Back pain is prevalent among expectant mothers and is frequently associated with the expanding baby bump. Between 40 and 70 percent of pregnant women report suffering from low back pain, with some experiencing constant discomfort and others occasional pain.

Causes of Low Back Pain in Pregnancy

Many factors can lead to low back pain during pregnancy, most of which are linked to changes in a pregnant woman’s body.

  • Uterine Weight Gain: As the uterus gains weight during pregnancy, it can lead to the arching of the spine, causing muscle contractions and pain, especially in the evening.
  • Hormonal Changes: Pregnancy hormones, like relaxin, come into play. Relaxin makes the pelvic joints more mobile and elastic. However, it also affects the abdominal muscles that support the spine, making them less tight and contributing to discomfort.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Continuing to work into the later stages of pregnancy and engaging in various activities can put additional pressure on the spinal column, contributing to the development of back pain.

How to Relieve Back Pain in Pregnancy

Dealing with back pain during pregnancy can be a real challenge, but there are several effective ways to find relief:

  1. Heat Therapy and Massage: Applying a hot compress or gently massaging the painful area can help relax your muscles and provide relief. Also, consider soaking in a warm bath for about 30 minutes.
  2. Sleeping Position: Find a comfortable sleeping position. Lying on your side with a pillow under your belly and another one between your knees can alleviate discomfort and support your back.
  3. Movement: Slow down your movements and walk with proper posture. Keep your shoulders straight, feet apart, and your pelvis slightly tilted backward.
  4. Footwear: Opt for wide and comfortable shoes. Pregnancy can cause your feet to widen, so avoid high heels or very flat shoes like ballet flats.
  5. Posture: Pay attention to your posture when sitting. Use a chair with good lumbar support, and consider placing a cushion behind your back or under your buttocks to prevent excessive lower back arching.
  6. Exercise: Gentle exercises, yoga, stretching, and water workouts can significantly relieve low back pain during pregnancy. Consult with a professional to ensure you’re doing these exercises safely.
  7. Proper Movement: Be mindful of how you move. Distribute weight evenly when carrying something, and bend at the knees to pick up objects from low or ground-level positions.
  8. Consult a Doctor: If back pain persists despite your efforts, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional. They may recommend non-pharmacological treatments such as osteopathy, physiotherapy, acupuncture, or shiatsu to relieve your pain gently.