It is fascinating that way back in the 3rd century BC, Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, attributed difficulties in childbirth to a sedentary lifestyle. Today, studies show that women who exercise during pregnancy recover more quickly than their sedentary counterparts. They also suffer with less back pain, have a shorter labor and gain less fat.
Ask your doctor about low-impact and stretching exercises as these can help with back pain. Excessive sitting and inactivity all contribute to postural bad-habits and back pain. Lower back pain can cause symptoms that prevent pregnant women from leading a normal life, and this can result in depression and anxiety. Certainly, anxiety will need to first be controlled if the effects of pain are to be minimized.
Pregnancy has the means to change the movement of your back. As the uterus grows, it becomes more difficult for the back muscles to work properly, resulting in pain. Stress, weight gain and the way it puts a burden on the joints, ligaments and tendons creates a predisposition for pain and injury.
Here are 6 ways to alleviate back pain during pregnancy apart from exercise, and which won’t harm the developing infant.
Acupuncture is safe during pregnancy and very effective for those women wanting to avoid analgesic medication. Make sure you choose a reputable, trained acupuncturist who is a member of a professional body. Acupuncture, a Chinese medicine therapy, uses fine, sterile, disposable needles to stimulate certain points connected with organ system, to restore balance and help the body maintain its own health. Regular treatments during pregnancy enhance the health of both mom and baby, relieving pregnancy symptoms and positively influencing labour.
2. Kneeling Chairs
Unlike regular chairs, ergonomically designed kneeling chairs are designed in such as way so as to force you to engage your core and keeps your spine upright. With proper spinal alignment, body weight is distributed between parts of the musculo-skeletal system, reducing pain at any one point.
Bad work-posture leads to back problems. Because these kneeling chairs reduce muscle tension and strain, they help to reduce the risk of injury while seated. Set on castor wheels, the chairs help to strengthen the back muscles and to allow for better blood circulation These chairs have adjustable heights, allowing you to place your eye-level in line with your screen. Good posture is encouraged with the use of a kneeling chair as it returns the spine to its neutral position.
3. Avoid Heavy Lifting
If possible, make sure to hold what you’re carrying close to your body. If you already have a toddler, resist picking the child up and if you have to carry shopping bags, distribute the weight of the bags to reduce back strain. When lifting any sizeable object, squat down and lift with your legs and not your back.
4. Sleep Tips
Ensure you have a firm mattress that molds to your shape. If possible, have a quality spring mattress with a high spring count. Also, sleep on your side, with at least one knee bent. You can put a pillow between your knees and another under your belly.
5. Watch Your Step
Avoid stiletto’s and any form of high heels. You’re carrying more weight and wearing heels puts excess pressure on the pelvic area and back joints. Also, because of hormonal changes, the strength in your ankles is somewhat reduced, your balance isn’t as good and you could topple off your heels and crash to the floor, causing injury to yourself and your unborn baby. Low-heel shoes provide more balance, more support and more comfort.
Massage relaxes muscles, eases stiff joints and also promotes blood circulation. Massage improves our physical and emotional well-being and more than 100 types of massage are practised today. Check with your doctor about benefiting from a gentle pregnancy massage.
It is important to understand the process of being pregnant as well as the process of giving birth and how to manage back pain during pregnancy, during labor and after the birth.
Knowing what to do can remove the fear of pregnancy and childbirth. By following this simple advice you can minimize all pain and concentrate on the ultimate outcome – your precious bundle of joy.
1. Schroder, G. and others NCBI. Impact of pregnancy on back pain and body posture in women. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4868213/
2. Muller, J. Ergonomic Trends.The Best Ergonomic Kneeling Chairs for 2017- Reviews and Buyer’s Guide. Available at http://ergonomictrends.com/best-ergonomic-kneeling-chairs-reviews/
3. Field, T. NCBI. Pregnancy and labor massage. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2870995/