During pregnancy, the ligaments in your body naturally become softer and stretch to prepare you for labour. This can put a strain on the joints of your lower back and pelvis, which can cause backache.
Avoiding backache in pregnancy
There are several things you can do to help prevent back pain from happening, and to help you cope with an aching back if it does occur.
The tips listed here can help you to protect your back – try to remember them every day:
- avoid lifting heavy objects
- bend your knees and keep your back straight when lifting or picking up something from the floor
- move your feet when turning round to avoid twisting your spine
- wear flat shoes as these allow your weight to be evenly distributed
- work at a surface high enough to prevent you stooping
- try to balance the weight between two bags when carrying shopping
- sit with your back straight and well supported
- make sure you get enough rest, particularly later in pregnancy
A firm mattress can also help to prevent and relieve backache. If your mattress is too soft, put a piece of hardboard under it to make it firmer. Massage can also help.
Exercises to ease backache in pregnancy
The gentle exercise below helps to strengthen stomach (abdominal) muscles and this can ease backache in pregnancy:
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advises that exercising in water, massage therapy, and group or individual back care classes might help to ease back pain in pregnancy.
Some local swimming pools provide aquanatal classes (gentle exercise classes in water, especially for pregnant women) with qualified instructors. Ask at your local leisure centre. Being in water will support your increasing weight.
Read more about: Pregnancy & Baby