Just as you begin to fall in love with that delightful bump housing your beautiful baby it may grow big enough – and heavy enough – to cause you back pain.
While over-the-counter pain relievers are the natural go-to for non-pregnant women, we aren’t 100% clear on what the long-term effects of these are on developing fetuses. Thus, we recommend women try to relieve pregnancy back pain as naturally as possible, only using OTC options when advised by a healthcare provider.
Natural Relief for Pregnancy Back Pain
Here are some of the most successful, natural pain relievers for our patients who experience pregnancy back pain.
Focus on good posture
Poor posture is a recipe for back pain, pregnancy or not. When you’re pregnant, however, posture is even more important since the body carries so much extra weight.
Read, Good Posture During Pregnancy, and see if there are areas where you could be more mindful in practicing good posture while standing or sitting.
Take a prenatal yoga class
There are many reasons why we recommend taking a prenatal yoga class – and relieving back pain (along with most other pregnancy-related aches, pains and discomforts) is one of them. Yoga does all kinds of wonderful things like building strength, flexibility and stamina to support you during labor and delivery, as well as teaching you important poses to help your regain post-partum pelvic strength and tone.
Hit the pool
Swimming and water exercises are other forms of pregnancy-safe exercises that support
your body (it feels blissful to float with a pregnant belly!). When your body is buoyantly suspended in water, the spine is relieved of all that extra pressure. This relief can decrease inflammation impacting compressed nerves. Plus, the rhythmic breathing and meditative state of mind inherent in swimming are a relaxing benefit too.
Support the spine while you sleep
While you may feel like the pain is worst while you’re up and about during the day, the worst damage done to your back may be taking place while you’re sleeping – or trying to sleep – if the spine isn’t adequately supported.
Since most pregnant women sleep on their sides, you can fold a thick towel length-wise and lay it perpendicular to your body at the point where your spine “sags” the most while lying down. By laying the towel perpendicularly, the back is supported all night long, regardless of when you change positions. Placing a wedge or a correctly-sized/proportioned pillow under your belly can also help when lying on your side.
Try ear (auricular) acupuncture (or the whole acupuncture shebang)
Multiple studies show that one-week of consecutive auricular acupuncture relieves back and pelvic discomfort during pregnancy. More traditional acupuncture can be used as well. Visit NCCAOM to find a licensed acupuncturist near you.
Wear comfortable clothing and shoes
For goodness’ sake, don’t let your penchant for fashion get in the way of physical comfort. Tight or restrictive clothing, high-heels, shoes without proper cushioning and support – all will affect your pelvis and back. There is always a way to look both fashionable without contributing to back pain or other pregnancy discomforts.
Did you just find out you’re pregnant? Visit us here at Overlake and see if we’re the right fit for you and your baby. Our team of OBs and midwives will do our best to provide the most comfortable pregnancy, labor and delivery for you both.