10 Best NATURAL REMEDIES FOR BACKACHE IN PREGNANCY
Written by: Melissa Marks, LM, CPM
Throughout the many years I’ve served as a midwife, I don’t think I’ve had even one client who hasn’t suffered from back pain at some point during their pregnancies.
Back pain is very common in pregnancy!
Just because it’s common, however, doesn’t mean it’s no big deal. Pregnancy backaches can be severe, even debilitating at times.
Thankfully, there are many safe and natural remedies to alleviate backache in pregnancy so that no pregnant person ever has to suffer with chronic pain.
COMMON CAUSES OF UPPER & LOWER BACKACHE IN PREGNANCY
Rapid breast tissue growth
Slouched or swaybacked posture
Neck and/or shoulder tension
Change in the pregnant person’s center of gravity due to growing uterus
Hormone called “relaxin” being released in the body to help loosen joints and ligaments
Sciatica, caused by compression and irritation of the sciatic nerve in the lower spine
Urinary tract infection
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
Stay hydrated! Make sure you are drinking lots of water every day, at least half of your body weight in ounces (you can count caffeine-free herbal teas as water). Keeping well hydrated helps prevent both constipation and urinary tract infections.
Practice good posture, and make sure to stick your butt out and bend your knees when lifting objects below your waist.
Wear flat, supportive, comfortable shoes and go barefoot as much as possible. Seriously, get rid of the high heels!
Exercise daily (hiking, walking, and swimming are fantastic exercises for pregnancy!), for at least 30 minutes. Prenatal yoga and pelvic tilts can also work wonders for backache.
If you choose to wear a bra, make sure it is well-fitting and supportive, preferably without underwire.
Eat a whole foods primarily plant-based diet, making sure you are getting enough calcium and magnesium from foods such as dark leafy green vegetables (spinach, romaine lettuce, collard greens, kale, turnip greens, swiss chard), oranges and fresh orange juice, bananas, dried fruit (figs, apricots, prunes, etc.), sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and other nuts and seeds.
Minimize or eliminate foods that directly contribute to constipation, such as dairy products and gluten-containing foods such as breads, pastas, cookies, and cakes.
Apply warm heat to your back with a hot water bottle or heating pad, and/or take warm baths with epsom salts.
Regular massages and/or chiropractic adjustments can do so much more than alleviate backache; they can also help you get better sleep and help baby get into an optimal position for birth! (Be sure your massage therapist and chiropractor are skilled in working with pregnant women.)
Rub St. Johns Wort infused oil (can be purchased at your local health food store or online) onto affected areas of your back.