Dealing with pregnancy backaches
If your pain is especially severe, your caregiver may recommend acetaminophen (aka Tylenol). In most cases, however, a combination of stretching, massage, heat, and ice is the preferred treatment. Here are some more tips to ease back pain:
- Change positions frequently. Don't sit or stand for hours on end.
- When lifting, turn your whole body so you're facing the object you want to lift, and don't lift anything heavy above waist-height.
- Avoid carrying unbalanced loads and don't move or carry anything you cannot handle easily.
- If you're going to stand for a long time, place one foot on a footstool. Switch feet occasionally. This positioning shifts your pelvis forward and eases strain on your lower back.
- Skip the high-heeled shoes and go for flats.
- When you sit for long periods of time, keep one foot elevated on a low footrest. Again, alternate feet every 30 minutes.
- Try not to bend from the waist or lean over. Instead, lower your body with bent knees and hips, always keeping your back straight.
- Use pillows to support your stomach and back in bed. A long body pillow or a thick pillow between your knees when you lie on your left side can provide relief.
To prevent pain from beginning, or to alleviate it once it starts, talk to your caregiver about simple back exercises you can perform daily. (Strengthening your muscles now will also help you in labor.) But remember: Always consult your caregiver before deciding on any course of treatment. If you do begin an exercise program to strengthen your back, make sure that you don't need to perform your exercises lying flat on your back -- this position can decrease blood flow to your baby.