It’s common for most women to experience some type of back pain during pregnancy. As your growing baby requires more and more space, the muscles, joints and ligaments adjust often causing strain on the back. Just because it’s normal doesn’t mean you have to take it. Here are of a couple of suggestions on how to get some relief while your little bun is in the oven. Make sure to consult with your doctor or midwife to make sure you’re cleared to try these helpful hints.

Have a Ball

A birth ball that is. Also called an exercise, gym, or fitness ball, a birth ball can be effective in relieving pregnancy related back pain by just simply sitting or leaning on it. Sitting upright on the birth ball requires proper posture and engages your core muscles, putting you in a squat like position while providing counter pressure to your thighs and perineum that relieves strain on your back and hips.[3210] Most women find later in their pregnancy that the ball is more comfortable to sit on than most chairs and couches and tends to be easier to get up from as you just roll yourself up to standing. Another way to use the birth ball is to kneel down and lean your upper body onto the ball. Much like getting down on your hands and knees, this position moves the baby’s weight to your belly and off your spine, giving your spine a chance to expand. [3211]However, since the weight of your upper body is on the ball you will not experience strain in your arms, wrists, or hands. To make this position even more comfortable you can place a towel on the ball and under your knees. As an extra bonus, both of these positions are believed to help the baby find the best position for labor and encourage the baby to drop in late pregnancy.

Stretch it out with Yoga

The ancient practice of yoga during pregnancy provides many benefits. The type of breathing used in yoga can be extremely helpful during labor, the poses practiced will increase flexibility and circulation in your body, most people will find that yoga helps them relax and release stress, some moms feel that it encourages a connection with their baby, and of course relieves common aches and pains. The most beneficial yoga poses to relieve pregnancy back pains are: cat-cow, downward dog, child’s pose, and cobbler’s pose. [3208]Most of these poses work by releasing the pressure on your spine.


Cat Cow Pose

Downward Dog Pose

Child's Pose

Cobbler's Pose

Visit a Chiropractor

 Most people think of chiropractors as a practitioner you visit after some accident has caused a change in your spine or joints. However all chiropractors have training in how to help a pregnant woman’s body deal with the unique neuromusculoskeletal changes growing a baby brings. There are even practitioners who specifically specialize in prenatal chiropractic and will often be able to give you even more information on how to maintain a healthy and relatively pain free pregnancy. In addition to relieving back pain, chiropractic treatment during pregnancy has been associated with reduced morning sickness, shorter labor and delivery times, and prevention of cesarean sections.  [3212]


In addition to using an exercise ball, doing yoga, and visiting a chiropractor, be sure to practice good posture, wear comfortable shoes, bend from your knees when lifting, sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs, have your partner give you a massage, get to know how much activity your body can take, and if you can’t seem to find relief talk to your OB or midwife to make sure your back pain is not an indicator of a more serious condition.