Pregnancy And Back Pain
Although stretch marks and morning sickness can often be part of the package when we sign up to the pregnancy journey, many women may be less prepared for the ordeal of pregnancy back pain.
With the help of Simplyhealth, the UK's biggest health cash plan provider and the charity BackCare, we’ve put together some essential advice and easy to follow tips below to help you recognise and deal with the symptoms of ‘Baby Back.’
SimplyHealth will also donate a £1 every time anyone downloads the FREE Simplyhealth BackCare App.
FREE Simplyhealth BackCare App
Pregnancy related back pain is very common and can affect between 50-75% of women at some point during their pregnancy. Put simply, mothers to be are more likely to suffer from it than not. The pain is often located in the lower back and can radiate to the buttocks and hips . Lower back pain can occur at any time, but particularly between the fifth and seventh months of pregnancy, when pregnant women carry the most additional weight.
The fact that the body is subject to increasing weight pressures during the course of pregnancy is no surprise. However, women may be shocked to hear that the average pregnancy includes a 2 to 2.5 stone weight gain which places a huge amount of pressure on the spine and lower back, including the following surprising additions:
Weight Gain During Pregnancy.Baby: 8 pounds
Placenta: 2-3 pounds
Amniotic fluid: 2-3 pounds
Breast tissue: 2-3 pounds
Blood supply: 4 pounds
Stored fat for delivery and breastfeeding: 5-9 pounds
Larger uterus: 2-5 pounds
Total: 25-35 pounds (2.5 stone)
The real challenge for those suffering from pregnancy related back pain is where to find relief, given that medical advice is generally against taking painkillers such as Ibuprofen. Help is however at hand in the form of an app - developed by Simplyhealth and BackCare – which includes tailored advice on pain relief for ‘Baby Back’. The app allows users to input data on the type and location of their back pain to generate daily advice as well as details of local specialist advice and support available. There are also exercises and information available for mums to be to do when at home and in the workplace to help look after their backs.
Dr Brian Hammond, Expert Advisor for the Simplyhealth BackCare App commented:
“Back pain can occur at any time during pregnancy, commonly after the first four months. As your baby develops, your centre of gravity changes and you lean backwards to compensate without realising it. Hormonal changes relax the ligaments in the pelvis and lower back, which can aggravate pre-existing conditions which were pain free before pregnancy. Your abdominal muscles help support the spine, but in pregnancy these muscles are stretched and become weakened.”
Try these easy to follow tips for managing back pain on a daily basis :
Tips to prevent or manage lower back pain
During Pregnancy:At home try to keep your upper body upright and bend from your knees
When vacuuming move in a straight line rather than rotating your back. Avoid vacuuming the stairs as this encourages bending and twisting
When lying down on your side you may find it more comfortable to place a pillow under your top leg and also underneath the bump. This prevents twisting in your back while you are asleep
If you do experience lower back pain you may benefit from using something warm like a hot water bottle
BackCare and The Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists support the use of moderate exercise during your pregnancy to help reduce the onset of lower back pain
Specific ante and post natal exercise classes, such as pilates, can be of benefit, along with walking and swimming
Support belts may be of use, as they provide stability to the pelvis and lower back and can be effective in relieving pain
When your baby is born:
When feeding your baby make sure you are comfortable first. Sit right at the back of the chair and place a little rolled up towel in the small of your back to give you some support. Place one or two pillows on your lap to help support the weight of the baby
When changing your baby try to use a changing table. If this is not available you can change your baby on the bed by kneeling on the floor
For every free download of the Simplyhealth Back care app, Simplyhealth will donate £1 to the charity BackCare (Up to £120,000). Download from the App Store or Google Play™