For all pregnant women, back pain is to be expected. No matter your size, your background, or even your athletic ability, it is highly unlikely that you won’t experience some sort of back pain over the nine months of gestation. Back pain can come on at any point during your pregnancy, but it will probably be most severe in the later months when your baby is the largest inside of you. Although it’s common, back pain is extremely uncomfortable and can interfere with your daily routines, including sleep.

The cause of back pain during pregnancy is not only attributed to the added weight of your baby. Back pain is also related to increased hormones that cause a softening of the ligaments and joints. This softening lessens the support that your back is used to, which can easily cause pain. Your posture will also change during pregnancy as your center of gravity shifts. Additionally, the high levels of stress you might experience during pregnancy can cause back pain. Unfortunately, there is no proven way to completely prevent back pain, which is bad news for the 50%-70% of women who experience it. However, there are some ways you can lessen its intensity.

To minimize back pain during your pregnancy, you should research different exercises to relieve it. You should also bend over as little as possible and squat down when you need something from the ground. You can even wear a support belt under your belly to keep your posture as natural as possible. Sleeping on your left side has been proven to lower the intensity of back pain, especially if you use a support pillow for your knees. If you need a quick remedy, try taking acetaminophen or using an ice pack.

If you are experiencing back pain during your pregnancy, you are most definitely not alone. Many women are afflicted with this problem, and minimizing the effects can be extremely difficult. If your back pain is very severe and seems to be increasingly so, contact your healthcare provider immediately, as it could be a sign of a bigger problem. If you notice rhythmic cramping with your back pain, don’t pop any Tylenol, as you are probably going into labor. Back pain is simply part of pregnancy, but do everything you can to minimize it. When you’ve delivered, your body will go back to normal and the pain will be relieved.

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