Approximately half of all pregnant women suffer from lower back pain at some point during their pregnancies or after giving birth. This most often is due to pelvic girdle pain but is sometimes due to lumbar pain or a combination of these two types of back pain. Don't worry, there are a number of steps you can take to make this less likely or to at least ease the pain if it does occur.
Consider a Maternity Support Belt
There are a few types of medical equipment that can help to support the belly and thus limit the extent of any back pain a pregnant woman has to deal with. These include a maternity support belt, which goes under the belly to help support the increased weight and size of the belly and limit the pull it causes on the abdominal and lower back muscles, an extra support belt that has an additional strap that goes over the top of the belly as well, and a prenatal cradle, which offers even more support, with straps that go over the shoulders to spread out the weight of the belly even more.
Get Some Exercise
Good types of exercises include those that make the abdominal muscles and the back stronger, prenatal yoga, and swimming. Just avoid any exercises that have a high risk of tripping or falling or that are very high impact. Some studies show that exercising during the second half of pregnancy about three times per week can help to limit the amount of back pain a pregnant woman will experience.
Baby Your Feet
Not everyone realizes that what you do to the feet can affect the rest of the body. Wearing high heels throws off your weight distribution and body alignment even more than being pregnant alone, so stick with shoes with chunky lower heels or flatter shoes that have plenty of arch support. You may even want to put in some insoles that increase the support. They make some inserts specially designed for pregnant women. Skip the super flat shoes with no arch support, such as flip flops and ballet slippers, as they won't help absorb shock and properly distribute your body weight, so they can also lead to lower back pain. Sneakers are probably the best bet for every day, but other rubber-soled shoes can also be suitable. Even better, limit the amount of time you spend standing.
When sleeping, it's important to have the proper body alignment. Pregnancy often forces women to sleep on their sides, which can lead to lower back pain if the right support isn't there. You can purchase special body pillows to help pregnant women (or even other people who just like to sleep on their sides) keep the proper body alignment while getting some much-needed rest. It's also helpful to sleep with a pillow between the knees and a rolled towel under your waist if you don't want to make use of a full body pillow.