Pregnancy is not easy, between the stress and the planning coupled with uncomfortable symptoms, it can be downright difficult. In fact, one of the greatest complaints during the 9 months leading up to childbirth relates to back pain and physical discomfort. Studies have shown that over half of expectant moms experience lower back pain at one point or another during their pregnancies.
It makes sense. During pregnancy, the center of gravity begins to shift forward and the displaced weight begins to put stress on joints. As the baby grows, the weight shifts even more and the curvature of the lower back is increased, which places extra stress on areas that are not accustomed to it. Furthermore, pregnancy hormones loosen the ligaments attached to pelvic bones and throughout the body which can result in additional imbalances and pain.
What You Can Do
There are many recommendations set forth by the International Chiropractic Association. They include:
- During pregnancy, a woman should exercise 3 times a week with gentle stretches before and after. This should be undertaken with the advice of a medical professional.
- Exercises that are recommended include walking, swimming and stationary cycling. Women who were avid runners prior to pregnancy can continue their routines under medical supervision.
- The heart rate of a pregnant women should not exceed 140 beats per minute.
- Exercise should be immediately discontinued with any unusual symptoms.
- During pregnancy, wearing flat shoes is best for preventing postural imbalances.
- When picking up children, pregnant women should bend from the knees, not the waist. Additionally, while lifting, the head should not turn. Heavy lifting should be avoided.
- Rest! Rest is more critical during pregnancy than any other time. Take the time to nap or to prop up your feet when needed.
- Discomfort while sleeping is a top complaint. To avoid it, sleep on one side with a pillow between your knees to take the pressure off of your lower back. Look into body pillows for additional support. It’s recommended that pregnant women sleep on their left sides to allow for unobstructed blood flow and to help the kidneys flush waste from the body.
Chiropractic care during pregnancy has been proven to help in providing relief from increased lower back pain. It is a safe, effective way to ease discomfort naturally, while increasing the likelihood of a healthy birth and recovery.
Interested in learning more about preventing discomfort during pregnancy? Contact LeVan Chiropractic today. We look forward to working with you toward optimal health at all points in life.