Oh My Aching Back: Welcome to Pregnancy
A lot of women suffer from backache in early pregnancy. A sore back can be one of the very early pregnancy signs. And of all the early signs you are pregnant, backache is probably one of the most subtle. After all, there can be any number of reasons for a backache. Unlike other early symptoms of pregnancy, many of which are over by the end of the first 3 months (first trimester) of pregnancy, backache often continues throughout your entire pregnancy. Fortunately this early sign that you are pregnant is most often alleviated by a few simple preventative measures and home treatments.
Why Does My Back Hurt?
In addition to fatigue, breast tenderness, and morning sickness you may be troubled by persistent lower backache. This is caused by a number of factors including weight gain and changes in posture. Orthopedic doctors will tell you that weight gain as little as five pounds can throw your back out of alignment. You'll be gaining a lot more than that before the end of your healthy pregnancy. To make matters worse, instead of being equally distributed all over your body, the weight is concentrated in the front of your torso. This pulls on your back, changing your posture and straining the back.
Another reason for low back pain during pregnancy is that you will most likely alter your sleeping position. If you lay on your side in an effort to be comfortable, the weight of your growing belly will pull the back muscles. To make matters worse, the hormones coursing through your changing body are starting to loosen the joints and ligaments in preparation for childbirth. It's no wonder that an estimated 50% of pregnant women will experience low back pain.
How to Make Your Back Feel Better
Because your back will continue to be under some strain for your entire pregnancy, it's important to know how to get some relief. Here are some ways to get comfort:Soak
Long baths can help to relieve back pain. Keep the water warm, but not hot, as water hotter than 102F can harm the baby. A good alternative is to apply hot packs directly to the affected areato relax strained muscles and ligaments.
Get More Pillows
A bad back is pain enough, you don't want to be tired to boot. If backache is keeping you up at night, try using a pillow specially designed for comfort during pregnancy. The pregnancy pillow is made for side sleeping. It's huge so you can put your head on one end while also putting the pillow between your knees at the same time.Exercise
Exercising from the beginning of your pregnancy helps to strengthen and stretch your muscles.
Walking and swimming are great for pregnancy women, but you can do almost anything that you did before you got pregnant.
Sit Up Straight
Take extra care during pregnancy to use good posture when sitting or standing. People who work at a computer need to be careful to sit properly, as well as to take periodic breaks.
Disclaimer: I'm no doctor, just a mom who has been there and done that. This article cannot substitute professional advise from your physician. Please consult your doctor before using any advice listed in this article.