Ways to Combat Pregnancy Back Pain


After the almost 5 months of prenatal sickness, I have been able to stay relatively active during this pregnancy. But that period of inactivity has definitely taken its toll. Weak abs...weak everything. I am dealing with sciatic pain that is putting a major crimp in my mommy style. My house is a mess and volleyball practice starts tomorrow so I've been trying some things to get through the days successfully.
A few things that have helped:

A Maternity Mattress

I am 7 months pregnant and can sleep on my stomach whenever I want. Is that cool or what? When we were newly pregnant with my 4th child, my husband and I were hit by an oncoming vehicle. The car was totaled and I had some injuries and back pain that grew significantly worse through the pregnancy. There were days I could hardly walk and I could not find any comfortable way to take the pressure off my back. My faithful hubby did some research and purchased a foam maternity mattress with a series of rings and holes cut to be removed to allow for a growing baby belly. The company is out of business now but I still have the mattress...and the back pain...so I've been using it faithfully.

Even though the company and product no longer exist (believe me, I've searched), it would be quite easy to make this mattress with foam, a measuring tape and a sharp knife. I'll take some pictures and post dimensions here soon since this item is too lovely not to share.

Rest

This sounds like a no-brainer but with 5 kids and a normal life, not so much. I thought that I would be able to get things under control far better once my period of pregnancy sickness was over but apparently, I simply have another opportunity to grow in humility. Normal household chores, like folding laundry or vacuuming, have a bad effect on my back. I am not doing them nearly as often as they need to be done. It's stressing me out a little but it's better to be able to do a little than nothing at all.

Exercise

I know, I know...this is a direct contradiction of the above. But I have noticed that a total lack of activity tends to increase my pain. Walking does not affect my back the way bending to do chores does. So we walk. There have been times where I have been significantly worse after our walks which is the reason that I like to leave this activity for the very, very end of the day. It's not unusual to step into the house between 11pm and Midnight. I can walk in the door, lay on my mattress with an ice pack and try to remember to brush my teeth before I fall asleep. By morning, the swelling is down (hopefully) and the attempt at delicate balance can begin again.

Weird Shoes

Okay, this is an unproven category. I have not actually tried these shoes long enough to know if they work but the experiment has begun. I've read reviews over the years about the way MBT shoes (and their knock-offs) help back pain. Then I recently read a positive online review from a woman who suffers from serious prenatal back pain. Then, we found a great sale on a pair of MBT-like shoes (made by Avia) and figured that $40 was a lot cheaper than a trip to the back doctor. (MBT will tell you that any other brand will hurt your feet but the reviews don't support that claim and I'm willing to save the $200 to find out for myself.) I wore them for 2 miles of our walk last night before changing shoes (reviewers recommend easing into them). I'll let you know how it goes.
Posted on August 4, 2010 and filed under "pregnancy back pain".