Starting in the fifth month of pregnancy, as your baby continues to grow in your womb, it also continues to gain weight and put extra strain on your back causing chronic backache, leaving you in a state of constant discomfort. If you’ve already been facing back problems even before your pregnancy, it’s likely to get even more intense now. To help you out, here are a few tips that are easy and completely safe, and are sure to provide you with relief.
Problem: Maintaining the right posture can get particularly challenging when your body is carrying a baby that’s growing every week. As your baby grows, your centre of gravity shifts, causing you to fall forward. Instinctively, to avoid this, you tend to tilt backwards while standing or walking. This, in turn, puts extra pressure on the muscles in your back, resulting in chronic back pain.
Fix it: Practice makes perfect. Make a conscious effort to stand straight and tall. Your chest should be high, and your shoulders back and relaxed. Avoid staying in the same position for too long. When you’re sitting, make sure the chair offers your back ample support. You can also use a small pillow for proper support and comfort.
Problem: Exercise is a must during pregnancy, especially for strengthening your back and abdominal muscles. But, it can make your back problems worse if you’re not doing it correctly. Whether you’re going walking, swimming or are doing yoga, it’s all too easy to forget about the posture or use improper gear. The result? The pain in your lower back is sharper than ever before, and you don’t even get the exercise you need.
Fix it: Whatever exercise you do, it is mandatory that you use the right gear – from footwear to the clothes you wear.Make sure you stretch well and do some warm-up, so that you don’t end up pulling an odd muscle during any of these activities. If you’re doing yoga or going to the gym, make sure you do it under the supervision of a trained professional. Consult with a prenatalfitness instructor or your doctor about the safest exercises to undertake .
Problem: Heels simply aren’t designed to support the added weight, nor do they promote perfect posture. Moreover, wearing high heels during pregnancy can cause you to fall forwards or lean further backwards, making your backaches worse. In stark contrast, fully flat heels are just as problematic, because they don’t provide adequate support and can cause pain in your Achilles tendons, strain your calves and aggravate incorrect posture.
Fix it: Go for shoes that are low-heeled (about 2-inches high), offer ample cushion and support the arch of your feet. Your shoes should offer some amount of shock absorbency and shouldn’t be so loose that you can barely walk in them or so tight that they restrict blood flow. Consider wearing a maternity belt for extra support.
Problem: If you’ve been sleeping on your back all your life, you may be tempted to continue this even during pregnancy. You may even think that sleeping on your back will relieve the pain. But in fact, it does quite the opposite. When you lie on your back, your uterus exerts extra pressure on your spinal cord, causing your more pain even in your sleep.
Fix it: Sleep on your side, bend your knees and place a pillow between them. Invest in a pregnancy support pillow which you can place under your back for added support. You can also elevate your legs using a pillow whenever you’re lying down.
Problem: Ideally, you should just avoid lifting any kind of heavy objects as your pregnancy continues to advance. Once again, remember that your centre of gravity has shifted, and leaning forward could actually cause you to trip and fall. Aside from that, with the additional weight, lifting heavy objects, while in the gym or at home, can cause serious back problems.
Fix it: If you have to lift something heavy, do it the right way. Squat down, distribute your weight on your legs instead of your back, pick the object and lift your thighs back into standing position.
It’s extremely important that you balance all your physical activities with more rest than ever. Carve out some time for yourself, where you do nothing except sit back, put your feet up, and get yourself some foot and back massage or regular hot compresses. Need help on any of your ? Let us know in the comments!