You’re unlikely to sail through pregnancy without experiencing some discomfort. Pregnancy aches and pains are a common complaint, especially in the third trimester. Pregnancy puts the body under a lot of strain, so aches and pains are unavoidable.
As your bump grows, you may struggle with lower backache by the end of the day.
Pregnancy weight gain plays a part here as your baby bump is a heavy weight to carry about all day. Add to this your changing centre of gravity, and it’s no wonder your muscles are aching by the end of the day.
Many women struggle with pelvic pain towards the end of the pregnancy. This is because the hormone relaxin relaxes your ligaments, leading to discomfort for some women. Your midwife may be able to offer advice to help with this discomfort.
If you are struggling with pregnancy aches and pains, the following tips may help you to find some relief:
1. Rest as much as possible
Rest gives your body time to heal and your mind time to relax. Luckily, during pregnancy, you can get away with as many early nights as you want. It’s not always easy when you’re pregnant, but getting enough sleep could help reduce your pregnancy aches and pains.
2. Stay active with gentle exercise
While aches and pains may want you to hide at home on the sofa, gentle exercise may be good for keeping pregnancy aches and pains at bay. Pregnancy weight gain could make your aches and pains worse, and regular exercise may help keep your pregnancy weight gain at a healthy level.
You can check out our recent article with Wellness Osteo for five low intensity exercises to help during pregnancy.
Add a decent walk into your daily routine. You should aim to walk briskly to improve your heart health, though even a gentle stroll will be worthwhile.You can walk with your partner or a close friend or stick to podcasts for company. Find a beautiful route near where you live so you can enjoy your daily walk. Walking first thing in the morning will help wake you up and prepare you for the day ahead. If walking is hurting your hips, you may find swimming easier.
Swimming is also an ideal pregnancy exercise because the water supports your body.
You can enjoy the feeling of weightlessness in the pool while giving your heart a decent workout. Swimming is excellent exercise, especially during pregnancy. Your local pool may offer aquanatal classes you can attend.
3. Be mindful of your back throughout the day
No, I don’t mean that imagining your aches and pains have gone will actually make them go; I mean you can make changes to your lifestyle that may help. For example, if you’re struggling with backache during pregnancy, you should try the following lifestyle changes:
- Switch the high heels for a pair of comfortable, flat shoes. Wearing high heels could be causing your backache or, at the very least, making it worse.
- Use back support when sitting down. If you have a desk job, the time spent at your desk may be making your backache worse. Try using back support (or rolling up a hand towel) and place it between the curve of your spine and the back of the chair.
- Bad posture can make back problems worse and you’re more likely to sit with bad posture when you have a backache. Pay attention to your posture throughout the day to ensure you are sitting with a straight back.
- Avoid standing for long periods. If you have a job where standing is necessary, speak to your boss about adding chair breaks that could help reduce your backache. Most employers are happy to make changes to help you during pregnancy.
4. Invest in a high quality pregnancy pillow
If you’re struggling to get comfortable at night, a pregnancy pillow may be the solution you’re looking for. A pregnancy pillow provides the support your changing body needs at night. There are many different designs, but they generally feature some support under your bump, between your knees and your lower back. These are the places pregnant women common complain of discomfort.
If you’re short on sleep because of discomfort, it’s worth investing in a pregnancy pillow. But, can you put a price on a good night’s sleep? Sleep is so important, especially when you are busy growing a new person. There are many different types of pregnancy pillows, so be sure to check out our article to help you choose the right one for your needs.
The Sleepybelly pregnancy pillow offers front and back support to help you enjoy a restful night’s sleep. You can find out more about the Sleepybelly pregnancy pillow and order yours today here.
5. Take a warm bath
A soak in a warm bath can help each pregnancy aches and pains. So when you get back from a hard day of growing a baby, get your partner to run you a nice warm bath. Bubble bath, face mask, magnesium salt - the works.
Light some candles, turn the big light off and relax. If you’re planning to use hypno-birthing during labour, this would be the perfect time to listen to your hypno-birthing tracks to boost your relaxation.
6. Give yoga a try
There’s a reason why everybody raves about yoga; it works. It helps to loosen you up, strengthen your muscles and improve your fitness. It can lift your mood, give you some head space and leave you ready to face the day. And most importantly, it can help with those pesky pregnancy aches and pains.
Head to your local pregnancy yoga class and speak with the instructor about your pregnancy aches. They will likely suggest positions and sequences that will release tension and, hopefully, soothe your aches. For example, the cat cow pose is often recommended for lower back pain. A pregnancy-specific yoga tutor will be best placed to help you figure out which positions work for you.
7. Consider trying a pregnancy support belt
If your aches and pains are severe or are preventing you from going about your daily routine, it’s time to speak to your healthcare provider. They may suggest you wear a pregnancy support belt to help with some of the strain of supporting your growing bump. While you can buy these online, it’s worth speaking to your healthcare provider first to check whether this is something they recommend for you.
Most aches and pains are nothing to worry about, but if you’re feeling worried, it’s always worth speaking to your midwife for reassurance. You won’t be wasting their time, they’ll be glad of the opportunity to help.