Are you feeling the strain of pregnancy from your growing bump? Take our simple steps to reduce backache...
If you're suffering with backache during your pregnancy, these simple tips should give you some relief...
“During pregnancy your body changes its central point of gravity in order to adjust to your growing weight and shape – so over-stretching and lifting can make back pain worse,” explains Christine Hughes, helpline manager for BackCare. “When lifting, always bend from your knees and never from your back. Try to keep the natural curve of your back in place.”
When getting out of bed, roll on to your side and sit up before putting your feet on the floor. When sitting, choose a chair that you can sit upright in, with a cushion behind you. To get up, place your feet on the floor and push up with your arms.
It’s important to stay in shape during pregnancy for several reasons (including being fit for the birth), and gentle exercise like swimming, walking and yoga can do wonders for your back, too. “If you’re swimming, always go for backstroke or front crawl rather than breaststroke, as the neck position for breaststroke puts added pressure on both your neck and shoulders,” advises Christine.
When you’re in bed, try sleeping on your side with a pillow under your tummy. Keeping one or both of your knees bent and placing another cushion between your knees can also help.
Pregnancy is not the time to strut your stuff in your highest heels. “Pregnancy changes the natural curve of your spine, so you’ll already be off-balance without adding heels to the problem,” says Christine. “You’ll also have more relaxed joints as your body prepares for the birth, so the last thing you want to do is trip and damage them.” Wearing low-heeled shoes with a good arch support will help prevent back problems, especially if you’re on your feet a lot.
Get your partner to whip out the massage oil (checking first that it’s a type suitable for pregnant women, of course) to rub away those aches. A warm bath or an ice pack can also work wonders. “If you’re really suffering, talk to your GP, who may direct you to a chiropractor,” advises Christine.
Posture is important, but it’s all about adopting the best one you can for your body and your pregnancy. “The Alexander Technique is really popular for improving posture,” says Christine. “Stand in front of a mirror and hold your head up and your chin slightly in – you’ll see how your back changes shape. Try to adopt this position whenever you’re standing or walking.”
You'll need to look after your back once you've had your baby. Remember:
● LIFT FROM YOUR LEGS when picking up your newborn. Don’t bend at the waist, and never lift from your back.
● INVEST IN A CHANGING TABLE or use a raised area at nappy time, so you’re not bending over when changing his nappy.
● MAKE SURE YOUR PUSHCHAIR IS THE RIGHT HEIGHT so you don’t have to extend your body forward to reach the handles.
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