4 Tips to Relieve Mamas’ (on Bedrest) Aching Back

September 21st, 2011

Christy (not her real name), mom to one of my son’s classmates is 32 weeks pregnant with her second child. She has just recently started having lots of lumbar/sacral discomfort and asked me what she can do for relief. I shared my recommendations with her, but I consulted with some other birth pros upon whom I rely on Twitter. If you are not following Desirre Andrews or @Preparing4Birth, you should be. Desirre is an awesome doula, childbirth educator, lactation educator, midwife assistant and the president of International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN). Jes von Henzke @Sadayagoga is a yoga teacher and practitioner who shared her expertise as well.

First things first. What’s going on? Well, at 32 weeks, Christy has a lot of Relaxin in her system. As you’ll recall, Relaxin is the hormone that relaxes the tendons and ligaments of the body. During labor and delivery, it enables the pelvis to freely move (separate) and allow passage of the baby  during delivery.

Additionally, Christy is experiencing a lot of stretching as her baby to grows in these last few weeks. The added weight from her belly is creating an opposing force on the muscles, tendons and ligaments of her spine, abdomen and pelvis as they work to stabilize her posture and support her pregnancy.

So what should Christy do? Here is what we came up with.

Maternity Support Belt. This was an invaluable article of “clothing” for both of my pregnancies. Being just 5 ft tall, once my belly became sizable (at just 16 weeks with my second!), my back began to feel the strain. With my daughter, my first pregnancy, she sat in my pelvis such that I developed sciatica at about 22 weeks and could barely put weight on my left leg. A friend referred me Special Addition a local maternity store here in Austin, for  a good pelvic/lumbar/sacral support. The great thing about Special Addition is that all of the sales clerks are doulas and lactation consultants with years of experience helping pregnant and new mamas. They fit me for a belt that was just perfect. Special Addition also has a wonderful online inventory and you can call and speak with these wonderful sales clerks and they can help you get the best support for your needs. (If you know of a great Maternity Boutique, tell us about them in the comments section. We’ll create a category in our resources section so that other mamas can benefit. Be sure to tell us why they are great so Mamas can make wise and informed choices!)

Prenatal Massage. Another lifesaver for me. When I was pregnant, I had a massage about once a month. It was so wonderful and relaxing. Additionally, a skilled prenatal massage therapist can work the muscles that are under stress due to the pregnancy without causing additional discomfort. Many doulas are also massage therapists. Again, if you know of a great therapist in your area, share the info in our comments section so other mamas can benefit.

Chiropractic Care. I didn’t do chiropractic care during my pregnancies, but I hear that chiropractic manipulations during pregnancy can be very beneficial. Be sure to choose a chiropractor who has skill and expertise manipulating pregnant women. Check out their credentials and get referrals whenever possible. Share a good resource in the comments section.

Muscular Movement. I actually taught prenatal aerobics during both my pregnancies (which nearly gave my OB a heart attack with my first-the most high risk!!). Moving and stretching enables the soft tissues most affected by the weight of the pregnancy to stretch and then to repair. Again, please try to stick with classes that are designed to accommodate the pregnant physique. And Mamas on Bedrest, we’ve not forgotten you. Online Bedrest Fitness begins with a free demo class on September 28th, 9:15-10:15 am CT. Send an e-mail to info@mamasonbedrest.com to register and receive login information.

Do you have other tips? Share them in the comments section below. Or if you’d prefer, send them to info@mamasonbedrest.com.

If you’d like to talk more about back pain relief, post a message on Twitter to @mamasonbedrest. You can also post a message on our Facebook Page.

To the left, pregnant with my daughter, maternity belt in place, 36 wks, 4 days. She arrived 36 wks, 6 days, 3 hrs and 57 mins shy of 37 weeks.

To the right, the day before I delivered my son, @39 wks via c-section. Maternity belt in place to support my 42 inch waist!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *