Mother and Baby

Beat pregnancy back pain

It’s time to think back safe now you’re pregnant, as carrying a big bump and pregnancy hormones can make you more at risk of injury

Pregnancy hormones temporarily loosen your ligaments, making your back vulnerable. Add in the effect a bump has on your posture and the pressure of a baby on your spinal nerves, and it’s easy to see why back problems are so prevalent in mums.

‘Pregnancy is often the last straw for backs that have put up with years of bad posture and habits,’ says physiotherapist Sammy Margo.

Here are four ways to keep your back healthy in pregnancy... 

Achy back? Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon could help relieve back pain by calming inflammation in your blood vessels and nerves. Aim to eat the oily fish twice a week to keep levels topped up and keep back aches in check.


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1) Stay active

Pregnant or not, exercise can go a long way to keeping your body – and spine – strong.

‘Regular walking and swimming will keep your muscles in good shape and your joints flexible, which supports your back,’ says personal trainer Joanna Helcké.

‘Essentially, your joints are supported by ligaments and muscles – so, the stronger they are, the less your back will hurt.’

See our comprehensive guide on how to exercise during pregnancy
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2) Rest easy

While pregnant, try to sleep on your side, supported by pillows to take pressure off your bump.
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3) Fix your posture

‘Back posture is fundamental to general health and wellbeing,’ says Sammy.

‘Your alignment affects your organs, breathing, muscles, digestion and fatigue. The effects of poor posture are amplified by pregnancy as ligaments become stretched – and the pain can continue after birth.’

When you’re walking, stop to link your hands behind your back to open your shoulders and get a sense of where your spine should be.

And when sitting, remember BBC: Bum on Back of Chair (sit on the bottom of your jean pockets, not the top).
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4) Smart shoes

You may long for fabulous footwear, but sticking to heels no higher than one and a half inches will help you keep your posture when pregnancy has thrown you off balance.

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