adjustment to a new sleeping position
- Keep your neck, back, and hips aligned during sleep
- Reduce the pressure around your hips and pubic bone by keeping your legs parallel to one another
- Improve circulation
- Relieve common pregnancy conditions like heartburn, nasal congestion, and leg cramps
- Prevent you from accidentally rolling over onto your back while you sleep
Sleep on your side, rather than your back. This alleviates any pressure that the baby may put on your internal organs. Try to keep one or both knees bent. Use pregnancy or support pillows behind your back, behind your belly, and between your bent knees.
Include physical activity in your daily routine
Regular exercise will help to keep your back strong and may even help with pregnancy-related back pain relief. Try gentle exercises like walking or swimming, but make sure to seek the approval of your doctor first. A physical therapist can also demonstrate stretches and workout routines that could be beneficial.
You might consider exercises that will extend your lower back. Your head should be in alignment with your back as you kneel down to rest. Pull in your stomach while gently rounding your shoulders. Hold this position for a few seconds, then let your back and tummy relax, trying to keep your back as flat as you can. Build up to 10 repetitions gradually. Inquire with your healthcare professional about further stretching techniques.
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