Have you ever wondered why back pain often comes hand-in-hand with pregnancy? We did too, so we looked to our local Pittsburgh community for guidance. Deena Blumenfeld, owner and Principal Educator at Shining Light Prenatal Education, explains the particulars of pregnant back pain, why it happens and what expecting moms can do to relieve their pain.
Is Pregnant Back Pain Common?
Pregnant back pain is actually a fairly common occurrence for most women. It can vary widely from an occasional nuisance to more severe and continuous discomfort. However, moms need not suffer. Back pain for expecting moms can be alleviated or reduced with some easy solutions.
Why Does it Happen?
To understand why women have back pain during pregnancy, let’s review a brief anatomy lesson. The uterus is connected to the pelvis by four round ligaments. Two of these ligaments connect at the pubic bone in the front and the other two connect at the sacrum. As the baby grows, so does the uterus. This growth puts tension on the ligaments, which in turn pull on the pubic bone and the sacrum. The muscles in the low back and glutes then try to compensate for the additional pressure. After a while, the muscles fatigue and pain ensues. As her baby grows, this is when many women experience pain and greater discomfort.
In addition, a pregnant woman’s posture and activity level have an impact on back pain. Later in pregnancy, as the baby gets even bigger, the baby’s position can also have an impact on her back pain. If the baby is occiput posterior (facing mom’s back) that can exacerbate back pain even more, as can other sub-optimal positions.
What Can Pregnant Women Do to Find Relief?
To help alleviate back pain, pregnant mothers can do a number of things including changing positions frequently or regular exercise. A prenatal yoga class is a great way to build strength and stretch sore muscles. Moms should also sleep in a properly supported position to encourage a neutral spine.
To help soothe her back, reduce fatigue and calm sore muscles, mothers can add ice or heat to their backs. This is a natural alternative to pain medication and carries far fewer risks as compared to pain medication. Icing, in particular, also helps with inflammation to help reduce muscle fatigue and muscle swelling.
Spand-Ice has a unique approach to helping women with back pain. They’ve created their flagship product The Maternity Relief Wrap to help pregnant women with belly support, back pain relief and posture. Together with Spand-Ice, we’ve tested their wraps at Shining Light with real moms dealing with real pain and have seen first-hand the relief it offers.
Deena Blumenfeld ERYT, RPYT, LCCE is the owner and principal educator at Shining Light Prenatal Education in Pittsburgh, PA. She is a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Lamaze Program Director and Prenatal Yoga Instructor. She is also a mom to two elementary school aged children.