I’d like to help you experience it as pain-free as possible. So try to forget all of those pregnancy pain horror stories that you’ve heard. If you follow my top seven tips to ease your pain, you should dramatically increase your chances of having a pregnancy without back pain.
For those of you who think you’re in the clear and this won’t happen to you, I have to say that during my second pregnancy, it snuck up by surprise and almost knocked me out. So be prepared!
Here are seven tips to ease your backache. (Please remember to always gets your doctor’s okay before doing any type of exercise.)
1. Strengthen your transverse abdominal muscle. 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 sit-ups to build abdominal strength—quite the contrary. Instead, I recommend you do simple things like pelvic tilts and abdominal pull-ups. (See inside my kit for detailed pictures and instructions.)
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 fours, 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 thirty to sixty 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 sitting, as well as all 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. As with your hamstrings, they also get tight from 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 swayback.
6. If the pain gets really bad, wear a maternity support belt. (You’ll be amazed how good it feels!)
7. And finally, avoid crossing your legs or standing for long periods of time!
Pregnancy certainly has its fair share of aches and pains, but if you’re diligent about doing your basic stretches and taking care of yourself, you shouldn’t have to suffer through it!
For more information, go to PregnancyWithoutPounds.