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6 Tips to Ease Back Pain in Pregnancy


Pregnancy and back pain go hand-in-hand. And while this kind of pain may be annoying -- or truly debilitating – the aches and pains make sense. By the third trimester, you’re carrying a beach ball of baby and as your body compensates for the extra weight, your center of gravity moves, your abdominal muscles weaken (um, disappear), and your posture shifts. Factor in hormonal changes that loosen joints and ligaments and you’ve got the makings of some very real back pain.

These six things helped reduce my sore back and increase my overall happiness as I moved through the final days before birth.

1. Walk It Off

a pregnant woman and her friend walking on a beach

Walking is a fabulous low-impact exercise that gets your heart pumping and helps keep your muscles strong and healthy. Even a slow stroll can assist in revitalizing the stagnant, achy spots in your back.

2. Do a Downward Dog

a woman doing a downward dog yoga postion

Prenatal yoga carried me through both of my pregnancies, helping to keep me limber and strong. Bonus: A consistent yoga practice can aid in relaxation and stress reduction (super-important as you gear up for labor and delivery).

3. Get in a Pool

a pregnant woman swimming in a pool

Or lake. Or ocean. Swimming is the ultimate pregnant sport. The zero-gravity experience of being in a body of water is ideal for heavy, swollen pregnant bodies. Perk: Swimming strengthens abdominal and lower back muscles.

4. Sleep on Your Side...

a pregnant woman sleeping on her side

...with a pillow tucked between your bent knees. This position takes pressure off of your lower back. Slide another pillow under your baby bump for even more support.

5. Bend Your Knees When Picking Up

a pregnant mom and her family playing on the floor of their house

Throughout my second pregnancy I found myself acutely aware of how often I was bending down to pick up a Lego I just stepped on (ouch!), a half eaten banana or a pile of stuffed animals that had been exiled to the corner of my four-year-old’s room. Bending at the knees when retrieving items on the floor significantly reduced the strain in my lower back.

6. Favor Function Over Fashion

a close up of a person walking outside

This is an obvious one, but despite all the photos of with-child celebs tottering around in stilettos, ditching the heels during pregnancy is essential for reducing lower back strain. Anything other than a flat shoe is tough on the non-pregnant back, but add a bulging baby bump and it’s a recipe for acute back pain.

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