Coping with Back Aches:
– See a Chiropractor: This is not always an option but consider putting it in the budget at least once during your pregnancy. Information they can give you on stretches that address your specific issues is worth the price, and can be used regularly.
– Elevate you feet often: Staying moderately active during pregnancy is crucial but so is resting. Listen to your body. When you rest elevating your feet can help with the strain on your lower back.
– Stretch Daily: These can be simple stretches targeted at your pain areas. The Mayo Clinic has these recommended stretches . Also joining a yoga class can be a way to tend to your mind and your body. Stretching should be relaxing and not a chore. Doing a few minutes every day is better than doing an hour a few times a month. And remember yoga or exercise should be cleared with your care provider.
– Be mindful of your posture: It is so easy, especially if you spend a lot of time working at a desk or standing at a counter, to fall into a bad posture. Maybe set a reminder on your phone or with a sticky note to sit or stand up straight. This can also be a good way to remind yourself to stretch for a minute or two before continuing your task..
– Sit on an exercise ball when you can: Exercise balls are usually around $20, and likely you’ll have a friend or a doula who will lend you one! And it has value beyond pregnancy for stretching and exercise. Also kids love to play with them! Sitting on the ball automatically makes your body want to sit in a better posture position. They can also be used at a desk!
– Soothing bath: Again this is something that can help for the pregnancy aches but also gives you time to relax in peace and quiet (hopefully!). You can add some Lavender essential oil to the bathwater to make it extra soothing. Bath salts are great too! Check out this pregnancy herbal bath packets that make for a very soothing bath!
– Light Swimming: If approved by your care provider relaxing in the pool is a great way to ease those aching muscles and joints!
– Avoid Standing for long periods of time: This can be hard to do if you work at a job where it Is required. Maybe talk with your boss about taking a few 5 minute breaks every hour or two, or having a chair nearby you can rest on when work is slow. It will increase your overall productivity.
– Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees: This will likely be a necessity! Go ahead and get a pregnancy pillow or a bunch of regular pillows(The don’t have to be the expensive ones, $3 Walmart pillows work great!). You can also try adding a small pillow or rolled up towel under the side of your belly and/or behind your back, this will help prevent your belly from pulling on your back muscles while you sleep.
– Wear comfortable and supportive shoes: They do not have to be expensive to be beneficial. It can be something as simple as choosing tennis shoes with some Walmart insoles, over those cute flats. Wearing comfortable shoes is also helpful for swelling. Where open or no shoes when you are able and avoid tight closed in shoes or socks.
– Have your partner give you massages often: They don’t have to be a professional. Regular massages are for your emotional and mental health not just the aching muscles. You can also use that time to have your partner talk to the baby to aid in bonding. Also try borrowing a book from your local library on massages or put massage gift certificates on your baby registry.
– Stay moderately active: Stay as close as you can to whatever activity level you were at before you were pregnant. And this is an overall goal not a daily goal. It takes a lot of work to grow a human being, be patient with yourself. Also do not actively try to work out to lose weight while you are pregnant. And any exercise you do should be cleared by your care provider. Also avoid heavy lifting when you can.
* It is important to not wait until you are miserable to work on your physical health. Get those back rubs before it hurts! Most pregnant women face back aches of some kind, so being prepared is better safe than sorry.