Give Your Back a Break

Backache is a common problem during pregnancy. It’s no wonder – weight gain, hormones, and a growing baby affect your balance, posture, and the way you walk. Back pain often increases in the second half of your pregnancy as your uterus becomes heavier. This causes you to change your posture even more to keep your balance. 

Stay active

Exercise during pregnancy may prevent or relieve back pain. Most women should aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days of the week.

Good activities include walking, swimming, bicycling, and dancing. Exercises that strengthen and stretch back muscles also can help. Ask your healthcare provider about how to exercise safely.

Healthy back habits

There are also other ways to ease back pain. Follow these tips:

  • Watch your posture. Stand straight with your hips pulled forward.

  • Wear low-heeled shoes with good arch support.

  • Squat to pick things up instead of bending over at your waist.

  • Ask for help lifting heavy objects.

  • When standing for a long time, rest one foot on a stool or box.

  • Sleep on your side, on a firm mattress, with a pillow between your legs.

  • Sit in chairs with good back support.

You can try using hot or cold packs to help relieve the pain. Talk with your healthcare provider before using any pain medicine. Call your healthcare provider if your pain is severe or if you’re also having contractions. Back pain can be a symptom of preterm labor. If you also have a fever or burning when you urinate, call your healthcare provider. This can be a sign of a urinary tract infection.

Online Medical Reviewer: Bowers, Nancy, RN, BSN, MPHFoley, Maryann, RN, BSN

Date Last Reviewed: 4/12/2016

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