Yoga and other stretching exercises are great during pregnancy, since they strengthen key ligaments while relaxing areas that are tight and painful. Although it may seem easier to rest when you experience pain (especially back pain), and to avoid exercise, gentle stretching and movement often decreases muscle spasm and improves the function of the spine, resulting in less pain. Exercise also boosts energy levels and contributes to an easier labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery. Try stretching and relaxation techniques as a first resort for back pain.
If the pain is severe, ask your partner to massage the area. Ask your doctor if you can safely take any painkillers or if acupuncture might help ease your pain. If the area feels inflamed and painful, try placing a cold pack on the affected area for 5-10 minutes, several times a day.
I felt the same at about six months but found the last three months went quite fast just because more was happening. Along with more prenatal visits and classes, there was planning when to start maternity leave, then finishing work, then getting the nursery ready, and buying things for the baby. And I made an effort to see all my girlfriends-it all made the time pass quickly.
Your growing belly shifts your center of gravity to the front of your body. As the baby strains your abdominal muscles, and pregnancy hormones soften your ligaments, your abdominals give less support to your spine, which can result in back pain. Lifting and bending can exacerbate back pain, so try these strategies to help avoid added strain.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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