Your baby bump is growing. How exciting! You’re finally showing off that adorable bump, but you’re starting to notice that a bigger bump comes with more aches and pains, especially in your back. Don’t despair – I’m going to share the one surprising thing that completely helped me and can improve your pregnancy back pain.
Why Does Your Back Hurt So Much?
Our growing babies are stretching the muscles around our bellies, pulling our round ligaments in our groins and around our backs. The more our bumps grow, the more weight and pulling of our muscles. Plus, your baby may be laying more on your spine. Perhaps your baby is in the posterior position, aka sunny side up, and putting even more of its weight on your back. All of this is going to cause achiness and pain.
But, this doesn’t mean you need to suffer needlessly. So, how can you improve your pregnancy back pain?
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The One Trick That Helped Me
This one thing will not cost you any money. I had bought a pregnancy belly band to help with my round ligament pain, and it did provide some relief while I was at work, but it didn’t help with my back pain.
My chiropractor, Lisa Lipari, suggested I try pelvic tilts to ease my back pain. What are pelvic tilts? If you do yoga, you may know them as the Cat/Cow pose. And it made a huge difference in my pregnancy.
This movement requires you to be on all fours and tilt your pelvis downward toward the floor and back up, almost forming a straight table with your spine. Don’t tilt your pelvis all the way up to the ceiling like you would in yoga.
I did this move several times a day, but especially right before bed. I couldn’t sleep because my back was so uncomfortable, but once I started doing 20 sets of these beforehand, my pain was at ease and I could sleep! Try doing the same before bed every night.
BONUS – this move is wonderful for improving your pelvic floor and having a smoother labor!
*As always, ask your doctor if you’re cleared for exercise before attempting this stretch*
You’re pregnant! Hooray! And even better, you’ve gotten through the first trimester’s dreaded morning sickness period. Hopefully by now, your stomach is taking it easier on you and you’re starting to eat more normally, or even getting some cravings. Either way, I know you’ve heard the phrase “Eating for two.” It’s often misinterpreted as the ability to each twice as much during pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong – you DO need more calories every day through pregnancy. Roughly 300-500 calories per day depending on your pregnancy weight management. What I don’t like about this term is when it is stereotypically used, or as a joke because of pregnancy weight gain.
There can be a lot of feelings of guilt and shame for moms-to-be, especially plus size mamas. Whatever your body shape, I don’t want you to ever feel bad for eating. You need to eat for your well-being. So, let’s change the meaning behind “eating for two.”
What Eating for Two Means to Me
The phrase traditionally refers to the portion size aka amount of food. To me, eating for two means nourishing yourself and your baby. But, not in the manner of eating double the portions. Instead, you’re eating the nutrients and delicious meals you need to effectively create the building blocks of your baby’s life and support your own well-being. What you eat is also what your baby’s eating. I want you both to have the best of what you need. Quality over quantity.
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Look, you don’t have to constantly eat a salad. That’s not what I’m saying here. It’s totally okay to enjoy that slice of pizza or some ice cream. You don’t need to deny yourself pleasures as long as they fit within the parameters of your pregnancy and your care provider hasn’t restricted your diet. But, the goal before occasionally indulging is to get the other foods you need for a healthier and more comfortable pregnancy.
What Do You Need to Eat for a Healthy Pregnancy?
Let’s break it down. First and foremost, you need protein, and there are lots of ways to get it even if you’re a vegetarian or are vegan. You need healthy, complex carbs from whole grains and multigrains. Simple carbs like white bread and those in a lot of products in the snack aisle are going to break down into extra sugar, while complex carbs will provide some protein, fiber, iron, and more! You need healthy fats, omega-3s and omega-6s, as well as more fiber (for that pregnancy constipation).
When you can get all these essential nutrients into your diet, you and your baby will feel nourished and supported.
Learn more about having a healthy pregnancy here.