In a perfect world, women would be able to relax during their pregnancy and only do what they feel is best for them and their baby. Unfortunately, most of us have to continue working through much of our pregnancy, which means long hours at the office behind a desk. As if sitting for long periods of time wasn’t harmful enough to your tumultuously changing pregnant body, your posture will also change, so sitting at a desk will feel different than usual. Many women experience more lower back pain after spending the day in an office chair, both while sitting and all day afterwards. 

In 2009 an experiment was designed to find out whether or not pregnant women who used ergonomic desk attachments at the office experienced less back pain than those who did not. Ergonomic attachments are designed to decrease any discomfort for people with physical restrictions, such as bad backs, carpal tunnel, or any similar ailments. The women who used the ergonomic attachments did in fact report less back pain, but also reported increased discomfort in their upper ligaments. The attachment lessened pressure on the back but kept the arms in an awkward position. If you are thinking about getting an ergonomic attachment for your office or even in your home, remember that the change in position could solve the problem, but might bring on new ones. Make sure you try any attachment before purchasing it so see where it puts the pressure, and whether or not the change is a positive one. 

If an ergonomic attachment puts too much pressure on your arms and neck, there are other ways you can try relieving back pain while sitting. Make sure you practice good posture by pointing your chest forward while sitting instead of down toward your belly and keeping your legs slightly apart. Consider purchasing a lumbar roll for the back of your chair to maintain your good posture through the day. If you start to slump through the day, you should try sitting on a birth ball or exercise ball instead of in your chair. You’ll be forced to sit upright, and your pelvis will be more supported. Finally, getting up and walking every now and then throughout the day will take some of the pressure off of your lower back, and you’ll be in less pain when you leave the office at the end of the long day. 

Source: Genevieve A Dumas et al: Posture and muscle activity of pregnant women during computer work and effect of an ergonomic desk board attachment. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics Volume 39 Issue 2 pp. 313-325 March 2009