Causes Of Back Pain During Pregnancy

A good number of pregnant women will experience back pain at some point in their pregnancy. Backache is one of the most common pregnancy symptoms.

And, unfortunately for some women, backache starts early on in pregnancy and persists or worsens until they give birth.

Causes of Back Pain in Pregnant Women

There are many possible reasons why pregnant women experience back pain. Some of the most likely causes of back pain in pregnant women are:

1. Weight gain

The weight of the growing baby and uterus puts pressure on the blood vessels and nerves in the pelvis and back. The extra weight you’re carrying means more work for your muscles and increased stress on your joints, which is why you feel pain in your lower back.

2. Posture changes

Pregnancy shifts your center of gravity. As a result, you may gradually -even without noticing- begin to adjust your posture and the way you move. This may result in back pain or strain.

3. Hormonal changes

During pregnancy, your body makes a hormone called relaxin which causes your ligaments to stretch and joints to loosen in preparation for the birthing process. The same hormone can cause ligaments that support the spine to loosen, leading to instability and pain.

4. Stress

Emotional stress can cause muscle tension in the back, which may be felt as back pain or back spasms. You may find that you experience an increase in back pain during stressful periods of your pregnancy.

Preventing Back Pain

Making sure your body is fit and healthy before getting pregnant can help prevent back pain. Pregnany-approved exercises can also lower the risks of developing pregnancy-related back pain.
Women who are unaccustomed to exercise are advised to take things slowly. Keeping a moderate exercise regimen, having the correct posture, refraining from lifting heavy objects, and taking good care of the back can ensure the prevention of pregnancy-related back pain.

If lifting is unavoidable, knees should be bent, the back kept straight, and the object held close to the body as possible.

Ways to Alleviate Back Pain

1.) Watch your posture

Watch your posture when you’re sitting. At home and at work, make sure the chairs you use most provide good support, preferably with a straight back, arms, and a firm cushion. Use a footrest to elevate your feet slightly, and don’t cross your legs as this can cause your pelvis to tilt forward, worsening those strained back muscles.

Slouching should be avoided, and the back should be arched whenever possible. It is advisable use a cushion or a cushioned ring to make sitting more comfortable.

2.) Massage

Massage can result in considerable relief for tired and aching muscles. One relaxing method is to lean over the back of a chair or lie on one side while the muscles on both sides of the lower spine are massaged. Massage performed by a massage therapist, a midwife, or a physiotherapist may further relieve back pain.

3.) Heat and water

Taking a warm and soothing bath, using a hot pack, or even a warm water shower can alleviate symptoms of back pain.

4.) Wearing a support belt

A maternity or support belt can help hold up the baby’s weight, easing the strain on the stomach and back muscles.

5.) Using a support pillow

Sleeping on one side with a wedged-shaped pillow beneath the tummy can lessen back pain.

6.) Strength and stability exercises

Exercises involving the pelvis and lower abdominals can strengthen back and stomach muscles to help support the baby’s weight. One example of a simple and safe abdominal exercise involves getting down on the floor on the hands and knees, making sure the back is in a level position. While breathing in and out, the belly button is pulled in towards the spine and the back held immobile for 5 to 10 seconds. The stomach muscles are then allowed to relax after each contraction.

7.) Swimming

Scientific research has shown swimming and other water exercises can significantly decrease pregnancy-related back pain.

8.) Wear the right shoes

High heels are not made for pregnant women. While you would like to still look like a diva, have pity on yourself and your unborn child. Experts recommend at most a 2-inch heel to keep your body in proper alignment.

9.) Avoid stress

Avoid stressful situations and try to calm down and unwind if you begin to feel stressed. Think good thoughts. A calm mind leads to a looser back.

10.) Avoid excessive weight gain

Keep your weight gain steady as extra weight will put more pressure on your back.

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4 Things You Can Blame On Pregnancy

Tell me, did you ever use pregnancy as an excuse to get out of a situation you don’t want to be in? Well I did! But seriously, it’s the only reward you get during pregnancy that is, until you give birth to your baby. One look at your bump and people will let you off. I didn’t have to queue to enter BRT bus, even in banks, men take one look at me and allow me get to the front and do my transaction like fast fast.

It makes all the pains and sores of pregnancy a little more bearable, and here are some of the things we blame on pregnancy;

Pregnancy brain

This is the short form for forgetfulness. If you’re pregnant and you forgot to do something or how to do it, don’t worry people won’t blame you, they’d blame it on pregnancy brain. My MIL heard my husband blaming me for forgetting to put his packed lunch in the car, you can’t believe she berated him, “don’t you know she’s pregnant? Pregnant women have a tendency to forget” Since then, I made forgetfulness my excuse, and he was quick to let things go, funky yeah?

Weird food combinations and cravings

Trust me, every unhealthy food that I wouldn’t eat on a normal day without being questioned is what I eat when I’m pregnant, I especially loved “nzu (chalk)” and cold water, garri and groundnut and no one can take them from me. Some women hate eating the foods cooked by their hand during pregnancy, they’d rather they eat their neighbour’s food or one cooked by someone else but them. Did I tell you about how I loved eating rice and okro? Which I would normally not eat.


Not engaging in any strenous activity

If you don’t want to wahala yourself, pregnancy is your best excuse, “Eh! Can you please help me sweep the floor, I can’t bend” Even strangers become generous when they see you are pregnant, “let me help you carry that bag” they’ll offer to help because it looks heavy”. Even though you might be overwhelmed by the attention and everyone being at your beck and call, don’t get used to it, because it’s not healthy. To be strong you need to move around and work.

Body aches

Your ribs may hurt, your body may ache and you may constantly need a pain relief medication. For me, my legs were always swollen, so I’d beg hubby for a massage, with my leg stretched on the table I’ll relax and have dear hubby minister to my needs, after all it’s our baby. If I’m good, I get a body massage too.

But pregnancy can do mean things to someone, your back will hurt, your legs may ache and your feet will be all swollen, there will be times when you’d need help standing up from the chair and you may be waddling like a whale instead of walking.

At the end when you sight and hold your wriggling baby in your hands, your joy will know no bound, and all the pains will be forgotten. Meanwhile, use pregnancy to get some pampering, but don’t be lazy!

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