It is important to work with practitioners who have a lot of experience with prenatal practices.
1. Prenatal Yoga – Improves posture and tones muscles in preparation for birthing process. The deep and mindful breathing in Yoga helps with stress, provides grounding through hormonal changes and better focus. It also helps with relaxing the mind and muscles for better sleep..
2. Acupuncture/Acupressure helps to remove blockages which interfere with the body’s energy flow. Many women swear by its effectiveness in helping with pregnancy back pain relief.
3. Prenatal Massage – In addition to helping to relieve muscular clenching, which irritates nerves in the back, research has shown regular prenatal massage can help with depression and anxiety in pregnancy.
4. Chiropractic Care – Relief from muscular tightness, nerve compression and joint misalignment are found through joint manipulation, soft tissue work and prescribed exercise.
5. Physical Therapy – In addition to body work, PT’s can teach their clients how to walk, sit, stand, bend, lie down and exercise in healthy ways which support the back; as well as teach a pregnant woman how to limit range of motion since their joints become lax as a result of the pregnancy hormone Relaxin (a hormone produced by the ovary and the placenta with important effects in the female reproductive system and during pregnancy. In preparation for childbirth, it relaxes the ligaments in the pelvis and softens and widens the cervix), being released. Pregnancy women can over extend their joints, which can exacerbate their pain.
6. Meditation – elicits a biological relaxation response and stimulates the brain to control its release of stress hormones. Meditation can also increase one’s pain tolerance level, which can help with both managing back pain and coping with labor and delivery pain.
7. Swimming – takes the pressure off the spine. Paddling back and forth in the lanes helps to decompress the spine, tone the legs, arms, back and core muscles. Deep breathing while floating help with both physical and emotional relaxation. A breaststroke can strengthen both chest and back muscles.
8. Sleep Support – Side sleeping optimizes blood flow to the baby. However, it also causes a strain on the back when the belly hangs to the bed. Body pillows or a heavy blanket folded lengthwise are helpful for supporting chest, hips and lower back. Put either between the knees so that top knee is at hip level, and under the belly to keep it from pulling on back muscles and ligaments.
9. Wear a maternity Belt – helps to hold up the belly and keep it from causing strain on the pelvic girdle and lower back.
10. Wear Proper Shoes – Heels increase the curvature of your back and creates pressure on your lower spine and hip joints. Weight shifts, causing a change in the center of gravity, and heels cause less stability. Flats can cause lack of support; cause your foot to spread and cause pain up the legs. A shoe with a low-heel and built-in arch support helps distribute the weight that is in your legs in a more stable way, which helps with better back support.
*This is a summary of an article found on Parents.com, written by Holly Lebowitz Rossi, and can be found at: Pregnancy Back Pain Remedies
Maggie Watkins is the mother of 2 adult children. She has 20 years experience working with pregnant and postpartum families as a private hire doula and prenatal educator. She has a passion for birth and postpartum, along with a strong belief that parents become more confident in their roles the more they are supported and encouraged, without judgement of birth choices; and through the first several days at home with their new baby.