Studies suggest that up to 90 percent of pregnant women will experience low back and/or pelvic pain related to their pregnancy. The weight gain during pregnancy can also place additional stress on the hips, feet, ankles and knees. The pain also contributes to other problems, such as sleep disturbances, use of pain medication and disruption of activities of daily living — sometimes just standing for half an hour can prove too painful to manage.
As the baby grows, the abdominal muscles become stretched, and may not be able to provide as much support to the pelvis and spine. To help prevent low back pain and other aches, expectant mothers can perform simple core strengthening exercises that can help reduce stress on their back.
Keep your back healthy at home
Here are some ways to reduce the risk of back and neck pain:
- Lighten your load
Choose a diaper bag that distributes weight evenly across your body to limit the stress of isolated muscles.
- Stretch your body
While your baby is old enough for tummy time, join them on the floor and do some exercises to stretch your neck and back.
- Feed comfortably
When nursing, avoid hunching and keep your baby close to you. Also choose a comfortable, upright chair with a pillow.
- Keep your baby close
Don’t stretch your arms out – bring your baby close to your chest before lifting. Consider wearing your baby on your front so you can alleviate the strain on your back.
- Keep tub trouble at bay
Avoid reaching or twisting when bending over a tub. When kneeling, use a non-slip mat to protect your knees.
Exercises/stretches to help alleviate your back pain at home:
- Shoulder opener
Breathing deeply and calmly, relax your stomach muscles
Let your head hang loosely forward and gently roll from side to side
Bring your hands up to your neck and gently massage the back of your head and neck
Drop your arms to your sides, relax your shoulders & slowly roll them backward and forward for 15 seconds
Standing with feet shoulder width apart, raise your hands
Bring your right elbow across your body while lifting your left knee
Touch elbow to knee, remaining upright and repeat alternating sides for 15 seconds
There is no time for back pain in parenthood. Consult our Chiropractors so that you can stay on your toes and a step ahead of your toddler.