1. Change Your Sleep Position
Finding a comfortable sleeping position can be difficult when pregnant, especially if you’re struggling with back pain. In the early trimester, sleeping in any position is fine and safe for your baby. In the later trimesters, it’s recommended that you sleep on your left-hand side, to allow optimal blood flow from the inferior vena cava (IVC) to your heart. To relieve back pain, sleep on your side with one or both knees bent.
Meditation can be very effective for pain relief. Practising breathing techniques whilst meditating can help unclench tense muscles in your back and help to decrease your perception of pain. Practising meditation will teach you to focus on something calming such as the ocean and waves, which can be effective pain-relief when experiencing back pain and can also help during labour.
Regular meditation also has many mental health benefits, including reduced stress levels. Across the UK, up to 1 in 5 women develop some form of mental health problem during their pregnancy or in the year after giving birth. Women who experience stress or anxiety during pregnancy are more likely to deliver their babies preterm or at low birth weights. Doctors have said that meditation can be very effective for mums to be both during pregnancy and labour.
3. Pregnancy pillow
To help you find a comfortable sleeping position, you might want to consider a pregnancy pillow. There are a few different types of pregnancy pillows available, but most come in either U or C shapes and are long pillows designed to cushion your body from head to toe. You can wrap the pregnancy pillow around your body or use the pillow to support your back or hips whilst sleeping.
4. Firm mattress
To support your back in the later trimesters of pregnancy, it’s important that you have a firm and supportive mattress to sleep on. Nine months is a long time to struggle to sleep comfortably, so a high-quality mattress is well worth the investment. A memory foam mattress can be great for helping with back pain, as they contour closely to your body to provide extra support. If you don’t want to buy a new mattress, you could consider getting a memory foam mattress topper.
5. Improve your posture
Many pregnant women find that their posture changes during pregnancy. Your baby bump causes your centre of gravity to shift forward, which can add stress to the spinal joints and cause your back muscles to tighten. This means that you might find yourself leaning backwards a lot, which can place strain onto your low back.
The best way to avoid this is to work on your posture. When standing, hold your head straight, keep your shoulders back and your chest forward. Try to also keep your knees straight but not locked and pull in your stomach. When sitting, keep your back straight and shoulders back, and try to sit as far back in your chair as possible.
You can also consider buying some form of back support if you struggle to find a comfortable position whilst sitting or driving. There is a variety of these available, however, you can also use a rolled-up towel to help reposition your lower back.