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Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Changes you experience in pregnancy can make you more susceptible to back pain, so how can you combat these changes?

It’s one of nature’s marvels, isn’t it? The response of the pregnant body to the growing child. You fall pregnant, and your body undertakes a series of changes to accommodate the needs of your developing baby. You don’t have to think about it, you don’t need to undertake any study, pass any tests, or learn how to make milk. Your body just knows what to do every step of the way. Or, it should know.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go to plan. For reasons too numerous to mention, many pregnancies end in the heartache of miscarriage. It is a taboo topic in today’s society, which often contributes to a feeling of isolation for women who experience miscarriage. However, if this is you, you’re not alone. Research estimates that up to 20% of confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage, so you don’t have to search far to find someone who has experienced something very similar to yourself. Thankfully, particularly in the internet age, there are many support groups available if this is something you have experienced.

Joyfully, however, that means that the vast majority of confirmed pregnancies are successful, and it is this outcome that the expectant mother spends so much time preparing for. Much is written about dos and don’ts of pregnancy, such as supplements, exercise, coffee, smoking, alcohol, and so on, but little is written about caring for your low back during pregnancy. Given that approximately 68% of pregnant women experience back pain, you would expect more information on the topic.

The fact is that the changes you experience in pregnancy can make you more susceptible to back pain. Not only do you have extra weight in your belly, but your body produces a hormone called relaxin, and its job is to relax the ligaments around your pelvis to make the birthing process possible. Relaxin is overzealous, however, and ends up softening ligaments throughout the spine as well, helping your flexibility, but also potentially contributing to back pain.

To keep your back more comfortable during pregnancy, follow these few tips:

  1. Keep moving, but don’t over do it. Your body is designed for movement, but too much stretching, or too much impact can be detrimental.
  2. Use your legs. Early in your pregnancy, make an effort to break the habit of bending over to pick things up. Practise squatting down instead.
  3. Pay attention to posture. Slouching increases the load on your low back further. Do your best to stand up straight by pretending a helium balloon is attached to the top of your head, pulling you up.
  4. See your local Chiropractor. Armed with spinal adjustments, exercises, stretches and more, your Chiropractor is a great health professional to help you through your pregnancy.


Dr Michael Osborne – Chiropractor

B.H.Sc (Chiro), M.Clin.Chiro.

Toowoomba Chiropractor Dr Michael Osborne

Meet Dr Michael

Hobbies: I enjoy hiking, biking and kayaking with my family.
Favourite Movie: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Ultimate Holiday Destination: Europe – yes, the whole lot

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Wang et al, 2004, Low back pain during pregnancy: prevalence, risk factors, and outcomes, Obstetrics & Gynecology, 104(1), p65-70

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