Back pain. Yet another thing I’ve found they don’t warn you about pregnancy is the back pain, from little achy niggles to yelp out loud spasms.
According to Deep Freeze as many as 98% of expectant mums experience muscular back pain at some point in pregnancy, and I certainly did with all our three.
By the second trimester of all three pregnancies I would have to stop and think before getting out of bed because my lower back would seize up during the night, and running around after younger ones when you’re pregnant doesn’t help either.
The thing is it doesn’t stop there. It’s now almost eight months since Littlest B arrived and if anything I’d say my back pain is worse, not better.
What with breastfeeding an increasingly heavy baby, pushing the double buggy up a hill on the school run, bumping it up and down the flight of steps in front of our house and trying to do umpteen things one handed with a baby on my hip there just isn’t the chance for it to get any better.
So what can you do about it? If muscular back pain is an occupational hazard for you like it is for me here are 10 easy ways to ease back pain in pregnancy.
10 easy ways to ease back pain in pregnancy
1. Stretch. I found pregnancy yoga brilliant for easing pregnancy back pain, and even though I’m not pregnant anymore I still do the stretches at home. I found the child pose especially helpful.
2. Go for a walk. You might not feel like it, especially if your back is aching, but walking in pregnancy is one of the best cardiovascular exercises for pregnant women. It will help you stay a healthy weight and avoid any additional pressure on the back.
3. Go swimming. I loved swimming in pregnancy, mainly because I could forget I was actually pregnant! The water supports all your weight so you can move freely, and like walking swimming will also help you stay a healthy weight.
4. Try a cold therapy pain relief. I’ve been using both Deep Freeze pain relief cold gel and Deep Freeze pain relief cold patches which I’ve been asked to review by Mumsnet and which really take the edge off my back pain. Deep Freeze is drug free so if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding it’s totally safe to use.
Both are really easy to use – the patch (£1.30 each) is made of cloth with a sticky back which you simply peel off and stick on the affected area. It stays in place when I’m bending and twisting and doing all the things that mums do, and afterwards you just peel it off and throw it away (and it doesn’t pull any little hairs either!)
The patches are supposed to offer up to three hours’ pain relief, but I’d say they last longer than that – I can still feel the cooling benefit on my skin hours after I’ve taken it off. The gel (£2.15) is similarly easy to use – you just rub it in and it starts working straight away. I now keep a tube next to the nappy cream and anti-bac gel in my nappy bag just in case. If you haven’t tried something like Deep Freeze before then give it a go – it really does take the edge off.
5. Use a hotsy botsy (also known as a hot water bottle – don’t ask!) The opposite of Deep Freeze which is cold therapy, a hot water bottle on your achy bits or a warm bath can also really help soothe your back.
6. Wear proper shoes. By that I mean ones which distribute your weight evenly, as opposed to ones that don’t – like stilettos. Sorry peeps.
7. Invest in a memory foam mattress. We bought a memory foam mattress half way through my pregnancy with Little B and my goodness I wish we’d bought one before. It moulds to the shape of your body so you’re perfectly supported at night.
8. Invest in a pregnancy pillow. There are all sorts out there, allowing you to sleep on your side but keeping your knees apart, so you can’t twist as you roll into the mattress.
9. Don’t sit down for too long. If you do find yourself sitting for long periods of time, make sure your back is properly supported and get up for regular breaks.
10. Rotate your hips. Stand with your legs slightly apart, your hands on your hips and rotate your hips one way and then the other. Just the job for easing a stiff back – doing this exercise makes me feel so free!
Have you suffered back pain in pregnancy or as a new mum? What did you do to ease it? I’d love to hear your hints and tips!
I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher in exchange for this post.