How does pregnancy affect my back and pelvis?
Pregnancy might change the shape of your back. Your lower back might flatten slightly. This might cause the joints of your pelvis and back to move more. Your back, tummy, and pelvic floor muscles are designed to support these joints. As your womb grows in pregnancy, it may become harder for them to do so. This can cause some irritation and pain.
Your baby acts as an internal support to your back. As it grows, your back will get stiffer, making it harder for you to move. This will make bending forward and twisting difficult.
Your pelvis moves more as it isn’t protected the same way your back is. That’s why pelvic pain occurs more than back pain during pregnancy. It’s highly recommended you exercise your pelvic floor muscles. This makes them stronger and stops urine from leaking, which can be common.
So how can I protect my back and pelvis during pregnancy?
Follow these tips to protect your back and pelvis.
Avoid lifting heavy weights
If you need to lift a bag or carry your toddler, hold them close to your body. Bend your knees, and not your back. Then pick them up. If you have say two bags, hold them one in each hand. This helps in equally distributing their weight.
Exercising regularly (at least three times a week) helps you stay fit and prepares you for labour. It can also prevent pelvic pain and back pain. There are various forms of exercise you can do when you’re pregnant. The best ones are:
Improve your posture
Stand as if someone is trying to pull you up with a string attached on your head. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles. This will allow your tummy muscles to support your back. The flatter back in pregnancy might be one reason why pelvic pain is common. It’s recommended to bend backwards regularly, especially if you’ve been sitting for a long time.
A good sitting position is important
Make sure your back is supported when you sit. You can use a cushion if you like. Part your legs a bit, to allow space for your bump. If your work requires you to sit for long periods of time, try and get up for a walk every 20 minutes.
Wear comfortable shoes
Wear what feels best. Comfortable and supporting shoes also help you when you go for a walk or a jog. Make sure you give up the high heels as they can cause back pain. Moreover, as your belly grows it makes it difficult to maintain balance while wearing heels.
Eat a balanced diet
High BMI (Body Mass Index) can cause pelvic pain and back pain. Stick to a healthy and balanced diet. Register with us to receive a free pregnancy diet plan that you can follow.
Do cat and camel exercises
Going down on all four limbs can reduce back pain. Cat and camel exercises help you relieve that pain.
Sleep in a good position
After your 16th week, lying on your back might make you feel dizzy. This is because your baby presses on your blood vessels. Try sleeping on your left side, with knees bent up. Place 1-2 pillows between your knees. This supports your hips and pelvis.
Climb stairs slowly
Take one step at a time. Step up with one leg. Bring the other leg to meet it. Only then move on to the next step. Make sure you are very careful while taking the stairs.