Be it day one or the second trimester, pregnancy often yields a bit of discomfort. And the central point of that discomfort is usually the back. For many surrogates (and expectant mothers everywhere), finding relief can sometimes feel impossible. This can be especially true if you suffer from pregnancy back pain during your surrogacy journey.
If you are experiencing back pain during your surrogate pregnancy, try using ice, heat, or massage to relieve symptoms. Beyond that, check out the following methods to find relief. (As always, consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise program during pregnancy.)
1. Strengthen your back muscles from the get-go. The best place to start is at the beginning. Keeping those muscles strong and lean from the start of your pregnancy means more support and less pain. Who doesn’t want that?
2. Practice good posture. Stand up straight and tall with your chest high and shoulders back and relaxed. Don’t lock your knees. As the baby grows, your center of gravity naturally shifts forward. This means that you’re likely leaning backward in an effort not to fall forward. This strains the muscles in the lower back and leads to pain. To be mindful of your posture, try the following:
- Stand up straight and tall
- Hold your chest high
- Keep your shoulders back and relaxed
- Don’t lock your knees
3. Choose alternative care. Pre-natal chiropractic care during pregnancy is a safe and effect way to not only get relief but to help before, during, and after the birthing process. Acupuncture is also a wonderful option for back pain and even morning sickness.
4. Try different yoga poses and proper stretching. For a full list of yoga poses that are safe and effective during pregnancy, check out Yoga Journal’s article here. Also try out the following stretches from Athletico Physical Pregnancy:
- Doorway pectoralis stretching: Stand in a door frame and place your arms on the door frame at shoulder height with the elbows bent to 90 degrees. Place one foot forward and gently lunge forward until you feel a moderate stretch at the front of the chest into the front of the shoulders. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3-5 times several times a day.
- Scapular retraction: After you have stretched the pectoral musculature as noted above, keep the arms relaxed at your side and gently pinch the shoulder blades together as if you are trying to hold a pencil between them. Hold for 5 seconds and then relax. Repeat 20-30 times several times a day.
5. Foam roll your lower back. Foam rolling, pregnant or not, can offer a ton of relief. We found this great video from Knocked-Up Fitness to help guide you. Click here to view.
6. Wear a supportive bra and supportive shoes. Doing so can relieve some of the back discomfort by keeping the spine more neutral and providing a good base of support, respectively.
And those times you’re really feeling the throb, just think about the bigger picture. You’re helping bring life into the world for a family that is grateful beyond words.
As always, talk to your healthcare provider about recurrent back pain and how it can be safely and effectively managed for you and baby.