Backache is common in pregnancy – so what causes pregnancy backache?
During pregnancy your expanding uterus stretches and weakens your abdominal muscles and alters your posture, putting strain on your back.
The extra weight from your pregnancy also means extra work for your muscles and increased stress on your joints.
Hormonal changes in pregnancy can loosen the joints and the ligaments that attach your pelvic bones to your spine which can make you feel less stable (pregnancy waddle) and cause pain when you walk, stand or sit for long periods. This hormone, called relaxin, allows your baby to pass through the pelvis.
Overstretched abdominal muscles may also mean that the spine and back muscles may bear the extra burden.
Your back may continue to ache for sometime after you have had your baby, until your muscles regain strength and tone and your joints become less lax.
Good posture when feeding your baby is important. If you continue to sit hunched over when you feed you may well strain your neck and upper back muscles. Think about your posture when feeding your baby. If you are experiencing back ache try using a foot stool to keep your feet slightly raised off the floor.
If your shoulders remain tense when feeding you could try a different feeding position, like the side-lying position.
Try these poses to relieve your achy back.
This pose is particularly useful for relieving lower back pain as well as relieving lower pelvic area pressure and groin discomfort.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your feet as close to your buttocks as possible.
Inhale and lift your hips up, keeping your head on the floor and your chin to your chest, palms down or under your hips for extra support.
Breathe out and lower your hips to the floor.
Repeat 5 times
Caution: Do not use this variation if you feel uncomfortable or if you have high or low blood pressure
The cat (Marjariasana)
This pose is one of the most important postures to practice throughout pregnancy and after you have had your baby. When pregnant, the all fours position is very comfortable as the weight is taken away from your pelvic region and relieves that ‘heavy feeling’. The cat pose can relieve lower back pain and stiffness and the muscles and ligaments of your pelvis are toned as the pelvis rocks back and forth. Your uterine muscles also get a gentle massage.
Begin on hands and knees.
Hold back straight and breathe in, looking ahead.
Breathe out as you arch your spine so that your tailbone is tucked under and your chin comes to your chest.
Breathe in as you straighten your back.
Repeat 5 times
Caution: Because of the extra weight in your abdomen it is important not to hollow your back especially in your third trimester (as done in the traditional yoga pose).