Pregnancy can be quite enjoyable especially when you have no serious complications and a pretty straightforward delivery. But the one thing you will not enjoy is that awful lower back pain, especially when you are trying to sleep. This usually happens in your second and third trimesters because your baby is growing and you are stretching everywhere. Thankfully, pregnancy pillow can alleviate and even prevent much of your lower back pain.
Why Is The Back Hurting So Much During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is an amazing journey that takes quite a toll on the body. You see, so many changes happen in a woman’s body right from conception to delivery which contributes to all the pregnancy-related aches and pains. Some women may experience pain in their joints, feet, or pelvic area. However, lower back pain is one of the most common complaints, with nearly 90% of women experiencing it during pregnancy.
One of the changes that cause back pain is the change in your body’s hormones during pregnancy. Upon conception, your body will produce a hormone called progesterone that helps sustain the pregnancy. High progesterone levels cause the muscles around your pelvis to relax so it can expand as the baby grows and prepare your body for delivery. Relaxation of these muscles affects the alignment of your joints which can then cause lower back pain.
Another hormone called Relaxin is also produced upon conception. Relaxin helps the fertilized egg implant in your uterus and also prevents contractions in early pregnancy. Later on, it helps the cervix open in readiness for delivery. In addition, Relaxin relaxes ligaments around the pelvis and spine, which can cause instability, changes in posture, and lower back pain.
Gaining some weight during pregnancy is inevitable and actually encouraged. Weight gain is one of the variables used to check the health of a pregnancy. In fact, the CDC recommends a certain range of weight gain for women with different BMI levels. This weight gain, although necessary, can contribute to pain in the lower back and joints.
About half of the weight gain in pregnancy is in the abdomen alone. That weight will cause your center of gravity to shift forward and cause postural instability. Many women will arch their back and lean backward to counteract this and regain balance. However, leaning backward strains the back muscles, contributing to lower back pain.
As the uterus expands to accommodate the growing baby, it puts pressure on a vein called the inferior vena cava. The inferior vena cava carries blood away from your pelvic and abdominal organs and your legs and feet. When the uterus places pressure on the inferior vena cava, it causes it to overfill, leading to fluid build-up and pain in the pelvis and lower back. This pressure can also cause less than normal oxygenation of the pelvic and lower back region, further contributing to pain.
Whether planned or not, having a baby can be a pretty stressful experience. Emotional tension, like stress, can cause changes in the physical body leading to symptoms like back pain. For instance, stress can cause a reduction in blood flow to the muscles and ligaments in the back. Lower blood flow will cause lower oxygenation and build-up of waste, which will then cause spasms and pain.
Studies have shown that women who have experienced back pain in previous pregnancies will likely experience it in later pregnancies. However, there are ways to alleviate back pain in pregnancy, and one that I can vouch for is the pregnancy pillow.
Does Pregnancy Pillow Help With Back Pain?
Pregnancy pillows can help with back pain because they help with your sleeping posture. As your belly grows, certain sleeping positions will no longer be comfortable or safe for you and your baby. At some point, you will only sleep sideways, which can be uncomfortable without extra support. Pregnancy pillows offer this extra support and ease back pain that could result from bad posture.
How Should I Sleep To Avoid Back Pain During Pregnancy?
Pregnant women should try to always sleep on their side. Sleeping sideways helps improve blood circulation, which is important in avoiding back pain. Lying down sideways with one or both knees bent and a pillow between your thighs helps relieve stress and prevent pain in your back. Adding extra pillows underneath your belly, behind your back, and under your head will also help prevent back pain.
This Pillow Saved My Back During Pregnancy.
The U-Shaped PharMeDoc Full Body Pregnancy pillow literally saved my back (and kept me sane) during pregnancy. I was so uncomfortable and in so much pain while sleeping that it affected every other aspect of my life. But this PharMeDoc Pregnancy Pillow came to my rescue, offering support for my back, hips, knees, neck, and head. Honestly, I so enjoyed using this pillow that it was a little hard to stop using it after my baby was born.
This full-body pillow has a detachable extension that you can use as a body pillow or additional back support. It is chemical-free and made from the most comfortable 100% jersey-knit cotton. The cover is easy to remove, and you can wash it in your machine.
Another High-Rated Pregnancy Pillow For Back Pain Relief
The PharMeDoc C-Shape Pregnancy Pillow is also highly-rated for back pain relief if you want a portable pillow. It comes with a stylish storage bag, so you can take it anywhere and store it easily in your home. While in its storage bag, the pillow can work as an ottoman or extra living room pillow. The PharMeDoc C-Shape pillow is made of 100% cotton canvas, making it both comfortable and durable.
Lower back pain may be inevitable for most pregnant women, but there are many ways to alleviate it or avoid it altogether. Nothing beats a good pregnancy pillow when it comes to pain-free, comfortable sleeping. I hope you will consider getting one (or a few) once you decide to get pregnant.