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How to Avoid Back Pain as You Enter Your Third Trimester

There are so many exciting things that happen when you cross the threshold into the third trimester of your pregnancy. As those last weeks fly by, pregnancy becomes REALLY real. At that time, back pain becomes REALLY real too. And while ultimately, the only thing that will make it go away is the arrival of your precious bundle of joy, there are several things you can do to give yourself some relief in the meantime.

Back Pain massage

Get a Belly Band/Back Support Strap

Sometimes you need more belly support, sometimes its structural help for your lower back. Yes, they’re not the most attractive pieces or clothing in the world, but as your due date approaches it becomes less and less about the cute factor, and a whole lot more about comfort and survival. There are a variety of support bands out there so talk to others to find one that works best.

Get a Body Pillow

If you haven’t got one already, your new best bedtime friend is a body pillow. They come in all shapes, sizes and fills. Use them to support your belly when you lie on your side. Put it in between your knees as you sleep to give your back some relief, or use it to support your breasts which most likely are larger than they used to be.

Consider a Pregnancy Massage (or Two)

Find a masseuse who specializes in pregnant clients. They will have a table with a convenient cut-out as well as foam pads that can be used to accommodate your belly or prop you up wherever needed, helping to keep you comfortable as well as giving access to your spots that desperately need some TLC. They will also know that “magic spot” to avoid on your feet that supposedly can induce labor. However, around your due date, by all means hit that spot too!

Keep Exercising

Weight gain (and you should be gaining weight) can put a lot of stress on your spine. So it’s important to stay as fit as possible while pregnant. Exercise will keep your heart, lungs and circulatory system healthy as well as keep your muscles strong which will, in turn, support your back. Most exercise routines can be modified so they’re appropriate for the third trimester so there’s no excuse. Focus on low/no impact activities like walking, swimming, yoga or water aerobics.

Apply Heat and Cold

Ice packs can offer relief when applied to sore spots on your back. Be sure to wrap a pack or bag of frozen veggies in a towel first, and then place it against your back and a chair to keep it in place. You can apply it for 20 minutes several times a day. After about three days, you can switch to using a heating pad or hot water bottle on the tender areas.

Acupuncture

While not for everyone, the ancient Chinese method for relieving pain has been shown to be effective in helping with back discomfort. Thin needles are gently inserted into the skin. Make sure your practitioner is experienced with working with pregnant women, and you may just see the back pain melt away.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic manipulation has been shown to help pregnant women with back pain. Make sure to get the all-clear from your maternal-fetal specialist, like Dr. Gilbert Webb, as well as find a chiropractor experienced with pregnancy adjustments.

Check Your Posture

The extra weight around your front can most certainly cause your posture to suffer. Make sure to sit up straight and keep your shoulders rolled back. You can try adding a rolled-up towel behind your back for support and also give your feet something to rest on so they don’t just hang, putting added stress on your back.

The very best part about third trimester back pain is that not only is it temporary, you get a prize at the end. Try different techniques throughout the final stretch to find relief. Be kind to yourself and your back. Pretty soon, it will all be worth it.

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