As it grows, do you find it makes a great resting place for your hands? If you answered Yes, I'm not surprised - I often see pregnant women using their bellies as armrests.
And just as OFTEN, I see pregnant women rubbing their backs to ease their lower back PAIN!
Yes, pregnancy and back pain definitely DO go hand in hand. Although I was fortunate enough to only suffer from it a couple of times - when the pain hit, it hit hard!
To get you through your pain, here are some great TIPS to help you out…
7 Tips to Banish your BACK ACHE:
1. Strengthen your transverse abdominal muscles - these are your deep abdominal muscles that play a large role in stabilizing your body.
Because your belly is growing outward at such a fast pace, it gets harder and harder for your abdominal muscles to keep up the strength to support you - and hence the reason for your back pain!
Now, I don't suggest you do crunches or situps to build abdominal strength - quite the contrary! Instead, I recommend you do simple things like pelvic tilts and abdominal pull-ups. If you're very advanced you can do abdominal crunches on the ball (as long as it feels comfortable!).
2. Stretch your back muscles- my favorite exercise for this is the Cat Stretch. It's great for lengthening tight back muscles!
Kneel on all 4's, pull your tummy in, and round your back up to the ceiling as high as it will go - just like a cat. Hold the stretch for 30 - 60 seconds and remember to BREATHE!
3. Stretch your hamstrings - these are the muscles at the back of your thighs. These muscles get very tight from all of the sitting you're doing now, plus the increased work they need to do to compensate for the outward expansion of your tummy.
To stretch them, put your leg on a bench, slowly lean over from your waist (keeping your back straight!) and curl your toes towards your nose.
4. Stretch your hip flexors - these are the muscles that attach your legs to your trunk. Like your hamstrings, they also get tight from all the extra sitting.
The easiest way to stretch your hip flexors is to stand up and grab your foot (same arm to leg). With your abs tight, push your hip forward and pull your knee back (holding on to a wall, of course!).
5. Stand up straight! Maintain good posture by standing with your pelvis tilted under and your knees soft, not locked! Make sure you engage your transverse abdominal muscles by keeping your tummy taught (pulling your belly button in!). This will also reduce your chances of having a sway back.
6. If the pain gets really bad, wear a maternity support belt (you'll be amazed how good this feels)!
7. And finally, avoid crossing your legs and standing for long periods of time!
Like a roller coaster, pregnancy has many ups and downs. And while back pain is one of the downs, with the right advice, you CAN make this a relatively PAIN FREE and POSITIVE pregnancy.
Follow my tips above and you're BOUND to feel a lot of relief!