Posts Tagged ‘back pain’

Is your back bothering you?

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

backacheBackache is one of the most common problems for pregnant women. If you’re suffering, you’re not alone. Nearly half of all women have back pain at some point during pregnancy.

You can lessen some of the normal back pain encountered during pregnancy by following these tips:
• Be aware of your posture. Try to keep your hips pulled forward and your back straight. Don’t be a “sway back.”
• Wear low-heeled shoes with good arch support. Avoid wearing high heels. They can strain your lower back muscles.
• Avoid lifting heavy objects. This can put even more strain on your back. If you must pick something up from the floor, squat down, bend at the knees and keep your back straight. Do not bend over from the waist.
• Split larger loads into two smaller loads. Holding them in either hand may be easier than carrying one large load. If you must carry a large object, keep it close to your body.
• Keep objects you need close by so you don’t have to bend or stretch to pick them up. Be careful. It’s easy to lose your balance when you are pregnant.
• Avoid standing for long periods of time, if possible. If you have to stand for an extended period, rest one foot on a stool or box. This will help relieve the strain on your back.
• Sit in chairs with good back support. Tuck a small pillow behind your lower back for extra support while sitting.
• When sleeping, a firm mattress provides better back support than a soft one. If your mattress is too soft, a board between the mattress and box spring will make it firmer. Sleep on your side instead of your back. Tuck a pillow between your legs when lying on your side. The pillow will help straighten your spine and give extra support to your back.
• Look for maternity pants that have a wide elastic band to be worn under the curve of your belly. This band will help support the extra weight. Consider using special abdominal-support girdles. They can provide back support and are available in maternity stores.
• Apply a heating pad set to the lowest temperature, a hot water bottle filled with warm water or a cold compress. To avoid excessive cold or heat, wrap the heating pad, hot water bottle or compress in a towel.
• Try gently rubbing or kneading the sore areas of your lower back. Ask your partner or a friend to help. Consider getting a massage designed for pregnant women.
Medication to treat back pain during pregnancy is usually not a good option. Always check with your health care provider before taking any type of medication.
• Certain exercises can help strengthen and stretch your back muscles. They can also improve your posture and strengthen your abdominal muscles for labor and delivery. Talk with your health care provider about which exercises are safe for you and how long you should keep doing them during pregnancy.

Oh my aching back!

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

backacheAt one point or another, many of us have felt this way. Backache is one of the most common problems for pregnant women. Nearly half of all women have back pain at some point during pregnancy. There are three types of back pain related to pregnancy:
–  Low-back pain when you stand or sit
–  Pain that is worst in the back of your pelvis and deep in your buttocks
–  Pain in your lower back when you are in bed at night

Back pain can be caused by:
–  The strain on the back from carrying the extra weight of pregnancy
–  Changes in posture to offset the extra weight of pregnancy. This shifts your center of gravity forward and puts more strain on the lower back.
–  Strain on the weakened and stretched muscles in the abdomen that support the spine

Click on this link to lots of tips for lessening the normal backache that most of us face at some point during pregnancy.

Although some amount of backache is normal, severe back pain is not. It can be a warning sign of infection or complications, especially when a woman also has fever or other symptoms. Make sure to let your doc or midwife know about whatever backache you may have.

Dads-to-be gaining pregnancy weight, too?

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

dad-and-bellyWhen I first moved in with my husband years ago, I began to notice that my clothes were feeling a little tighter and I was jiggling in places that I hadn’t really jiggled before. I was happy to be living with the man I loved, but the weight I gained was a little too much to be “happy” pounds. I quickly realized that being around him and his cheeseburger-and-french-fries and kung-pow-chicken take out dinner orders weren’t helping me to keep a healthy diet. And it was hard to be satisfied with a grilled chicken salad when a juicy New York Strip steak was staring at me from across the table. Since then, I’ve managed to introduce new healthy foods in both of our diets. But the experience made me wonder: how much does one partner’s eating habits affect the other’s?

A couple weeks ago, the New York Times Motherload blog mentioned a British poll that found some men in Britain gain an average of about 14 pounds during their partner’s pregnancy. The respondents attributed the weight gain to a number of reasons: 1) eating out more often; 2) more “pregnancy” snacks around the house; and 3) eating more food and in larger portions so mommy-to-be won’t feel so bad for eating a big meal. Pretty interesting, right?

Pregnancy weight gain is just one of the sympathy pains I’ve heard that some fathers-to-be can experience. Alongside pregnant moms, some dads may also experience nausea, back pain, fatigue and food cravings.

Mommies, did your partner experience sympathy pains during your pregnancy? Daddies, what “pregnancy pains” did you find yourself having?

Is pregnancy massage safe?

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

massageDo you feel like you’ve just run a marathon, up hill, with a 20 pound sack of beans in you arms?  Do you ache a little here, a lot there?  How about a massage?  Be sure your massage therapist is up-to-date on your pregnancy and any special circumstances.

Pregnancy massage, or prenatal massage, usually is considered safe, but talk with your health care provider first, especially if you have:
• High blood pressure
• Diarrhea
• Morning sickness
• Fever
• Diabetes
• Heavy discharge

Pregnancy massage is a technique created specially for pregnant women to deal with the side effects of pregnancy. Many pregnant women find massage comforting because it may:
• Reduce physical and emotional stress
• Ease back pain
• Reduce swelling
• Relieve headaches and muscle aches

The massage may last as long as an hour. Pressure is OK, but it should not be so intense that you feel pain. Some massage therapists tell pregnant women to lie on their sides. Others offer special pillows so women can lie on their stomachs. If you are sensitive to odors, you may want to ask for unscented lotions and oils. Many massage parlors offer couples massage, so your partner can learn some ways to help out between sessions.  Oh yeah!

ABC’s of a healthy pregnancy, H-Q

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Continuing our post on the ABC’s of a healthy pregnancy A-G (July 10), here are guidelines H-Q to help increase your chances of having a healthy baby.

H:  History can teach us a lot! Understanding your family history can make an important difference in your life and the lives of your children.

I:  Iron is a mineral that helps create red blood cells, which are needed to carry oxygen to your baby. Be sure to get enough iron in your diet to prevent getting anemia.

J:  Join a childbirth education class to help you understand what to expect during labor and birth.

K:  Keep you and your baby safe during a disaster by planning ahead of time. Prepare for a disaster by making a list of medications you’re taking and having a handy contact sheet with your health provider’s information.

L:  Lots of back pain? Backache is one of the most common problems for pregnant women. Avoid heavy lifting and standing for long periods of time. Wear comfortable shoes and consider a pregnancy massage to ease some of your pain.

M:  Medical conditions, such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, should be carefully monitored by you and your health provider. Also, talk to your provider about any medications that may need to be adjusted during pregnancy.

N:  Nausea is very common during pregnancy and certain foods can trigger the feeling. Try substituting other nutritious options for the foods that make you feel ill. Eat 5-6 small meals a day, rather than three large ones.

O:  Oh, baby! Get ready to care for your baby before you bring her home from the hospital. Choose a health provider for her and make sure your home environment is all set and safe for your new baby.

P:  Prenatal care is essential for having a healthy baby, so be sure to make all of your visits. During these appointments, prenatal tests will be given to help your provider know how you and your baby are doing.

Q:  Quit bad habits such as smoking and drinking. Smoking can cause your baby to grow more slowly and gain less weight in the womb. Drinking alcohol while pregnant can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, which can cause your baby to be born with both physical and mental birth defects.

Visit us next Thursday for the final part of our series, the ABC’s of a healthy pregnancy R-Z.