Your spine goes through a lot during and after your pregnancy – from carrying your baby inside you and going through the delivery, to the hunched-over position you’ll likely adopt during breastfeeding and having your little one attached at the hip (literally). So is it any wonder that back pain is so common in pregnant women and new mums? Thankfully, there are treatments you can try to relieve those aches and pains…
Pregnancy back pain
More than two thirds of women are expected to suffer from back pain at some point during pregnancy. This is because the hormone ‘relaxin’ softens and stretches the ligaments to prepare you for labour which makes the joints less stable and puts a strain on the lower back and pelvis, which can cause back pain.
Pregnancy back pain treatment
- A pregnancy massage or warm bath may help ease the pain
- Probably goes without saying but wear flat shoes to evenly distribute your weight
- Make sure you keep your back straight and well supported when sitting at work and at home – or look for a good maternity support pillow
- Get enough rest, particularly later in pregnancy
- Use a good mattress that supports you properly – you can always put a piece of hardboard under a soft mattress to make it firmer, if necessary
- Go to a group or individual back-care class
New mum back pain
New mums may also find the physical demand of motherhood can take a toll on their backs. However, pregnant and breastfeeding mums may be reluctant to take oral painkillers to ease their aches and pains – so what natural steps can you do to relieve your back pain and avoid it getting worse?
Aching neck, shoulders and upper arms are common for breastfeeding mums as they adjust to feeding a newborn up to ten times a day, Many mums hunch over initially to help the baby to latch on, while trying to support their baby’s neck and arms.
Solution? Once baby is latched on, mums can scoop them up and lean back to relieve neck strain. A good Nursing Pillow will bring the baby’s position higher, so new mums are not supporting the baby’s full weight, helping to relieve the strain on arms, shoulders and sore necks
Buggies and prams are designed to be lightweight so new mums can easily lift them in and out of their cars and homes – many brands even claim this is possible to achieve one-handed! So why does your hand feel like it’s about to fall off after a day out with your little one?
Solution? Don’t make the mistake of overloading the basket of your buggy with heavy shopping or groceries, as all of this extra weight will be absorbed by your wrists. This is particularly important in the first five months after you give birth as this is when hormonal changes affects the ligaments, resulting in more strain on muscles
The ‘Carry Cuddle’ hip ache
Balancing your baby on a ‘thrown out’ hip can lead to painful pelvic girdle pain, particularly as mums tend to lean on a preferred side when carrying their child.
Solution? Avoid holding your baby with just one arm. Instead hold them close to your body with both arms and when you ‘hip carry’ switch sides regularly. For small babies a Baby Sling is a great way to distribute weight evenly
Toddle and Twist injuries
Mums of toddlers who race away at the speed of light, will be at an increased risk of landing awkwardly on their feet and ankles – leading to painful sprains and strains.
Solution? The RICE technique should be implemented to avoid any further damage.
R = rest, so be sure to avoid putting weight on the injured foot for 24 hours.
I = ice, so place a bag of frozen peas on the affected area.
C = compression, wrap the affected foot with an Elasticated Medical Bandage from your first aid cupboard.
E = elevation, put someone else on baby duty and lay on the sofa with the foot propped up on a pillow to reduce the throbbing
Leg day isn’t just for the gym bunnies. Did you know that the average two year old weighs approximately 25 pounds? It’s no wonder that mums are exhausted after a day of lifting, carrying and running around after their little one.
Solution? Don’t stop! Play time with your toddler is great for bonding and your personal fitness. The key is to do ensure you stretch enough – stretching can help you prevent sore muscles becoming painfully contracted and tight. If your thighs and calves feel sore, spend time stretching them out
Other back pain treatments…
These practical tips from the NHS may also help to relieve an aching back:
- While feeding your baby, always sit with your back well supported and straight. Put a small pillow or cushion behind your waist to support your lower back. Make sure your feet can reach the floor.
- Kneel or squat to do low-level jobs, such as bathing your baby or picking things up off the floor. Avoid bending your back. Make your knees do the work instead.
- Change nappies on a raised surface. You could kneel on the floor next to a sofa or bed. Never leave your baby unattended on a raised surface, in case they fall off.
- To lift heavy objects, such as a baby car seat or an older child, bend your knees, keep your back straight and hold the object close to your body. Make your thigh muscles work as you lift. Squeeze your pelvic floor and deep stomach muscles as you prepare to lift.
- Keep your back straight when you push your pram or buggy. Alternatively, carry your baby in a well-fitting sling.
What to buy to help ease back pain…
For a quick fix: Try Deep Freeze Pain Relief Cold Patches
Mums could consider trying topical cooling therapies, like Deep Freeze Pain Relief Cold Patches, which give fast acting, long lasting pain relief with scientifically proven cold therapy for muscular back pain, suitable for relieving common pain in new mums.
How does Deep Freeze Pain Relief work?
Deep Freeze Pain Relief Cold Patch works like ice by cooling the affected or swollen area for up to 3 hours.
For best results apply the patch to the affected area as soon as possible after injury. The dual action patch provide Pain Relief + Cold Therapy – The cooling action provides effective, soothing pain relief.
Cooling therapy can decrease blood flow to the affected area and may help minimise damage.
BUY NOW: www.superdrug.com
For long-term benefits: Invest in a Dormeo Memory Plus Memory Foam Mattress
This mattress combines 2 layers of different foam types to create a brilliantly balanced, supportive and ventilated sleep experience.
Unique, next generation breathable Ecocell foam is designed to be permanently elastic with a 3-dimensional cellular structure, providing efficient air circulation and support where you need it.
It has a 50% extra thick layer of memory foam for additional support and comfort and cleverly remembers its shape, returning to its original form night after night.
An added bonus for new mums is that Memory foam greatly reduces motion transfer, so you won’t feel the other person in bed getting up or moving around.
This mattress is a No flip, just rotate design only requiring rotation as per instructions.
BUY NOW: www.dormeo.co.uk