Various aches and pains can develop during pregnancy. Many of them are no more than an inconvenience and pose no harm to your or your baby.
For example, many pregnant women experience back pain. In fact, back pain is one of the most common pregnancy problems, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
At Westover Hills Women’s Health in San Antonio, Texas, our pregnancy care providers — including our doctors and certified nurse midwives — want you to enjoy your pregnancy. They understand that frustrating back pain can dampen your quality of life while you’re expecting.
Here, our providers offer some perspectives on what causes back pain while you’re pregnant and how you can deal with it.
Understanding the causes of pregnancy back pain
Pregnancy back pain often occurs when the weight of your baby and your uterus pulls or presses on your muscles and spine in ways that don’t occur when you’re not pregnant. As your center of gravity changes and you gain weight, muscles and joints experience unusual stresses and strains.
What’s more, hormonal changes that prepare your body for giving birth can also lead to overflexibility in some joints, which can contribute to back pain.
Although some women do continue to have back pain after they give birth, many new mothers find that their back pain decreases or disappears after their body starts returning to normal postdelivery.
Relieving your aching back
Fortunately, some simple approaches can help provide relief. These include the following:
Gain a just-right amount of weight
Gaining excess pregnancy weight puts additional strain on your joints and muscles. Try to gain the amount of weight your provider recommends.
Proper positioning while sitting, sleeping, standing, and lifting can help protect your back from postural pain. Ergonomic positioning is especially important if you sit or stand for long periods of time, such as at work.
To brush up on good posture, read this Guide to Good Posture from the National Library of Medicine.
Talk with your provider about pain-relief strategies
Various types of natural, nondrug therapies can help relieve back pain. For example, cold or heat may help ease muscle pain.
Your provider may recommend pain relief strategies such as the following:
- Gentle stretching or pregnancy yoga
- Daily walking or swimming
- Pregnancy massage
- Wearing support garments
- Sleeping with a body pillow
Be sure to tell your provider if you’re having back pain, and check with them before trying any pain-relief strategies. Never take any pain medication without first checking in with your provider.
In some cases, back pain may be a sign of pregnancy complications or nonpregnancy medical conditions, so you should not ignore it.
Find relief for your back pain
If you’re experiencing back pain or any other kind of symptoms during pregnancy, our doctors and certified nurse midwives can help. Call us today or use our online tool to book an appointment in one of our two offices in San Antonio, Texas.