Monday, September 7, 2009

Back Support During Pregnancy: Any Tips?

I'm only 16 weeks pregnant, but for the past few weeks I've been experiencing some major lower back pain. I am prone to experiencing back labor, but I'm not sure if there is any connection or if this is a separate issue. I also realize that this is my fourth pregnancy in six years - not unique among the ladies who read this blog, I know :) - so perhaps my body is giving out on me a bit?

In any case, I would appreciate any tips on back support during pregnancy. Specifically, I'd love recommendations on which "back and belly support bands" you all have found to be effective - I bought one that is made by Medela, but I'm not sure that I love it. I've also started doing some yoga and pilates videos specifically designed for pregnancy, but any recommendations on particularly good exercises would be great.

Thanks so much in advance for all of your advice! I'm okay with the idea that I may just have back pain for my entire pregnancy, but I would like to do what I can to remain as mobile and functioning as possible throughout the next few months. After all, I do have a husband, two children, and a household to take care of!

God bless you all on this Labor Day. St. Joseph the Worker, pray for us!

16 comments:

Mary Alice said...

I found it really helpful to wear something supportive, especially when I was carrying twins, and then with all subsequent pregnancies.

Maternity Spanx are wonderful. I also wore a belly support band that I got at Mimi maternity when I was doing long walks.

This Heavenly Life said...

I don't have any recommendations for belly support, but I'll be keeping this post in my sights for future reference.

What I DO have is a high regard for chiropractic care. I had awful lower back pain with my second pregnancy, and began seeing a chiro early on - around 12 or so weeks. It was nothing short of miraculous :) I was pretty much pain free after that until the very end. I highly recommend a chiropractor skilled in treating pregnant women; it's well worth it. Plus, your insurance may cover it - mine did.

Good luck!

Melanie B said...

I can't offer much more specific advice, just echoes of the generic you've obviously already got: a band for support and yoga to help relieve some of the stress. I had the worst lower back pain and sciatica during my last pregnancy and unfortunately nothing really made it go away.

I found the Bella band helpful in giving some support. Though it didn't get rid of the pain, I felt better with it than without.

I hope you find some relief, I know how debilitating back pain is.

texas mommy said...

So sorry you're uncomfortable, Kat. I used a Belly Bra (http://www.bellybra.com/) with Jack-Jack, which helped a lot for back pain, but you might not be big enough for it, yet. I can send you mine if you'd like to give it a try. Are you having shooting pain down your legs, too? B/c it could be possible the baby is on a nerve.

As for exercise...do as many pelvic rocks as humanly possible! Also, avoid sitting in a "lounging" position...try sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair to relieve some of the back pain.

Marcy K. said...

I can vouch for the chiropractor. I never had any trouble and felt great when I went to the chiro. Laying on hot packs (with a couple of towels between you and the pack) and getting massages was the best part :)

Kate E. said...

Kat, I had back labor with baby number 1 and then had early on lower back pain with pregnancy. Apparently if you uterus tilts back at all that can cause back labor and aches as it shifts position early on. Just so you don't think it's too strange that it is happening this early.

I went for serious pillow positioning early on, love the big "U" shaped body pillow.

Ditto on the pilates, and the pelvic rocks, and definitely sitting on the exercise ball.

Good luck, I found it got way better towards middle of second trimester and has only just started to get uncomfortable in the last few days and I'm in the home stretch :)

Kat said...

These are all great tips, thank you so much! It sounds like I need to get an exercise ball, a bella band, and prescription to see a chiropractor :) I'll let you know how it goes!

Lisa said...

Chiropractic care can be excellent -- I agree. But DEFINITELY get recommendations/referrals for specific chiropractors. The first one I saw was useless -- I chose him because he was the closest one to me that took my insurance. I stopped seeing him, got recommendations from a friend on another doc to see, and I LOVE her. She's made a huge difference in my back and neck issues.

Keep us posted on what works best for you!

Jennifer in MN said...

I had terrible back pain with baby #5 (out of 6 that's pretty good!). My doctor referred me to a physical therapist who gave me a whole page of exercises to do. I think it's much more important to strengthen those muscles than to just use those support bands. The PT did say if the excercises weren't helping that the bands were the LAST resort for relief as they don't actually do anything but make those muscles weaker. I'd say mention this to your doctor/midwife and see if you can get a referral for PT.

Anonymous said...

You've probably already thought of this, but check your shoes, too! I had lower back pain early on with one pregnancy. None of my shoes were in bad shape, but I switched to a brand new pair of serious athletic shoes All The Time & that helped a lot. There were times I was wearing a shoe "inappropriate" to the occasion, but the world did not end and it really made a difference.

Anon4

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever experienced sciatica very early in pregnancy? I'm only about 10 weeks, but my sciatic nerve feels like it did at 30 weeks with my last one. Any relief for that?

Catherine said...

Hi there, cranio-sacral therapy is a form of light massage that is much less invasive than chiropractic, as it manipulates the membranes around the brain and spinal column rather than the bones. I don't have personal experience with CST providing pain relief, but it is very calming for my hyperactive child. However, it is also supposed to be great for both back pain and headaches. I know we're both in Houston--I'll email you our therapist.

Joanne said...

I had sciatica very early on every time and the way I got relief was suggested to me by my yoga teacher. It sounds weird but I had my husband dig his elbow into my butt cheek at a point drawn down directly from where it hurt. I know that sounds weird but it worked - feel free to email me if you need further instruction!

Kat said...

Thank you so much for all of these suggestions - I feel well-informed and ready for my appointment with my OB next week, and hopefully we can figure something out together! My main concerns are preventing debilitation later on in pregnancy, and also preventing problems post-partum. Thanks again!

Dianna@KennedyAdventures said...

I heard much about chiro care, but never did that during PG. With daughter #2, I went to yoga, as well as water aerobics, which helped tremendously.

Aubrey said...

I'm also 16 weeks pregnant. This is my fifth pregnancy. In order to avoid the bad pelvic-bone pain that I usually experience in a pregnancy, I began chiropractic care. He thinks that he can help with this and also with my migraines (whoopee--another pregnancy joy). I'm not sure how easy it is for you to get in for appointments or what your insurance is like, but it may be worth a shot! Good luck! :)