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Oh Baby, My Aching Back! – Dr. Frederic Melius

Back pain is one of the most common complaints pregnant women mention to us during OB appointments. As if the body changes associated with pregnancy weren’t uncomfortable enough, back pain reduces mobility, interrupts sleep and just make you miserable.

The main cause of pregnancy back pain is back muscle strain from the rapid growth of the fetus and uterus. As the baby grows, the uterus comes up out of the pelvis and then forward to make the baby bump. This rapid change in size and weight causes your center of gravity to move up and out. The little muscles between your vertebrae are forced to adapt quickly and sometimes they don’t like it.

Other forces that make back pain common in pregnancy include the weakening and lengthening of your abdominal muscles. These muscles play an important role in spine health. Because your baby weight is in front of your body, it’s natural to lean forward to keep balance. Sometimes, you may lean back. Either way, the new change in posture forces your little back muscles to work harder to “pick up the load’.

In addition to the above, your placenta releases hormones that relax ligaments in your pelvis. These hormones can also loosen the ligaments in your back making things even more uncomfortable.

What can you do to prevent back pain during pregnancy?

To help prevent back pain, be aware of how you stand, sit, walk and move about.
Here are some tips you can try:

Walking and water exercise are gentle and fun ways to ease back pain.

We also highly recommend Yoga Moms led by our Certified Nurse Midwife Christine Kern Steffen. Give us a call or pick up a pamphlet at your next appointment to learn more about her classes.

Backache is one of the most common discomforts of pregnancy. Thankfully the above strategies help most pregnancy back pain and help you to stay healthy during your pregnancy and after your baby is born.

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