Back Pain and Pregnancy

Kathryn Lively
 


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Anticipating the birth of a child is one of the many wonderful moments in a parent's life that should be savored. As a woman grows with child, there is opportunity to silently bond and contemplate life with a new addition. Unfortunately, for many women the preparation for birth does not happen without some necessary growing pains. Back pain is an inevitable, yet ultimately preventable, side effect of pregnancy. With proper care, however, it can be minimized so that the mother-to-be can enjoy these nine months of changes and wonder.

What causes back pain during pregnancy?

As woman advance in pregnancy, so advances the opportunity for back pain and discomfort. So many changes occur in a woman's body to prepare it for birth. In particular, ligaments become softer and stretch, and as the baby grows, the hollow in the mother's back may increase. This may cause discomfort.

As the mother gains weight, the back works harder to support the gain balance, resulting in increased lower back pain. Depending upon the size of the mother and the growth of the child, some women may find it very difficult to move in the third trimester. It is not uncommon for some women to be confined to bedrest during the final month of pregnancy. For others able to move around, though, it may be necessary to perform various tasks.

What helps alleviate back pain in pregnant women?

Exercise is often recommended to pregnant women suffering back pain as their bodies grow. It is important to keep the blood flowing as much as possible, as it's necessary for the baby, too. Pregnant women, regardless of the stage of pregnancy, should consult with their obstetricians before taking on any exercise program. While there are specific techniques on the market, including aerobics and yoga for pregnancy, not all may be recommended for all woman. It is always best to check first.

When it's impossible to move around, however, the best solution to easing discomfort is maintaining good posture. When sitting, take every opportunity to sit as straight in a position that allows for the highest level of blood flow to the lower part of the body. Some women may find it comfortable to sit with the feet elevated, while others may use a cushion to help regulate blood flow.

Constant circulation to the lower back, whether through exercise or ergonomics, can help alleviate back discomfort in pregnant women. Don't let simple aches and pains prevent what is otherwise a joyful experience.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance health and travel writer. She writes for FlowCushion, an alternating air pressure seat cushion for driving and sitting, and for CINIVA Systems, Virginia Beach website design .

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