Back pain is a common complaint among pregnant women, especially near the end of the second trimester.

Many discomforts of pregnancy occur as the baby grows and begins to press on your stomach, gall bladder, diaphragm, backbone and pubic bone.

As your baby grows and your womb expands from the size of a teaspoon to that of a beach ball, the rest of your body adjusts. Your lower back develops more of a curve and your center of gravity shifts, both requiring changes in your posture and the way you move.

If you have back pain, exercises such as rocking your pelvis back while lying down—or rocking on a birthing ball to strengthen your abdominal muscles—can provide relief. Acupuncture and osteopathic manipulative treatments have also shown some success at reducing back pain.

To prevent back pain while you’re pregnant:

  • Wear low-heeled shoes.
  • Avoid lifting heavy weights.
  • Squat when you pick up things.
  • Sit in chairs with good back support or place a small pillow in the small of your back when sitting or driving.
  • If you must stand for an extended time, put 1 foot up on a small box or stool. 

Consider a “baby band” (or “baby hugger”). These bands or band-reinforced clothing provide additional support to the growing uterus and stretching abdominal muscles, and can be helpful for low back pain.

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