1. Improve your posture during pregnancy
If you are getting back pain in pregnancy the best advice is to try and maintain the best posture that you can. The change in your centre of balance will be throwing you off just that. So the trick is to keep your ears and shoulders in line with one another to work as a harmonious, loving power couple. Neither is ahead of the other and both keep the other in line. The best way to check that is to catch yourself in the mirror to the side, or ask someone to keep an eye on you. The most common fault is to throw your head forwards. It is true that you head weighs the same weight as a bowling ball so imagine how that will pull your whole body forwards and put huge strain on your back.
2. Avoid standing up
Push to the front of queues. Well not literally perhaps but try to avoid standing for too long. Your postural muscles are already working overtime aggravated by the hormone Relaxin. As this flows through your body and causes your muscles and ligaments to relax through pregnancy your support system is not at its best. And make the most of grabbing those priority seats on trains and buses.
3. Use a pelvic support belt
Before you were pregnant I am sure that Gok Wan coached you into buying those belts to cinch in your waist and create that elusive hourglass figure. Well now you won’t give a monkey’s about an hourglass but may still be picking up a belt – namely a specific maternity support belt. These support your bump in the later stages of pregnancy to relieve the strain through your back and now you can even get them for post-partum to continue the support until you regain your physical strength.
4. Sleep with a pillow between your knees
As odd as that may sound, straddling a pillow between your knees when lying on your side in bed may well be the support that you need to your bump and enough to relax the muscles of your pelvis, which will be having a tough time of things with all these changes going on. Ideally, if you are planning on going through more than one pregnancy I would absolutely recommend investing in one of the pregnancy pillows which you can buy from any good maternity store. Compare prices as they can vary tremendously and they may not look attractive but they are long enough to stretch along your whole body which minimises the chance of them slipping or being expelled from the bed during the night.
5. Computers make back pain in pregnancy worse
Your desk and workstation set up at work is incredibly important during your pregnancy so if your company has an internal occupational assessment team then now is the time to rope them in. Other problems can occur too. Not only does your desk height, angle, and distance matter to your back but so too does your keyboard and mouse use. Carpal tunnel syndrome is all too common during pregnancy (thanks to fluid retention) a wrist support is important for use with a keyboard and many women prefer to switch from a conventional mouse to an upright one which requires the arm to be at a more favourable angle of sideways; or else use a roller pad. Everyone has a different preference but it is worth bearing it in mind.
6. Have a bath to ease a bad back
A warm bath can help back aches. Enjoy lots of warm baths during pregnancy to help to relax your muscles as well as your mind but make sure that you can happily dip your toe into the water without jumping from the heat. The water should never be more than warm during pregnancy as it can be stressful for the baby.
7. Go shoe shopping
Finally an excuse to get the credit card out and hit the shops – this time however it won’t be for glamorous purchases. During pregnancy it is a good idea to banish the stilettos and kitten heels and opt for sensible lace ups. It isn’t the height of the heel that is important but the support of the shoe to the foot, and therefore rest of your body. As pregnancy progresses the foot arches can flatten and contribute to back pain. Imagine that your feet are the foundations of a house and that your pregnancy is akin to planning an extension on the property. You wouldn’t start without assessing that the foundations are excellent or the rest of the house would be under strain. Your body is the same, particularly during pregnancy where your centre of gravity is changed and your supporting tissues are less…well, supporting. And it is for this reason that cheap ballet pumps are also out I am afraid as they offer zero support to your feet.