Pregnant Ladies - Back Care Information

Here are some tips on back care:

What causes back pain in pregnancy:

Back pain can occur at any time after the 1st trimester, though not everyone will get it. As your baby gets heavier, your centre of gravity changes. You will probably adapt your posture without realizing it, leaning backwards as you walk. Hormonal changes relax the ligaments in the lower back and this means less

support for the joints. Your abdominal muscles usually help to support the spine and in pregnancy these muscles are stretched and become weakened. Increase in breast size can strain the upper back. Fatigue can also lead to pain.

Back pain may be completely unrelated to pregnancy – it can also be caused by poor posture, poor work environments, sitting or standing for too long without moving, bending whilst twisting, and lifting or carrying heavy objects.

How to reduce back pain:

  • try to get in shape before becoming pregnant

  • gentle exercise whilst pregnant will help you stay fit, supple and help you relax

  • give up smoking. If affects the blood supply to your back (as well as your baby) and delays recovery

  • choose shoes with low heels

  • pace yourself and spread out housework during the week

  • avoid picking up and carrying anything heavy at all

  • try not to sit for more than 20 minutes without getting up

  • try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees and in front of you to help support your tummy

Dealing with a painful back:

  • use gentle exercise to relax and relieve the pain

  • an ice pack can help reduce inflammation

  • take a warm shower to relax

  • have a gentle massage

  • try visit a physiotherapist that can make individual recommendations and possibly prescribe a back support

After the baby arrives:

  • take extra care not to strain your back through picking up and carrying your baby around

  • when lifting your baby in and out of a cot, try not to bend over. Instead, bend from the knees and squat next to your baby. Bending your knees, not your back, is the key to lifting any small child

  • when breastfeeding your baby – tuck a cushion behind your waist and a pillow on your lap to support your arm. Bring your baby to the breast rather rather than leaning over to take the breast to the baby

  • avoid carrying your baby on one hip and carry him/her on the front of your body with their legs around your hips.

Back pain is rarely serious, but if you have any of the following symptoms, see your GP straight away.

  • if you have a high temperature as well as severe pain

  • if you become incontinent

  • if both legs feel weak, you feel numb or have pins and needles in both legs or around your back passage, genital area or inside the tops of your thighs.

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