Back pain is common during pregnancy, with around 70% of pregnant women experiencing it at some point.
Hormonal changes cause ligaments to become more relaxed which can be a contributing factor to back pain. The weight of the growing baby pulling your lower spine forwards combined with a changing centre of gravity affects posture, creating extra strain on your low back.
There are measures you can take to ease the pain or, better still, prevent its onset:
1. If you’re trying for a baby, make sure you stay physically fit and active. Enrol on a Pilates course or similar to give your core strength a good base to help carry a baby.
2. Avoid heavy lifting and apply good technique if you do need to lift. Activate your core muscles, bend from the knees and keep a neutral spine.
3. Wear a support belt. This can be a saviour in the later stages of pregnancy when your bump is getting very heavy.
4. Sleep on your side with a pillow underneath your bump. This will stop the bump pulling on your spine as you sleep.
5. Go for a swim. I found this particularly helpful in the later stages of both my pregnancies as the water takes the weight of the bump, providing very welcome relief. It’s also a great way to keep your fitness going throughout pregnancy.