One of the most common effects of pregnancy is the pregnant back ache. Regular chiropractic care and proper exercise can help prevent and alleviate this issue. But there is more that the new mother can do to maintain her own comfort while giving her baby the time and room to grow and develop. The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA), offers these tips for preventing pregnancy backache:
- Stand erect; do not allow your belly to sag.
- Change positions often to ease lower back strain.
- When lifting, bend your knees and keep your back straight.
- Consult your chiropractor for exercises to reduce lower back strain (an easy one to start with is the pelvic tilt shown above).
- Your mattress should be supportive and comfortable.
- Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees.
- Adequate rest is essential.
- Keep daily chores manageable. Seek those who can most help you make this experience meaningful. Whether it’s a friend to walk with to the pool, a doula to help with your labor plan, or your mother offering to watch the kids or help clean the kitchen, take advantage of the help around you.
- Know your limits. If you are working throughout your pregnancy and/or have other children to care for, try not to overdo it.
- Practice good postural habits.
- Plan and do regular exercise.
- Kegel exercises are a great way to prepare and tone the pelvic floor muscles for delivery and can be done anytime. To do Kegels, contract the muscles around your urethra and vagina— imagine you are trying to prevent yourself from urinating. Hold for several seconds, then release. Repeat sets of ten, several times each day.
- Have regular spinal check-ups; they are an important part of preventative health care.
Other Factors to Consider in Maintaining a Healthy Pregnancy
Proper nutrition is essential to maintaining a healthy pregnancy. This includes adequate intake of folic acid, good sources of protein and iron, calcium-rich foods, and lots of fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of pure water to keep well hydrated. Avoid eating too much sugar and sweets including fruit drinks as they can cause you (and the baby) to gain excessive weight.
Research has found that a pregnant woman can help protect the health of her child by avoiding smoking and second-hand smoke alcohol, excessive caffeine (e.g. tea, coffee and cola), unnecessary exposure to x-rays (especially in the first trimester), unnecessary medication (including over-the-counter remedies), and foods with chemical additives, artificial sweeteners, and artificial ingredients.
Regular exercise, good nutrition, and periodic spinal adjustments can make pregnancy the pleasant, exciting experience you want it to be! Pregnancy should be an opportunity to reflect on your family’s plans and dreams—not a time to struggle with pain. Preparing for a new baby is a daunting challenge for even the most organized mothers-to-be. So, during this meaningful time, be proactive: work to prevent backache before it affects your peace of mind or distracts you from focusing on your family’s well-being. Chiropractic care is safe and natural, simply removing interference to your body’s own controlling and healing ability
SOURCE: ICPA article “An Expectant Parent’s Guide to Chiropractic” By Stacey Rosenberg ~ Pathways Issue 20.