Pregnancy, Parenting, and Back Pain
It’s an old-fashioned expression, but one that many expectant mothers probably relate to: “Heavy with child.”
The weight gain and hormonal changes of pregnancy can put a great deal of strain on a woman’s body. Expectant mothers know their bodies are changing rapidly, but many are unaware of the extent of these changes, which can last far beyond pregnancy.
One problem faced by many mothers is persistent back pain, which affects between 50 and 80 percent of all pregnant women. It usually shows up in the fifth through seventh month of pregnancy. Studies also show that women who suffer from back pain during pregnancy have an 85 percent chance of experiencing it again during a subsequent pregnancy.
Parenting and Back Pain
Pregnancy-related back pain doesn’t necessarily end when a woman gives birth. One of five women who suffer from back pain during pregnancy say they still experience it afterward, according to a three-year follow-up study in the European Spine Journal.
In the first few years of parenting, mothers are prone to move in ways that can wreak havoc on their backs. Lifting and scooping up children, carrying them on one hip, toting heavy diaper bags, and adapting their own sleeping and sitting positions can all add up to do a number on mom’s spinal health.
What Can You Do?
If you’re a mother, there are ways to care for a young child and at the same time minimize the pressure childrearing puts on your body, including:
- Using your legs when you lift: Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, lift your child while squatting slightly and bending forward from your hips, as opposed to lifting with your back.
- Keeping your back straight: When putting your child down, hold him or her as close to you as possible, taking care not to round your back.
- Lightening your load. Is everything you carry in your diaper bag really necessary? Periodically take inventory of your bag, removing any items you don’t really need. Try wearing the bag across your body instead of on one shoulder. If you must wear it on your shoulder, switch sides from time to time.
- Sitting up straight. When breastfeeding, maintain good posture, and for extra support, put a pillow between your back and the chair. Remember to contract and release stomach muscles to help strengthen and support your core.
Getting enough sleep, eating well, maintaining good posture, and doing simple core exercises also can help ease the pressures that often lead to back pain.
We understand how hard it can be for moms to put their wellness first, but if you’re experiencing pain following your pregnancy, it’s important to prioritize your health so that you can continue caring for those you love.
Is Chiropractic Right for You?
Chiropractic care can help reduce pain and relieve the stress on a pregnant woman’s nervous system, and also may help with problems mothers encounter after pregnancy — sometimes even long afterward.
A good example comes from Caitlyn, a mother of two and a member of our own marketing team, who sought chiropractic care for the first time for increasing back pain.
After an initial assessment at our Christiansburg clinic, Dr. Matthis determined that Caitlyn’s back pain was likely caused by misalignment of her pelvis after two recent pregnancies. After a series of six adjustments, Caitlyn’s back pain was gone.
We offer chiropractic treatment for the entire family with convenient appointments in a welcoming atmosphere. Our professionals are trained to ease the back pain experienced by pregnant women and parents of young children through proven techniques including spinal manipulation, exercises, and stretches. Contact Tuck Chiropractic Clinic with any questions or to schedule an appointment for your initial assessment today.
Image by Daria Garnik/123RF.
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