I am getting a lot of backache is there anything I can do that will help?

Tips for Good Posture in Pregnancy

During pregnancy several things occur that work against maintaining good posture and many women with healthy backs will begin to develop backache. The changing body shape alters the centre of gravity and the hormone relaxin causes laxity of muscles including the core stabilising muscles. Unless pregnant women are aware of how to adopt good postural techniques for the activities of daily living back pain can become a problem. The estimates prevalence of backache during pregnancy ranges between 35% and 61% with the majority developing backache during the 5th to 7th month (NCC-WCH 2008).

Poor standing posture during pregnancy is common with the pelvis tilted forward putting a strain on lower back joints and ligaments.

To help prevent this:
Avoid standing for long periods
Avoid high heels
The abdominal muscles should be pulled in to act as a natural ‘corset’ and the buttocks tucked under so that the pelvis is tilted backwards
Keep the chin lucked in and the ears in a straight line with the shoulders
Think ‘walk tall’ and stretch between the hips and ribs as this can be helpful

Modern furniture does not encourage good posture.

To help improve posture:
Sit well back in the chair
Make sure that the lower back is well supported. A rolled up towel or small cushion placed at the lower back may be helpful

Finding a comfortable position in bed can be difficult as pregnancy advances. The following may aid comfort:
Place a small pillow under the abdomen
The head pillow or an additional pillow should be positioned to support the top forearm
a pillow under the upper thigh will prevent strain on the sacroiliac joint
a pillow behind the back can offer additional support and comfort
When getting up from a lying position:
the knees should be bend upwards and kept together
roll the body onto one side
push up to a sitting position with upper hand and lower elbow
drop legs over side of bed/couch
stand by straightening legs and pushing with hands
the reverse should be used for lying down
This not only helps to protect the back but also the abdominal muscles

Lifting and Handling

Lifting heavy items should be avoided wherever possible.

When having to lift:

place one foot slightly in front and then bend at the knees
the back should be kept straight and the bottom tucked in
straighten the legs continuing to keep the back straight – lead with the head
hold the object at waist heigh and close to the body\when shoping a shallow high level trolley is preferable to avoid using an inappropriate lifting technique and putting a strain on the back

Ref: National Collaborating Centre for Women’s and Children’s Health (NCC-WCH) (2008) Antenatal Care – routine care for healthy pregnant women. ROCG Press, London


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