Back pains are often common during pregnancy. Here are five ways to prevent and ease them.
1. Pay Attention to Your Posture
It is important for expectant mothers to sit smart. “Use chairs with good back support or use a small pillow behind the lower part of your back,” advises Dr Pamela Tan, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, TLC Gynaecology Practice, Thomson Medical Centre.
Dr Tan advises against crossing your legs as this causes your pelvis to tilt forward. Elevating your feet slightly on a footrest will help.
2. Keep Weight Gain in Check
During a healthy pregnancy, expectant mothers typically gain between 5 to 18 kg. Some women gain as much as a quarter of their original body weight. Putting on too much weight too fast adds immense stress to your back. Dr Tan reminds expectant mums to keep weight gain in check to keep back pains at bay.
3. Invest in an Ergonomic Mattress and Foot Wear
Dr Tan suggests that expectant mums consider investing in a firm mattress. In addition, “Wear the right shoes with good arch support. Avoid high heels or very flat ones. Two-inch chunky heels or orthopaedic shoe inserts are recommended,” says Dr Tan.
4. Stretch and Exercise
Avoid prolonged sitting or standing. Dr Tan recommends that pregnant mums take hourly stretch breaks. She also advocates for expectant mums to do exercises such as prenatal yoga to strengthen both the back and abdominal muscles.
5. Apply Cold and Heat Pack
To relieve sore back muscles, you can alternate an ice pack and a heat pack wrapped in a cloth for 15 minutes. Dr Tan also suggests trying a warm bath with the shower head directed at the back to bring about relief.
According to Dr Tan, medication such as topical medicated liniments or simple analgesia are safe to use during pregnancy to ease back pains. However, if you have severe pain, fever, burning sensation during urination or vaginal bleeding, or if pain persists for more than two weeks, you should contact your obstetrician.