Backaches and Heartburn in Pregnancy

Backaches and heartburn top the list of late pregnancy discomforts for most women.

As your baby and your uterus grow, the increased curve of your spine and weight centered in your abdomen put stress on your lower back. Here are some tips to help you alleviate back pain:

  • Good posture standing as straight as possible and keeping your chin level may keep you more comfortable.
  • Squatting with your back straight, knees fully bent and heels flat on the floor is a good exercise to prepare for birth and will also relieve the strain on your back.
  • A baby band or baby hugger available in bands or band-reinforced clothing provides additional support to the growing uterus and can be helpful for low back pain.

Squatting in this way can alleviate back pain and help your body prepare for labor.

Heartburn in late pregnancy is caused by your growing uterus and hormones that relax the opening at the top of your stomach. The combination allows stomach acids to come back up and cause a burning feeling in your chest. These strategies will help prevent heartburn:

  • Eat frequent, small meals instead of a few large meals.
  • Avoid eating or drinking just before bed.

Pile on the Pillows!

If backaches and heartburn are keeping you from getting a good nights sleep, a few extra pillows can help. While lying on your side, try placing:

  • 1 pillow between your knees,
  • 1 pillow at the small of your back, and
  • 2 pillows under your head so that your shoulders and chest are raised at an angle along with your head.

You may wish to hug a pillow in front of your chest as well.

The pillows at your legs, back and chest will lessen the strain on your back. The pillows under your shoulders and head will allow gravity to keep your stomach acids where they belong. If you tend to lose your pillows during sleep, you can raise the head of the mattress by putting a pillow under it.

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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