How to Deal with Back Pain During Pregnancy
Inside: Wondering how to deal with back pain during pregnancy? Try these eight natural methods I used to find much-needed relief from the pain that was making my pregnancy so difficult!
Pregnancy back pain got you down? I hear you, and I’m going to share what worked for me during my pregnancy.
I experienced my fair share of pregnancy pains while I was pregnant with my daughter. With a lot of trial and error, I found several natural remedies (by natural, I just mean no drugs) and a handful of specific products that truly helped me to find relief.
For me personally, hip and pelvic pain were intricately connected to my back pain. Addressing one without the other was kind of a waste of time.
So when I talk about things that helped my back pain, those things really addressed my back, hip and pelvic pain in various ways.
My Story with Pregnancy Back Pain
Around 18 weeks pregnant, I started having intense shooting pain almost every time I would get dressed. I brushed it off as a coincidence.
I kept pushing myself because I thought I shouldn’t be experiencing any pain from my pregnancy yet.
Then, I couldn’t roll over in bed. Then, I couldn’t get into the car without having to grit my teeth. Then, every time I would bend over, turn around quickly, or lean over I would get a sharp pinpointed pain in my abdomen.
Even walking became painful, and I finally understood the pregnant mama waddle on a deeply personal level.
By 20 weeks, I was struggling to manage normal tasks because I couldn’t move! I felt so embarrassed that my body couldn’t handle pregnancy and I was scared looking forward to the next 20 weeks.
Most of all, I was in pain and feeling like I was weak to be experiencing this much pain.
If you are feeling this way- you are not alone! I hope these tips will help support you during your pregnancy and relieve some of your pain.
8 Natural Ways to Deal with Back Pain During Pregnancy
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Disclosure: I’m not a physician, y’all, so I’m just going to say it again up front – this is what helped ME personally. It’s the plan I came up with in conjunction with my midwife. So please run all of these ideas for finding back pain relief by your OB/GYN or midwife FIRST.
(I mean, you probably don’t need to ask whether or not getting supportive shoes is a good idea or not, but…well, you get the idea.)
1. Get a referral from your OB/GYN for chiropractic care.
After every chiropractic adjustment during pregnancy, I felt like I could breathe again and my entire body felt so happy!
I went to a chiropractor at least as often as my OBGYN appointments. So when my OBGYN appointments were 4 weeks apart, I was going to the chiropractor every 4 weeks. Once my OBGYN appointments were down to once a week, I went to the chiropractor once a week.
Find a chiropractor that is Webster Certified or specializes in prenatal treatment.
The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) has a helpful search engine to find a certified chiropractor. I found lots of information on their website about the Webster technique as well.
Honestly, that’s why I say ask your OBGYN for a referral. You can be injured by an inexperienced chiropractor due to the high amount of relaxin in your body (a hormone released during pregnancy).
Get a good referral, and don’t be afraid to invest in quality care. For me at least, it was worth every penny.
2. Exercise with MommaStrong.
MommaStrong has changed the way that I think about myself and the way that I think about exercise.
I feel so much stronger and healthier since starting MommaStrong. My body feels like it is working with me, rather than me working it until it collapses.
MommaStrong is an online exercise program designed for moms. The program has an emphasis on core stability and pelvic floor care.
It costs $5 a month for 15 minutes of daily at-home workouts to gain strength, sanity, and celebrate small victories (like that your back doesn’t feel like it’s breaking.)
Your monthly membership includes access to live Q&A sessions with Courtney (founder), the MommaStrong Facebook group, an accountability partner or group, and daily inspirational emails.
You also get:
- Daily Videos
- Fix Me’s to Address Specific Areas Causing You Pain (The “I feel broken” fix-me is my #1 go to for pregnancy pain relief.)
- Five Minute Hacks for Short Work-Outs
- Specialized Courses that Address Things Like Diastasis Recti and Incontinence
Personally, I needed a professional to tell me how I could move safely and what would help my pain.
Find movement that feels good for you during this time. But for me, MommaStrong was the answer.
3. Stretch, and do pregnancy-safe yoga regularly.
Yoga and stretching saved my butt during pregnancy, literally. I have two go-to’s for this on YouTube…
Adriene is down-to-earth, friendly, and inviting. Her channel is perfect for yogis of all skill levels (even for me, the inflexible, beached-whale-during-pregnancy type).
I really appreciate that her channel focuses strictly on yoga and the body without introducing spirituality. The channel has a yoga series or you can bounce from one video to the next depending on your needs and time.
I used this video daily during pregnancy and noticed a big difference in how I was feeling after doing it.
It is only 10 minutes long, and I felt great during and afterwards!
Please, use caution when stretching and be gentle with yourself. You have high amounts of the hormone relaxin in your body during, and you can hurt yourself by overstretching.
4. Take naps.
Profound, I know. But sleeping through the night can be challenging for pregnant women, and you can make up for lost time with a nap.
Naps help recharge your body and can help your baby to grow.
Retrain your thought patterns about naps. Replace your guilt of not being productive with positive thoughts about what you are doing.
While you nap, you could be helping your baby make a lung, eyes could be forming, or a heart is beating for the first time.
“Rest and play, are as vital to our health as nutrition and exercise.”Brene Brown
Listen to Brene, mama.
5. Invest in products specifically designed for back support during pregnancy.
There are five different products I used to deal with my back pain during pregnancy. They range in price from super cheap to, really, this is how much I need pay for relief?!
I’ll give you the scoop on all of them.
SI Loc Band
First, if you are dealing with hip, back, and/or pelvic pain during pregnancy, I HIGHLY recommend using the SI Loc Band or something similar for support.
The SI Loc Band was a total gamechanger during my pregnancy. I could manage daily activities – ya know, like walking – with the band on… without it, not so much.
After trying on other belts and belly bands in stores, I can tell you that this belt is pretty slim. You can see it under some clothing but overall it isn’t very bulky.
The only downside to wearing this belt is that you have to remove it every time you need to use the restroom. Even though you still have to remove it often, it is *way* easier to use than the woven wrap.
A super cheap option, kinesiology tape can also be used just about everywhere on your body for back pain relief during pregnancy.
I loved using the tape (this one was my go-to) and felt vast improvement while wearing it.
Kinesiology tape is more convenient than the SI Loc Band because you do not have to remove it to use the restroom. (Which when you’re pregnant is all.the.time.) There isn’t any tieing or Velcro involved.
How does it work?
“This taping method gently lifts the layer of skin and attached tissue covering a muscle so that blood and other body fluids can move more freely in and around that muscle.”Stephanie Crawford on Science How Stuff Works.
Diary of a Fit Mommy has a great guide on how to apply your kinesiology tape HERE.
Only downside? You definitely need to be careful removing your kinesio tape. Your skin is very sensitive during pregnancy and you can hurt yourself by removing the tape improperly.
The brand I used and loved really WORKS and is very sticky!
I do NOT recommend using pre-cut KT tape. You need long strips of kinesio tape to wrap around your growing belly.
Back and Bump Pillow
I truly loved this pillow. My back and belly felt like they were resting on perfect little clouds with the Boppy Side Sleeper pillow. Um – yes, please!
This pillow is great for small apartments or if you have a small bed. Your darling husband will thank you for getting this one and not kicking him out of the bed for lack of space.
I would’ve gotten this one that my friends rave about but I just don’t have space. And, I like my hubby to fit in bed with me and my pillow.
I was so surprised when I learned that I could wrap my belly and hips with a woven baby wrap. And, I was shocked by how good it felt when I was wrapped up.
I used this technique starting early in my pregnancy with a long scarf that I had instead of an official woven wrap.
Your wrap will not fit under your clothing so my tip would be to get a pattern that you love so that it can be an accessory to your outfits.
I used this video to learn how to wrap my belly for support.
Why does no one talk about this for back pain relief during pregnancy?! So simple. So effective.
A supportive shoe seriously makes all of the difference in how you feel.
I looked and looked for shoes that would support my aching feet and, more importantly, my back. Finally, I found these CUTE and oh-so-comfy sneakers.
These shoes pull on which means no bending down to tie your shoes.
They fit snug around your foot for support. They also have unique ankle bumpers that give support (that feels like a warm hug from Olaf himself) to your ankle bone.
Once my feet started to swell, I needed a shoe that could expand with me and be worn untied while still giving support.
Asics always meet my expectations, I love their shoes!
You can find my favorite pair of Asics HERE.
6. Take baths.
I love, love, love soaking in a nice bath. During pregnancy, I took a bath most nights to help with back pain.
It helps to add Epsom salts mixed with essential oils to your bath for added relaxation and pain relief. But, DO NOT add essential oils directly into the bathwater.
First, mix the essential oils into the Epsom salt. Then, add the oiled Epsom salts to your bath.
Best pregnancy bath tip? Buy one of these. Not even kidding, this thing is the bomb dot com for taking a good bath.
7. Use essential oils.
Here are my go-to essential oils for pain relief during pregnancy:
Deep Tissue Oil by Natural Hope Herbs is an herb-infused olive oil with added wintergreen and peppermint essential oils, as well as menthol crystals.
This stuff is absolutely amazing when it comes to relieving tension in the body and relieving pain. I’m talking within 20-30 minutes I can have immense pain relief, fewer muscle knots, and relief from tension headaches.
Lavender and Stress Away by Young Living (a warm citrus vanilla scent) are amazing to put in a diffuser and can be helpful when diluted in a carrier oil and applied using a roller ball.
8. Boost nutrition to help relieve overall aches and pains.
When I was pregnant, I did my best to avoid inflammatory foods and instead, focused on filling my body with life-giving foods. (Inflammation can lead to pain in the body.)
I tried to limit foods like:
- processed meats
- white flour
- white potatoes, and
I tried to increase anti-inflammatory foods like:
- raw olive oil
- bone broth
- fish (not tuna)
- nuts, and
- fruits and veggies.
You can read more about the pregnancy diet I followed HERE.
A Final (Important) Word on Pregnancy Back Pain
Sometimes, back pain during pregnancy is just par for the course.
But sometimes, it’s not. According to Mayo Clinic:
“Keep in mind that back pain during pregnancy might be a sign of preterm labor or a urinary tract infection. If you have back pain during pregnancy that’s accompanied by vaginal bleeding, fever or burning during urination, contact your health care provider right away.”Mayo Clinic (source)
Make sure to keep your provider apprised on your back pain from visit to visit, and don’t hesitate to call in with concerns in between appointment. The nurse line is there for a reason, and they know what to listen for – you’re not bothering them.
Overall, hang in there! Pregnancy is one wild ride, full of ups and downs.
But I hope that this article gives you a bit of relief, so you can enjoy the rest of your pregnancy.
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Kenzie lives with her husband and daughter in beautiful Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She’s wrestled with infertility, survived a miscarriage, and is overjoyed to finally be a mama to her sweet baby girl she thought she’d never have. She loves helping moms who have had miscarriages find hope after loss at Miscarriage Mom.