Sleeping with back pain can seem nearly impossible for many people; after all, it’s hard to get comfortable when your back is screaming for relief. And when you don’t get a good night’s sleep, you’re left feeling groggy, irritable, and unable to function well the next day.
A lack of sleep can also have serious consequences on your overall health. For pregnant women, sleep is often elusive anyway, and when you add in back pain to the mix, it can be much more difficult. Unfortunately, there are only so many things you can do to relieve pain in the moment. For example, placing a pillow between your legs to give your spine support, laying in a particular position, and having a partner rub your back are a few good options. Thankfully, the good news is that there are several things you can do outside of bedtime to help things along.
Fitting in a Workout
One of the best activities for back pain is exercise. That, along with a healthy diet, can help reduce inflammation and keep you feeling strong. The key is to make sure it’s a workout that is safe for your baby as well. Yoga is a wonderful exercise for pregnant women because it’s low-impact and involves stretches that can help back, pelvic and joint pain. it also incorporates a mental health boost if you practice meditation at the same time, meaning you can get rid of anxiety or stress — two more enemies of sleep.
The more you exercise, the better you’ll feel, it’s a fact! So it’s more than a good idea to try to fit in a workout every day. Even if it’s only for twenty minutes, the activity will help to tire you out and get your heart rate up while stretching your muscles, which is great for sleep. The further in your pregnancy, you should look for low-impact options like walking and swimming – these are a great way to keep moving during your third trimester.
When you’re pregnant, you likely face a daily conundrum: how to eat well while still taking care of those cravings. Sometimes, the baby wants what it wants! Typically, as long as you’re getting plenty of protein, fresh veggies, and fruit, most doctors say it’s okay to indulge some of those cravings (there are some exceptions, such as for women who have gestational diabetes). Incorporating certain good foods, such as dark leafy greens, berries, nuts, and lean fish, into your meals can help reduce inflammation and keep your spine strong and healthy. For joint health, you can add cruciferous vegetables, bone broth, vitamin C, and ginger to your diet.
Checking Your Medical Coverage
If you have Medical coverage due to a disability, you may qualify for benefits that will pay for special sleep therapies or pain treatment. If you’ve tried everything else to no avail, do a little research online to find out how your insurance can actually help you. You may be surprised to find that some insurances like Medicare offer more than you’d expect for supplemental coverage.
Ice / Heat Therapy
Many women find that using a heating pad or applying cold packs provides significant relief. Ice, in particular, is wonderful to reduce inflammation which causes pain. When you combine the hot/cold therapy with a maternity support belt, this helps to take pressure off the low back and reduce pain. The Spand-Ice Maternity Relief Wrap and the Maternity + Postpartum Wrap were specially designed to use long-lasting, reusable ice/heat therapy packs targeting back pain while also providing belly and posture support. These belly bands can help you manage your back pain during the day and while sleeping.
Lastly, it’s important to pamper yourself a bit while you’re carrying your baby, if for no other reason than to ensure that you’re able to feel happy and healthy every day. Treat yourself to a massage, get a pedicure, or sit back and relax and let someone else take care of dinner or chores a couple of nights a week. The more you can reduce stress, the better your back pain will be.
Sleeping with pain is next to impossible, and when you’re pregnant, you need all the time you can get to relax, reduce stress, and take care of your body before you have an infant to care for. Talk to your doctor to find out what your options are before starting any new regimen, and remember to take it easy while you can.